Mongolian Groom was euthanized after an accident that took place during the $6 million Classic at the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, November 2nd. According to CBS Los Angeles, he is the 37th horse to die at the racetrack since December of 2018.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships was the 36th edition of the premier event of the North American thoroughbred horse racing year. The event, which typically determines champions in many of the Eclipse Award divisions, took place at Santa Anita Park in Arcardia California, which is home to numerous prestigious races and has hosted the Breeders’ Cup a number of times previously.
Mongolian Groom’s injury occurred during the last of the fourteen races that took place over the course of the two-day event at Santa Anita. The horse sustained an injury during the race, and a green screen was soon rushed onto the track to block him from the nearly 70,000 fans attending the event and the prime-time television audience. Mongolian Groom was eventually loaded onto an equine ambulance and transported to a hospital. Cup officials later made a statement in which they confirmed that the horse had been euthanized after suffering a fracture in his left hind leg.
“The death of Mongolian Groom is a loss to the entire horse racing community,” said a statement from Breeders’ Cup Ltd. “Our equine and human athletes’ safety is the Breeders’ Cup’s top priority. We have worked closely with Santa Anita leading up to the World Championships to promote enhanced equine safety. Santa Anita has implemented numerous industry-leading reforms to enhance the existing health and safety measures with the intent of providing a safe racing environment.”
Outside the event, nearly 50 protesters had been calling for the racetrack, and horse racing itself, to come to an end. Activists had been calling for the track to close prior to the event, yet Santa Anita Park has remained one of the busiest horse racing tracks in the world.
“End it,” said protester Heather Wilson to CBS, “This is not a sport. It is a violent enterprise.”
You can learn more about the story and view footage from Santa Anita Parkfrom CBS Los Angeles here: