The third horse in three days – and the fourth this month -- was euthanized on Sunday at the Los Angeles-area Santa Anita Park, the racetrack animal rights activists had already demanded be closed following a string of dozens of equine deaths dating back to 2018.


Since December 2018, at least 42 horses have died at the Arcadia, Calif., park. State officials briefly suspended racing at the track last March – when at that point only about half the amount were put to death after suffering injuries either training or racing. That number has since doubled, and the three deaths over the weekend have prompted animal rights activists to call on immediate action from Gov. Gavin Newsom to shut down the racetrack.

"Three dead horses in three days requires immediate action,'' PETA spokeswoman Brooke Rossi said. "The California Horse Racing Board was recently given the authority, in legislation backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, to suspend racing, and now it must do exactly that.

“There is no sense in the board allowing racing and deaths to continue until it enacts all its own pending regulations and acts on the recommendations of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. If it takes the closure of a track to stop the deaths, then close the track.''

A 6-year-old gelding named Harliss on Friday and a 4-year-old gelding named Uncontainable on Saturday were each euthanized as per the recommendation from the attending veterinarian after fracturing their right front ankles in separate races those days, according to Santa Anita Park website. On Sunday, a 3-year-old horse named Tikkun Olam was euthanized after suffering “catastrophic injuries” in a head collision with another horse while training at the track that morning, KTLA reported.

The California Horse Racing Board is due to release a report on the deaths at the track, Fox 11 Los Angeles reported. Santa Anita Park maintained that it’s “committed to transparency” and said safety statistics and incident reports are publicly available on its website.


The statement from the park added that horses have trained or raced there “more than 420,000 times over the last year with a 99.991% safety rate.'' Home to 2,000 horses, Santa Anita Park is one of the largest equine training facilities in the United States, it added.