WATCH: Racehorse Breakdown at Turfway Park

Published by Elena Waldman.

Update: February 19, 2021

After hearing from PETA, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) confirmed that it is investigating the incident.

Originally Posted on February 1, 2021

Miss Eau de Vie was forced to run her fifth—and last—race, which ended with a gruesome, fatal injury at Turfway Park. Since then, PETA has learned that pavement chunks were found on the track and attributed to an “operator error.” PETA is calling on the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to investigate her death and the safety protocols in place at Turfway Park that apparently failed to protect the young horse from the catastrophic injury captured in the video below:

The disturbing footage shows the 3-year-old Thoroughbred sustaining what appears to be a very sudden and violent injury that could be consistent with stepping on a foreign object.

A representative of the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association stated the following during the January 26 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund advisory board meeting: “We had a little hiccup about a week or so ago. A horseman actually brought a couple of rocks [from the racing surface] in to the office, and it, of course, started a panic of sorts.”

This raises a red flag that warrants closer examination of Miss Eau de Vie’s death. The exact time frame referenced—“a week or so ago”— should be determined. When were these chunks of pavement originally discovered, and what measures were taken to ensure that absolutely all the hazardous pieces were detected and removed for safety? Were Miss Eau de Vie and other horses racing at Turfway Park on January 15 put at heightened risk because of this situation?

PETA’s Asking for Answers

KHRC needs to launch an investigation to find out exactly when the “rocks” were originally discovered on the track, what measures Turfway Park took to ensure that absolutely all foreign objects were detected and removed, and what risks this alleged “operator error” posed to the horses who were forced to race on the track on the day of the incident.

PETA is also asking for the board to look into the park’s current track safety protocols as well as the veterinary and medication records of Miss Eau de Vie to determine whether she suffered from a preexisting condition that could have contributed to her death. Whether it was because of a chunk of pavement, a preexisting injury, or some other issue, the commission must determine why this horse died and take action to prevent such fatalities in the future.

You Can Help Prevent Others From Enduring the Same Fate as Miss Eau de Vie

While horse racing can never be entirely safe for the animals, safety reforms would make a world of difference. Help change this industry rife with drug abuse, corruption, and death by taking PETA’s quick actions to help horses.

QUICK WAYS TO HELP HORSES

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind