A little more significant than a quarter of a century ago, after a yr that saw her own family riven by divorce, demise, and scandal, Queen Elizabeth II of England declared 1992 an “annus horribilis.”
With 1/2 the yr still to come back, 2019 has already earned that difference for sincerely all of us involved in Thoroughbred racing. The hassle commenced in California when a series of equine fatalities at Santa Anita Park, first blanketed through an industry reporter, stuck the eye first of nearby media, then that of national outlets. In March, the song closed for several weeks on the way to deal with the trouble and reduce fatalities. The rate of catastrophic accidents slowed, but not before journalists and observers throughout the united states made it a widespread practice to scrutinize every harm on the Southern California song.
Triple Crown season proceeded, attended using both trepidation and excitement. The Kentucky Derby became run without incident—or so we concept, until an inquiry and a declare of foul caused the first disqualification of a Kentucky Derby winner for interference. Maximum Security crossed the twine first. However, it is runner-up longshot Country House recorded as the winner of Kentucky Derby 2019, central to weeks of opinion, remark, criticism, and speculation.
And at a time while even the most sympathetic fanatics of Thoroughbred racing are stressed increased transparency, the stewards at Churchill Downs refused to satisfy the media or answer questions about the disqualification. Any wish of a rematch among Maximum Security and Country House fast evaporated when the running shoes of both horses announced that their fees wouldn’t run inside the Preakness or the Belmont Stakes, leaving the ones races virtually without storylines and presenting a vacuum into which interest on equine welfare took prominent location.
Officials at Santa Anita provoked outrage amongst racing enthusiasts using allying itself with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an employer that at one time had a stated mission to put off horse racing and that several years ago despatched an undercover investigator to work within the barn of Steve Asmussen, one of the country’s maximum a success running shoes.
In May, HBO updated a vintage episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, specializing in equine fatalities and horses despatched to slaughter when they could now not race, including a few new clothes and re-purposing vintage clips; in June, CNN produced a segment that put Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer squarely inside the crosshairs of public excoriation and interviewed fellow Hall of Fame instructor Bob Baffert without seeming to assume it relevant to mention that between July 2011 and March 2013, seven horses trained by him died suddenly. During the first six months of this 12 months, four horses educated using Hollendorfer have suffered deadly injuries at Santa Anita, with an additional two breaking down at Golden Gate Fields, a track near San Francisco this is, like Santa Anita, owned through The Stronach Group.
Within days, The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Pimlico Racecourse, and Laurel Park, banned Hollendorfer from its facilities. It supplied no explanation or furnished any proof of wrongdoing, and the California Horse Racing Board presented no document of a hearing or policies violations.
On June 23, the New York Racing Association issued a statement announcing that it’d honor its settlement to provide Hollendorfer with stalls for his horses at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. Six days later, Daily Racing Form mentioned that NYRA had changed its mind and would not permit Hollendorfer to race at its tracks, even though his horses that had been transferred to his assistant could be allowed to run. NYRA didn’t position out a statement about its reversal, and it declined to comment to the DRF on its change on policy.