Horse Racing Injuries and Fatalities

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  • ZenyenZenyen Member
    racingfan said:

    EliRose said:

    racingfan said:

    Assuming this happened during the race, and this behaviour was not corrected by the jockey. Incredible. Was any action taken by the stewards ?

    The jockey tried hard to get him off, he was too insistent on killing the other horse. Ortiz's hands kept slipping just trying to yank him off, as noted in the chart. No action was taken as it didn't change the result, Firenze Fire likely would have been placed second if he'd won. Funnily enough, this is the second time Firenze Fire has been involved in a savaging incident. Last time he was the victim.

    https://www.drf.com/news/firenze-fire-survives-gallant-bob-stakes

    https://www.facebook.com/105055204307770/photos/a.105058484307442/375454967267791/

    That horse HATES to lose.
    That horse needs to be muzzled
    I don't know that a horse could race in a muzzle, not without having their wind compromised.

    FF is an interesting aberration for American racing. He is a 6 year old stallion still on the track. When I heard he was 6 I thought for sure he was a gelding and I went to check, but he is still listed as "horse".

    This raises some interesting philosophical points. The horse isn't savage, he is doing what he has been bred for generations to do, and with the dominant testosterone of thousands of years of natural evolution. He was doing what any MATURE dominant stallion does; put a "challenger" in their place. Given -as EliRose pointed out- he is a horse who hates to lose, it doesn't have to be domination about mares; he is boss in his head and his rival an upstart who needed to be disciplined.

    I also noted that the savage occured after his jockey had given him 3 or 4 good belts on the right flank. My gut tells me his reaction wasn't all due to his will to win and his testosterone levels. I am surprised Ortiz didn't get called out for rapid application of the whip without giving the horse time to respond. If I was FF I would have been a little pissed off at the unfair ask.

    Humans are the ones sensationalizing his actions and attributing them to a savage nature. If you look at other pictures of him, (not racing) he has a very kind, intelligent eye.

    That raises the question; what can be done to address this behavior so as not to risk another dangerous situation? Going to be honest, I don't have an answer or even a strong opinion one way or the other. Off the top of my head the options seem to be:

    Geld him
    Retire him
    Keep a path between him and other horses
    Ride with the stick up between his cheek and any other horses
    Don't whip him in quick succession.
  • EriNCEriNC Member
    Zenyen said:

    racingfan said:

    EliRose said:

    racingfan said:

    Assuming this happened during the race, and this behaviour was not corrected by the jockey. Incredible. Was any action taken by the stewards ?

    The jockey tried hard to get him off, he was too insistent on killing the other horse. Ortiz's hands kept slipping just trying to yank him off, as noted in the chart. No action was taken as it didn't change the result, Firenze Fire likely would have been placed second if he'd won. Funnily enough, this is the second time Firenze Fire has been involved in a savaging incident. Last time he was the victim.

    https://www.drf.com/news/firenze-fire-survives-gallant-bob-stakes

    https://www.facebook.com/105055204307770/photos/a.105058484307442/375454967267791/

    That horse HATES to lose.
    That horse needs to be muzzled
    I don't know that a horse could race in a muzzle, not without having their wind compromised.

    FF is an interesting aberration for American racing. He is a 6 year old stallion still on the track. When I heard he was 6 I thought for sure he was a gelding and I went to check, but he is still listed as "horse".

    This raises some interesting philosophical points. The horse isn't savage, he is doing what he has been bred for generations to do, and with the dominant testosterone of thousands of years of natural evolution. He was doing what any MATURE dominant stallion does; put a "challenger" in their place. Given -as EliRose pointed out- he is a horse who hates to lose, it doesn't have to be domination about mares; he is boss in his head and his rival an upstart who needed to be disciplined.

    I also noted that the savage occured after his jockey had given him 3 or 4 good belts on the right flank. My gut tells me his reaction wasn't all due to his will to win and his testosterone levels. I am surprised Ortiz didn't get called out for rapid application of the whip without giving the horse time to respond. If I was FF I would have been a little pissed off at the unfair ask.

    Humans are the ones sensationalizing his actions and attributing them to a savage nature. If you look at other pictures of him, (not racing) he has a very kind, intelligent eye.

    That raises the question; what can be done to address this behavior so as not to risk another dangerous situation? Going to be honest, I don't have an answer or even a strong opinion one way or the other. Off the top of my head the options seem to be:

    Geld him
    Retire him
    Keep a path between him and other horses
    Ride with the stick up between his cheek and any other horses
    Don't whip him in quick succession.
    Savaging is the term used for when a horse bites another during a race, not that the horse himself is savage.
  • ZenyenZenyen Member
    EriNC said:

    Zenyen said:

    racingfan said:

    EliRose said:

    racingfan said:

    Assuming this happened during the race, and this behaviour was not corrected by the jockey. Incredible. Was any action taken by the stewards ?

    The jockey tried hard to get him off, he was too insistent on killing the other horse. Ortiz's hands kept slipping just trying to yank him off, as noted in the chart. No action was taken as it didn't change the result, Firenze Fire likely would have been placed second if he'd won. Funnily enough, this is the second time Firenze Fire has been involved in a savaging incident. Last time he was the victim.

    https://www.drf.com/news/firenze-fire-survives-gallant-bob-stakes

    https://www.facebook.com/105055204307770/photos/a.105058484307442/375454967267791/

    That horse HATES to lose.
    That horse needs to be muzzled
    I don't know that a horse could race in a muzzle, not without having their wind compromised.

    FF is an interesting aberration for American racing. He is a 6 year old stallion still on the track. When I heard he was 6 I thought for sure he was a gelding and I went to check, but he is still listed as "horse".

    This raises some interesting philosophical points. The horse isn't savage, he is doing what he has been bred for generations to do, and with the dominant testosterone of thousands of years of natural evolution. He was doing what any MATURE dominant stallion does; put a "challenger" in their place. Given -as EliRose pointed out- he is a horse who hates to lose, it doesn't have to be domination about mares; he is boss in his head and his rival an upstart who needed to be disciplined.

    I also noted that the savage occured after his jockey had given him 3 or 4 good belts on the right flank. My gut tells me his reaction wasn't all due to his will to win and his testosterone levels. I am surprised Ortiz didn't get called out for rapid application of the whip without giving the horse time to respond. If I was FF I would have been a little pissed off at the unfair ask.

    Humans are the ones sensationalizing his actions and attributing them to a savage nature. If you look at other pictures of him, (not racing) he has a very kind, intelligent eye.

    That raises the question; what can be done to address this behavior so as not to risk another dangerous situation? Going to be honest, I don't have an answer or even a strong opinion one way or the other. Off the top of my head the options seem to be:

    Geld him
    Retire him
    Keep a path between him and other horses
    Ride with the stick up between his cheek and any other horses
    Don't whip him in quick succession.
    Savaging is the term used for when a horse bites another during a race, not that the horse himself is savage.
    NSS
  • I dont disagree with the causes, but this behaviour needs to be adressed for the safety of other horses and riders.

    There have been a number of horses that wore muzzles to stop them attacking other horses in a race and with good reason. It is required after the first offence in british racing. No wind or breathing issues are reported.

    I know of a few horses in Europe who were notorious biters, Marinsky was one. Vincent O’Brien was a genius but he couldn’t help Marinsky, a bad-tempered, irresolute rogue who was eventually banned from racing. In the 1977 Diomed Stakes he attempted to savage Relkino three times before failing to go through with his effort when holding a winning chance, while in the St James’s Palace he wore blinkers and a muzzle before again throwing in the towel. He actually won the July Cup, but was disqualified for veering violently left in the closing stages. The authorities had had enough by then and ‘retired’ him.

    Arcadian Heights was another, not quite in the Marinsky league for equine cannibalism, but Ascot Gold Cup winner Arcadian Heights was nonetheless pretty handy with his teeth and inspired form book comments such as ‘beaten when bit winner approaching final furlong’. That little snippet of poetry in the prosaic world of race-reading came when he was fourth behind Luchiroverte at Doncaster in March 1992. He then made a lunge at Drum Taps when runner-up to that horse in the Gold Cup three months later, and thereafter was equipped with a net muzzle.

