People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called for legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert to be banned from horse racing after the recent death of a horse under his care at Pimlico Downs.
On Saturday, Havnameltdown, a horse owned by Baffert, was euthanized after suffering a serious ankle injury on the track at the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Downs.
“Pimlico should have followed Churchill Downs’ example and barred Bob Baffert from the track,” PETA said in a statement to the New York Post. “Baffert has been implicated in drugging scandals, the deaths of seven horses who collapsed in California, and at least 75 horses in his care have died.”
The tragic incident occurred as Havnameltdown made a strong move to take the lead in his race. Unfortunately, thoughrounded a corner, he stumbled and sent his jockey flying. Despite the obvious pain of the injury, the horse continued running.
“We never had an issue with him [Havnameltdown],” Baffert told reporters. “We are so careful with all these horses, and it still happens. It is something that is disheartening. … There is nothing worse than coming back, and the stall is empty. He is a nice horse. He could not have been doing any better. It’s sickening. I am in shock.”
PETA, however, sees the incident as a part of a deadly trend.
“The tragic death of Havnameltdown is the latest in a long line of fatalities,” PETA said. “The racing industry must kick out the bad guys, or it will have blood on its hands as well as blood on its tracks.”
.@ScottFDTV speaks with veterinarian Dr. Scott Hay following the Chick Lang Stakes.
Our sincere condolences to the connections of Havnameltdown. pic.twitter.com/1J9jImVLY2
— TVG (@TVG) May 20, 2023
Havnameltdown was not the only horse to die this weekend. Swanson Lake, a 3-year-old filly, became the ninth horse to die this year at Churchill Downs after sustaining a “significant” leg injury.