HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has released a report saying that a horse was euthanized following a race at Ellis Park on June 24.
According to the Steward’s Report, the horse “I’m a Modest Man” finished ninth in a race and appeared to be suffering from an injury. The report says the horse had suffered a “catastrophic injury” to his right foreleg, and had to be euthanized.
Ronald Keith Kinmon, owner and trainer of the horse says he spoke with the jockey when she came off the track and she told him the horse showed no signs that anything was wrong during the race.
Kinmon said initially when the horse didn’t come off the track immediately he figured the horse was either having a heat stroke or was internally bleeding but when he was told the horse had to put down it was a “gut wrenching” feeling.
Ed DeRosa, vice-president of content for Horse Racing Nation says when horses do go down it’s about more than just a race.
“For the most part we’re talking about a quality of life assessment not racing,” explained DeRosa. “Then it comes down to quality of life and other issues whether they are going to be in pain, suffering for how long.”
Though injuries are a part of the sport, DeRosa says the number of euthanized horses this year is up.
“The number is never going to be zero,” stated DeRosa. “It’s just a statistical impossibility. That doesn’t mean we’re ok when it happens.”
Following the release of the report, PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo made a statement criticizing Churchill Downs executives for not preventing the killing of the three-year-old horse.
“Churchill Downs executives haven’t done enough to prevent the killing, and now they’re simply hoping people are too stupid to notice, but they’re not,” said Guillermo. “The company has been silent about the death of I’m a Modest Man—at just 3 years old—who fractured a leg on June 24 at Ellis Park and was euthanized, according to a just-posted report by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Suspending racing at Churchill Downs was the right thing to do, but shifting it to another track before comprehensive safety protocols were put in place risked horses’ lives. Shame on you, Churchill Downs.”
Eyewitness News has reached out to officials at Ellis Park for comment. We will update this story as more information becomes available.
This is a developing story.