A racehorse collapsed and was euthanized during a race Wednesday at a track in the Northern Panhandle. This is the first reported death after an injunction stopped officials from enforcing safety regulations in West Virginia’s thoroughbred racing industry earlier this week.
A summary of the race at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort in New Cumberland from horse racing results company Equibase shows the horse, named Little Christy, had a “bad step and fell in mid stretch, being euthanized on the track.”
The injunction stops both West Virginia and Louisiana from following safety regulations from the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. It has been criticized by animal rights groups like Animal Wellness Action, who once more reprimanded the decision after the horse’s death.
The group’s Executive Director Marty Irby said if West Virginia horse racing is to thrive in the long term, the state should get behind the agency and its regulations.
“I can’t really believe it, it’s quite surprising because they’re basically just siding with animal abusers,” Irby said. “It doesn’t make sense for the state.”
State officials like Attorney General Patrick Morrisey praised the decision earlier this week, saying HISA had the potential to harm the state’s horseracing industry.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting reached out to the West Virginia Racing Commission. The agency said it is preparing a statement.