Two horses euthanized after fall on Opening Day in Louisiana

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“Doping” suspected in recent horse racing deaths around the nation

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs confirmed Monday that two racehorses had to be euthanized over the weekend.

“All of us at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs were deeply saddened that two racehorses had to be humanely euthanized this past weekend,” said a statement released by Harrah’s Monday.

“We pride ourselves on providing excellent racing conditions and proper veterinary care for the horses who race at Louisiana Downs. For this reason, we will continue to work closely with the Louisiana Racing Commission and veterinary staff to ensure the health and safety of our equine families.”

It happened on opening day of the Quarter Horse season. Harrah’s did not specify the circumstances surrounding the animal’s deaths.

According to online records published by Equibase, an industry-owned database of racing information and statistics, two-year-old racehorses “Lrh Fast as Oak” and “Perry Train” both fell and were euthanized.

The animals’ deaths prompted a statement from Animal Wellness Action, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that describes itself as dedicated to helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty.

“The horrific deaths at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, and at racetracks across America will not stop until Congress passes the Horseracing Integrity Act that will end doping and provide greater safety for our iconic American equines,” Executive Director Marty Irby said in a statement released Sunday.

“But Louisiana has been a stumbling block for the bill, and the public outcry to end American horseracing is rapidly growing. Obstructionists in the industry who’ve failed to support the Horseracing Integrity Act should take a serious look in the mirror, and ask themselves if they want to be remembered for the cruel mistreatment of horses and bringing an end to horseracing; or for saving lives, and bringing integrity back to the sport.”

Irby says his organization is the leading animal protection group advocating for Horseracing Integrity Act during the 116th Congress.

According to Irby, the bill “would take a tangible stride toward protecting American racehorses through the establishment of a national, uniform standard for drugs and medication in horse racing. It would also grant drug rulemaking, testing, and enforcement oversight to a private, non-profit, self-regulatory independent organization overseen by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) – the governing body that administers the Olympic anti-doping program, at no cost to the taxpayer, but not a single member of the Louisiana Congressional Delegation has cosponsored the measure.”

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