There is a mystery unfolding at this year’s Kentucky Derby. An investigation has been launched after the deaths of four horses at the racing complex Churchill Downs – only days before the annual Run for the Roses!
According to a statement from Churchill Downs, two horses trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. suddenly died. Parents Pride passed away on Saturday before Chasing Artie died three days later on Tuesday. The Associated Press reported that Parents Pride was 4 years old while Chasing Artie was 5 years old at the time of their passing. So, so sad. As for what led to their unexpected deaths? Well, that remains a mystery as no official cause of death has been determined at this time. But that’s not all…
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Two other horses also suffered “musculoskeletal injuries from which they could not recover.” Wild on Ice, trained by Joel Marr, was training on dirt back on April 27 when the animal was injured. Meanwhile, Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas’ horse Take Charge Briana had been participating in a turf race on Tuesday when she was hurt. Sadly, Churchill Downs said the horses were unable to heal from these injuries, and “both were ultimately euthanized for humane reasons.” Heartbreaking.
Considering the timing of these deaths, many have questioned what might have actually happened to the horses. Per the Associated Press, Joseph Jr. told reporters on Wednesday he believed “something is wrong” – especially since the blood work done on the horses did not show anything abnormal:
“When you don’t know something, that’s when it worries you the most. Something is wrong. A lot of thoughts run through your head, but you can drive yourself insane. But I’m very uneasy right now. It’s not something I would wish on anybody.”
The racetrack even noted that this situation “is highly unusual,” saying:
“Transparency is an important component of our commitment to safety and accountability in horse racing. We share the concern of our fans who have questions about the recent equine fatalities at Churchill Downs Racetrack and we extend our sincere condolences to those who love and cared for these horses. While a series of events like this is highly unusual, it is completely unacceptable. We take this very seriously and acknowledge that these troubling incidents are alarming and must be addressed.”
The statement continued:
“We feel a tremendous responsibility to our fans, the participants in our sport and the entire industry to be a leader in safety and continue to make significant investments to eliminate risk to our athletes. We have full confidence in our racing surfaces and have been assured by our riders and horsemen that they do as well.”
Churchill Downs went on to vow they will “continue to press for answers” and work with regulators on a “swift and thorough investigation” into the deaths, adding:
“The safety and well-being of horses is a critical issue for which everyone in the industry shares responsibility; however, we will continue to take every measure to ensure that we are providing the safest possible environment for horses on our property.”
Everyone will have to wait and see what comes out of this investigation. But what a devastating tragedy in the horse racing community. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via 10 Tampa Bay/YouTube]
Originally published at perezhilton.com