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Horse euthanized after injury during race at Vancouver racecourse

It’s the 1st death of the season, which began April 27; there were 8 deaths in 2022 and 2023 each
Lizzie’s Rayne, the horse in red, had to be euthanized after a race at Hastings racecourse in Vancouver on May 25, 2024. (Hastings Racecourse Vancouver YouTube)

Hastings racecourse in Vancouver has had its first horse death of the season.

On May 25, racehorse Lizzie’s Rayne was injured during a race, and was attended to by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch veterinarian and members of the gate crew, according to a release from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, which oversees the gaming branch.

The horse had a complete fracture to its left hind leg, and was “unrecoverable.” The horse was euthanized and transported for a necropsy.

It was the first horse death of the season, which started on April 27. In both the 2022 and 2023 seasons, there were eight horse deaths each.

READ MORE: 4 horses dead in 3 weeks at Vancouver racecourse

The Vancouver Humane Society, which has called people to not attend horse races, shared a video of the race which shows Lizzie’s Rayne appearing to be forced between the rail and another horse. She can be seen stumbling and falling behind, and does not finish the race.”

The society’s communications director Chantelle Archambault said the racing industry puts “these beautiful, sensitive animals through fear, stress, and risk to their lives, and these incidents are commonplace.”

The Vancouver Humane Society has said multiple times the stressful, high-speed nature of the races poses inherent welfare concerns.

“This is why the VHS is asking Vancouverites not to attend horse racing events. These horses are being bred and run to death for the sake of an afternoon of human entertainment because there is profit to be made in people attending and betting on races,” Archambault said.

The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch develops and enforces rules and policies for horse racing, regulates horse racing events, and licences and registers all participants and workers in the industry.

The gaming branch contracts official veterinarians, licensed by the College of Veterinarians of B.C., who are at the racetrack during races. The ministry says the branch “always follows the advice of the veterinarians on matters related to the health and welfare of the horses.”

Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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