A 3-year-old gelding sustained injuries at the Del Mar Racetrack on Saturday, November 30th, and had to be euthanized, according to Fox 5 San Diego.
Koa, the gelding, is at least the 10th horse to die due to injuries sustained at the Del Mar Racetrack this year. The gelding is also the fifth horse to pass away due to injuries sustained at the track since fall season began on November 8th, including three horses that were injured on the same day on November 10th.
This incident comes just a few weeks after two horses died at Del Mar Racetrack during the start of the fall 2019 Bing Crosby Season. Santa Anita, another race track in Southern California, has also been under scrutiny due to the death of at least 37 horses since last December.
Horses besides Koa that have passed away due to injuries sustained at Del Mar in the past month include Princess Dorian, Ghost Street, Prayer Warrior, and Slewgoodtobetrue.
A necropsy will be conducted on Koa to determine an exact cause of death, confirmed Del Mar Thoroughbred Club spokesman Mac McBride.
According to additional reports from Fox 5 San Diego, the trainer of Koa was previously banned from Del Mar Racetrack. Jerry Hollendorfer, a Hall of Fame trainer, was banned from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club earlier this year, but a San Diego judge granted an injunction that allowed him to resume doing business at Del Mar. At least four horses that were under Hollendorfer’s supervision died at Santa Anita Park within the past year.
J. Christopher Jaczko, a representative of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, told Fox 5 San Diego that Hollendorfer’s recent record is “problematic.”
Koa’s death come amid high scrutiny placed on the horse racing industry. Since the incident, a spokesperson from the Humane Society has stated that the death is “appalling and needless.” You can view the video detailing the Humane Society’s criticism below:
What do you think can be done to increase the safety of horses in professional racing? Or do you think that horse racing should be shut down for good? Let us know in the comments below.
[Feature image from Fox 5 San Diego]