    St Leger winner Moonax also had issues acquiring a reputation for unpredictable and sometimes dangerous behaviour and was described as "the world’s naughtiest horse.

    One memorable occurence was when he attempted to win a second French Group One in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp and as in the previous year’s Prix Royal-Oak he disputed the finish with Always Earnest. On this occasion however, it was the French-trained gelding who prevailed by a short head. The race also helped to give Moonax a reputation for unpredictable behaviour: he turned his head and attempted to bite Always Earnest in the closing stages

    Moonax also ran in the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester where he demonstrated a range of unappealing behaviours: he "slavered rabidly", refused to leave the paddock, walked backwards when being taken to the start and had to be blindfolded to enter the starting stalls. The fact that his groom was dressed in a body protector and padded arm-guards gave the impression that Moonax had become a thoroughly dangerous individual

    And then there are some horses when things take on a darker hue and involve acts of such sudden violence and wilfulness that they become cautionary tales passed on with a bloodcurdling relish.

    One example was Ubedizzy. Here is your permanent point of reference. Here is the recidivist’s recidivist, the rogue of rogues, the villain for whom Timeform would have implemented a third squiggle. Here is Ubedizzy, a legend in his lifetime and the first name that comes to mind whenever arbitrary acts of equine violence are discussed.

    Andy Crook, who was Ubedizzy’s groom used to come out of his box with a leg missing off his trousers, or his shirt torn to bits. Ubedizzy didn’t stop at the rending of garments though. The evidence can be seen on Crook’s left hand, in a ring-finger an inch or two shorter than nature designed. He had ridden him out one morning and was taking off his tack when Ubedizzy lunged and bit his hand.

    On the racecourse Ubedizzy – trained in Middleham by Steve Nesbitt – was a class act who finished fourth in a Nunthorpe Stakes, although his innate misanthropy was never far from the surface. Crook won several races on him and remembers that matters were often best left to his irascible mount.

    "I went to give him a crack one day and he skewed his head round and showed me his teeth," he says. "I thought I’d better put the stick down and just rode him hands and heels, and he got up to win by a short head."

    Ubedizzy’s final act on a British racecourse, at Newmarket in April 1978, will never be forgotten by those who saw it. After finishing second to Boldboy in the Abernant Stakes, Ubedizzy knocked his lad to the ground in the unsaddling enclosure, knelt on him and began to savage him. This wanton viciousness earned him a ban from British racing and lasting notoriety.

    Woe betide anyone who annoyed Ubedizzy. Now persona non grata in Britain, an abortive attempt to race him in Ireland was followed by his sale to Sweden, where he became champion sprinter.
  • EriNCEriNC Member
    racingfan said:

    I dont disagree with the causes, but this behaviour needs to be adressed for the safety of other horses and riders.

    There have been a number of horses that wore muzzles to stop them attacking other horses in a race and with good reason. It is required after the first offence in british racing. No wind or breathing issues are reported.

    I know of a few horses in Europe who were notorious biters, Marinsky was one. Vincent O’Brien was a genius but he couldn’t help Marinsky, a bad-tempered, irresolute rogue who was eventually banned from racing. In the 1977 Diomed Stakes he attempted to savage Relkino three times before failing to go through with his effort when holding a winning chance, while in the St James’s Palace he wore blinkers and a muzzle before again throwing in the towel. He actually won the July Cup, but was disqualified for veering violently left in the closing stages. The authorities had had enough by then and ‘retired’ him.

    Arcadian Heights was another, not quite in the Marinsky league for equine cannibalism, but Ascot Gold Cup winner Arcadian Heights was nonetheless pretty handy with his teeth and inspired form book comments such as ‘beaten when bit winner approaching final furlong’. That little snippet of poetry in the prosaic world of race-reading came when he was fourth behind Luchiroverte at Doncaster in March 1992. He then made a lunge at Drum Taps when runner-up to that horse in the Gold Cup three months later, and thereafter was equipped with a net muzzle.

