Horse Euthanized at Santa Anita Park During Fall Meet

Written By Cheryle Kaus on September 24, 2019 - Last Updated on January 25, 2020

A horse that was participating in a race at Santa Anita Park in California on Saturday was injured following a bad step and had to be euthanized on the race track, making it the 32nd equine death that occurred at the famous horseracing track since last December.

The three-year-old colt, by the name of Emtech, suffered two broken front forelimbs as per the Stronach Group owners in a recent news report. The incident occurred on the second day of racing at the Santa Anita race track.

Emtech was in the upper stretch between other competitors when the horse took a bad step, according to the horse report.

“As is protocol at Santa Anita, we will open an immediate review into what factors could have contributed to Emtech’s injury,” stated Dr. Dionne Benson who is the Chief Veterinarian for the Stronach Group. “Santa Anita will work closely with the California Horse Racing Board and will continue to brief our stakeholders and all of our constituents, including public, as more factors come in.”

The three-year-old colt has participated in four previous horse racing events in 2019, placing in the top 3 a total of 3 times and winning once. Emtech also managed to win the only race he participated in during 2018.

Steve Knapp trained Emtech, a trainer whose horses have participated in over 4,700 horse races during his prestigious career.

Santa Anita Park Closed Earlier This Year for Evaluation

The famous racetrack was closed for evaluation during the month of March following over 20 different horse deaths that occurred in a span of only 3 months.

When Santa Anita Park opened its doors later that month, several new changes were incorporated in an attempt to reduce the number of horse deaths. For instance, restrictions on race-day medications, anti-inflammation drugs, and steroids were instituted, jockeys had to replace their whips with cushion crops, and trainers were required to apply 48 hours in advance before they were allowed to work out a horse.

During the summer, the horse racing board in California also started investigating trainers to determine whether or not they were involved in the horse deaths that occurred at the Santa Anita Park.

The board also gathered numerous experts to carefully examine the dead horses for any clues that might provide some insight into the number of deaths that occurred at the racetrack. The experts worked hand-in-hand with the County District Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, launching an inquiry to determine whether unlawful conditions or conduct affected the safety and welfare of the horses.

Breeders’ Cup to Remain at Santa Anita Park

The board of directors of the prestigious Breeders’ Cup event will remain at the Santa Anita Park as scheduled. The Breeders’ Cup World Championships for 2019 is scheduled to take place between 1-2 November at the Santa Anita Park racetrack.

The board of directors made the decision to keep the championship at the famous horse racing track after confirming that effective and meaningful reforms have been implemented at Santa Anita Park.

“We fully embrace those reforms and will devote our time and energy in the coming months to further advance those efforts,” stated Craig Fravel who is the CEO and President of the Breeder’s Cup. “We look forward to showing the world the best in thoroughbred racing at one of its finest venues.”

The Breeders’ Cup is regarded as one of the richest and biggest horse racing events in the world where approximately $28 million in prizes were awarded during 2018 consisting of 14 different horse racing events.

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