A 5-year-old gelding named Chosen Vessel was euthanized on Saturday after suffering a fracture while racing at Santa Anita Park in Southern California, becoming the ninth horse to die since the racing season began on Dec. 26.
Chosen Vessel was running in the ninth race of the Santa Anita Breeders Cup when he was injured. Veterinarians determined there was no way to help him, and he was euthanized, the park said on its website.
Since December 2018, at least 45 horses have died at Santa Anita Park. Last spring, racing was suspended so the park could test and evaluate its tracks. New safety measures were enacted in June, including giving independent veterinarians the authority to stop horses from racing if they are at a higher risk of being injured. At this time last year, 19 horses had died at the park, and Santa Anita's owner, the Stromach Group, said the decline in numbers in 2020 shows the new safety rules are working.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Animal rights activists have been calling on the state to end horse racing in California, citing the deaths at Santa Anita as just one reason why it should be banned.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.