    St Leger winner Moonax also had issues acquiring a reputation for unpredictable and sometimes dangerous behaviour and was described as "the world’s naughtiest horse.

    One memorable occurence was when he attempted to win a second French Group One in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp and as in the previous year’s Prix Royal-Oak he disputed the finish with Always Earnest. On this occasion however, it was the French-trained gelding who prevailed by a short head. The race also helped to give Moonax a reputation for unpredictable behaviour: he turned his head and attempted to bite Always Earnest in the closing stages

    Moonax also ran in the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester where he demonstrated a range of unappealing behaviours: he "slavered rabidly", refused to leave the paddock, walked backwards when being taken to the start and had to be blindfolded to enter the starting stalls. The fact that his groom was dressed in a body protector and padded arm-guards gave the impression that Moonax had become a thoroughly dangerous individual

    And then there are some horses when things take on a darker hue and involve acts of such sudden violence and wilfulness that they become cautionary tales passed on with a bloodcurdling relish.

    One example was Ubedizzy. Here is your permanent point of reference. Here is the recidivist’s recidivist, the rogue of rogues, the villain for whom Timeform would have implemented a third squiggle. Here is Ubedizzy, a legend in his lifetime and the first name that comes to mind whenever arbitrary acts of equine violence are discussed.

    Andy Crook, who was Ubedizzy’s groom used to come out of his box with a leg missing off his trousers, or his shirt torn to bits. Ubedizzy didn’t stop at the rending of garments though. The evidence can be seen on Crook’s left hand, in a ring-finger an inch or two shorter than nature designed. He had ridden him out one morning and was taking off his tack when Ubedizzy lunged and bit his hand.

    On the racecourse Ubedizzy – trained in Middleham by Steve Nesbitt – was a class act who finished fourth in a Nunthorpe Stakes, although his innate misanthropy was never far from the surface. Crook won several races on him and remembers that matters were often best left to his irascible mount.

    "I went to give him a crack one day and he skewed his head round and showed me his teeth," he says. "I thought I’d better put the stick down and just rode him hands and heels, and he got up to win by a short head."

    Ubedizzy’s final act on a British racecourse, at Newmarket in April 1978, will never be forgotten by those who saw it. After finishing second to Boldboy in the Abernant Stakes, Ubedizzy knocked his lad to the ground in the unsaddling enclosure, knelt on him and began to savage him. This wanton viciousness earned him a ban from British racing and lasting notoriety.

    Woe betide anyone who annoyed Ubedizzy. Now persona non grata in Britain, an abortive attempt to race him in Ireland was followed by his sale to Sweden, where he became champion sprinter.

    It’s happened one time in 36 starts. He doesn’t need to be muzzled
  • KMMKMM Member
    edited August 31
    Pretty girl! Summerly...
  • Sorry @EriNC dont agree, there is always a first time before the next time. But not my horse and not my decision, merely informed the forum of how this would be handled in the UK. Safety comes first in my opinion
  • KMMKMM Member
    I agree with you racingfan, although I haven't seen such a muzzle used in a race.
  • jen_bloomjen_bloom Member
    edited September 1
    I just dropped out of lurk mode to talk about Firenze Fire. That horse doesn't need to be raced in a muzzle. He needs to be retired. He's made 36 starts and earned over 2.6 million dollars. He's been savaged by another horse. What more does he have to prove? Retire him to stud if there's an interest in his genes, or geld him and let him either learn a new game or go hang out in the pasture that he's more than paid for. Making this horse run in a muzzle, after all he's done, just seems wrong, although I agree about the safety concerns. I just don't think he should be expected to race again at all.
  • jen_bloom said:

    I just dropped out of lurk mode to talk about Firenze Fire. That horse doesn't need to be raced in a muzzle. He needs to be retired. He's made 36 starts and earned over 2.6 million dollars. He's been savaged by another horse. What more does he have to prove? Retire him to stud if there's an interest in his genes, or geld him and let him either learn a new game or go hang out in the pasture that he's more than paid for. Making this horse run in a muzzle, after all he's done, just seems offensive to me.

