Horse Health

Seventh horse dies at Santa Anita since Dec. 26

JOHN CHERWA as published on The Los Angeles Times

Santa Anita had a seventh horse die while training or racing Thursday when Unveiled suffered a fracture to his right front while galloping during morning training. The season started Dec. 26.

The incident occurred while the horse was galloping, considered a low-risk training exercise. The 4-year-old colt was trained by John Shirreffs, who according to the California Horse Racing Board, has not had a fatality since it started compiling trainer statistics a year and a half ago. The CHRB said the fatal injury was in the shoulder while Santa Anita said it was in the humerus, the long bone in the leg.

Last year, Santa Anita had 15 deaths to this point. The Stronach Group has instituted safety measures, considered the strictest in the country, in the hopes of reducing the number of fatalities. However, the horse population at Santa Anita has been significantly reduced leading to fewer race cards, fewer races and fewer starters this year.

Unveiled was a well-bred 4-year-old having been purchased for $575,000 in Aug., 2017 by Ashview Farm. He had yet to make an official start. He had no workouts listed in the last 60 days.

The death came on the same day of the February meeting of the CHRB meeting in Sacramento. Animal rights activists spoke frequently during the meeting, at times on topics dissimilar to the agenda items.

Among the few actions that were pushed forward were an essential ban of bisphosphonates and shock wave therapy, although neither were official.

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