From the Golden Gate Stewards Minutes:
“Euthanized/Died – The Desert Rat. Horse was gelded Wednesday, May 25 and rolled in the stall. Got up and two-foot section of his intestines fell out of the incision.”
“Two-foot section of his intestines fell out of the incision.”
“The Desert Rat” – yes, that was his name – was two years old and had yet to be raced.
Declaring, as I always do, that these “stall accidents” – as well as other on-site but non-track-related deaths like colic and laminitis – are industry casualties typically provokes indignation from the Racing people. Unfair (and ignorant), they shout. These deaths can and do happen across a variety of equine settings, including in nature. Unfortunate, but don’t blame us; our hands are clean. Well – they’re not.
From his Frankensteinian beginning to his instantaneous enslavement, there was nothing natural about this horse’s life. Every moment of his brief existence on this planet was controlled by men. When you exert that level of dominance over another being, you cannot cry “innocent” when something goes awry. In fact, in this case the death resulted from a procedure meant to make the horse more submissive, more easily controlled – a procedure, by the way, itself an affront to nature.
So you see, “nature,” “happenstance” do not apply here. Racing owns this death – this horrific, likely terrifying death – just as it owned all that was the entity known as “The Desert Rat.” Put another way, horseracing has blood(y intestines) on its hands. Again.