    Why retire him? He's still running at the highest level and winning. I could understand if he had lost a step over the years, but he's still running well.
  • Why not retire him at the top of his game? Why wait for him to lose a step, or worse, to get injured? Savaging the competition, when he's never done it before, suggests he may be getting frustrated with this game. I wouldn't give him a chance to do something worse, and I would be very contented with what he has already given me, were he my horse.
  • In this situation it will always be a difficult call, the horse is six yeas old and probably the hormones are well and truly up. As has been suggested gelding is an option but this may not be the answer as late gelding does not always cure this behaviour. Retirement is of course an option but as a breeder I would be hesitant about this horse and want to see clear evodence that this was a racing behaviour brought on by competitiveness. So then we are back to square one as to what happens in the next race - is it a one off or is this a trend. Who gets bit next, horse or jockey.

    Just to understand the muzzle we use is simply a mesh net designed such that the horse cannot fasten on anything. It is not hard or anything like that. Other options include a grackle or figure of eight noseband to the mouth forcibly shut, which in my opinion is a far worse option for the horse as it involves physical force

    We will just have to see what happens
  • racingfan said:

    In this situation it will always be a difficult call, the horse is six yeas old and probably the hormones are well and truly up. As has been suggested gelding is an option but this may not be the answer as late gelding does not always cure this behaviour. Retirement is of course an option but as a breeder I would be hesitant about this horse and want to see clear evodence that this was a racing behaviour brought on by competitiveness. So then we are back to square one as to what happens in the next race - is it a one off or is this a trend. Who gets bit next, horse or jockey.

    Just to understand the muzzle we use is simply a mesh net designed such that the horse cannot fasten on anything. It is not hard or anything like that. Other options include a grackle or figure of eight noseband to the mouth forcibly shut, which in my opinion is a far worse option for the horse as it involves physical force

    We will just have to see what happens

    FWIW, this horse is known to be very friendly and kind in all other circumstances. The most he's ever done to a person is lip them. His trainer regularly brings fans out to see him. He settled down as soon as he got back to the barn and has been fine ever since.



    Of the horses in that race, Whitmore is significantly more dangerous to people.
  • KMMKMM Member
    It is always good to have first hand knowledge. His trainer and jockey and vet and handlers know who he is. Will he do it again? Not my call.
  • Lets all keep our fingers crossed that this is a one time occurence and that he doesn’t try it again in a race
  • bleubettybleubetty Member
    edited September 8
    As a follow up to the Firenze Fire Savaging incident, it made the "Top Ten Moments" at the Saratoga meet, in fact it was number 2 because of the many videos that got worldwide attention. So many tweets about the incident, and so many analyst commenting on it:



    I tend to agree with comments made by @EliRose and @Zenyen (I suspect they both know people to know people in the industry) , Firenze Fire is an older horse --- the Stallion urges may be kicking in and he's a durable, hard running horse whose not lost his will be win. He looks like a sweetheart in that photo with his namesake barn kitty ;)

    The incident seems to have stirred up memories of similar incidents. Apparently this occurred in the 1994 Travers Stakes. I don't recall it and to me that race was all about The Bull --- Holy Bull. The photo below is of Tabasco Cat taking a nip or two out of another horse when he was attempting to made a run at the two leaders, Concern and Holy Bull. The Cat got beat badly on this day ---- he was an angry horse!
    Anyone remember this? It's not mentioned or shown on the video of the 1994 Travers.
    Go to full screen, it's titled "The Cat Takes a Bite"


  • jen_bloom said:

    Why not retire him at the top of his game? Why wait for him to lose a step, or worse, to get injured? Savaging the competition, when he's never done it before, suggests he may be getting frustrated with this game. I wouldn't give him a chance to do something worse, and I would be very contented with what he has already given me, were he my horse.

    He’s targeting the Vosburgh, but you also have to take into consideration what happens once he’s retired. He doesn’t have a flashy pedigree. Which means more than likely he goes overseas for stud duty. I want to say around the end of his 4 year old year they tried retiring him, and then he quietly came back to training 3 months later. Just because he’s a stallion doesn’t mean the swimmers work.
  • This is the photo I remember from 1980. It's titled "The Savage"

    image
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