Horse euthanized at Santa Anita Park, 8th of current racing season

ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) -- A horse was euthanized at Santa Anita Park on Thursday after suffering an injury during morning training.

The death marks the eighth of the current racing season that began Dec. 28 as the track continues to face public scrutiny over equine safety and pressure from animal rights activists.

A 4-year-old horse named Unveiled, trained by John Shirreffs, fractured its right humerus while galloping during morning training on Thursday, according to the track.

Veterinarians performed X-rays and other diagnostics and determined the injury was unrecoverable. Following the veterinarian's recommendation the horse was euthanized.

Unveiled's euthanization marks the 45th horse death at the track since December 2018, a date that marks the start of the previous winter/spring season and a time when the park began facing increased public scrutiny over horse safety.

The California Horse Racing Board is expected to release the results of its nearly yearlong investigation into the deaths this month.

Santa Anita has said it has taken steps to improve horse safety.

According to data analyzed by Eyewitness News, Santa Anita saw an average of about 53 horse deaths per year, over a five-year period.

From July 2018 to June 2019, the track saw 49 horse deaths, an average of about 7 deaths per 1,000 starts. That's higher than the statewide average rate of about 4.3 deaths per 1,000 starts.

Over the past decade, the California Horse Racing Board has reported combined number of deaths at the state's four racing tracks has ranged from 138 to 278 per year. At Santa Anita, the number of annual deaths ranged from 37 to 71.
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