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Breeders Cup Horse George Washington Euthanized on Track

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The Breeder Cup ended tragically on Saturday as George Washington shattered a right front leg and had to be euthanized at the track.

New Jersey was anticipating a successful meet at Momuth Park, while more than 40,000 spectators watched with dismay as the curtains were raised around the injured horse and medics tended to his injury.

Dr. Wayne Mcllwraith, the on-call veterinarian, diagnosed the injury as serious saying, “George Washington sustained an open fracture of the cannon bone in the right front fetlock and dis-articulated the joint at the same time and had both sesamoids broken. So it was a hopeless injury as far as repair and he has been euthanized. The decision was made very quickly.”

The decision to euthanize the horse came immediately from his trainer.

This is not an uncommon occurrence in horse-racing. Last year, the Breeder’s Cup saw another horse, Pine Island euthanized, and Fleet Indian sustained a career-ending injury in the Distaff. And of course, there was Barbero, who after winning the Kentucky Derby, suffered for 8 months trying to recover from a fracture before being euthanized.

Analysts are insisting that the greed of breeders and horseman must be looked at. Last year, George Washington was retired and sent to stud, it was found out later that he was incapable of siring, so it was back to the races.

“This type of activity should be re-analyzed by those with the power to do so, and a determination should be made as to whether there is a positive aspect to horse-racing or if it is less than humane,” said Casino Gambling Web analyst Gordon Price. “To subject animals to this type of contest, with the possible result ending in death, is no better than dog-fighting or cock-fighting.”

Currently, many states have implemented programs that are designed to subsidize horse-farmers and breeders by taking a percentage of gambling revenue and funneling it to the breeders. Some states allow some forms of gambling due to this subsidy.

New Jersey is no different. A percentage of the money realized from the casinos in Atlantic City are given to breeders and tracks in New Jersey to increase interest in local racing.

The 11 race Breeder’s Cup saw $12,726,622 wagered at the track and an estimated $111 million from other sources, which does not include wagering from Hong Kong, Australia, France and other countries, which is expected to be near $5 million.

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