The death of the Mongol boyfriend in the Breeders Cup could have been avoided

The death of the Mongol boyfriend in the $ 6 million Breeders ’Cup Classic in Santa Anita on November 2 could have been prevented, according to a report published Wednesday by the Breeders’ Cup.

The report says that 253 horses were evaluated several times and that 24 horses were scratched, either in the Breeders Cup races or on the two-day event card because of the concern that they were not in safe race conditions.

“The examining veterinarians made the correct call to 252 horses,” the report said. “That is an accuracy rate of 99.6%. The decision was wrong on one horse: the Mongol boyfriend. “

The 25-page report was led by Dr. Larry Bramlage, a nationally known and respected veterinarian at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

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The 4-year-old castrated horse was competitive for most of the race, sitting right in front. When he entered the section, the rider Abel Cedillo picked him up. The horse was fired and sacrificed. For riders, the Breeders ’Cup Classic is the most important race of the year and can lead to the honors of the horse of the year. The Kentucky Derby is the biggest race for the general public, but is restricted to 3-year-olds.

The Mongol boyfriend was not scheduled to be in the Classic until he bothered at Awesome Again bets in Santa Anita.

It was one of the 24 horses that were labeled for “additional scrutiny.” He was examined by five different veterinarians on the track on five different days and three different veterinarians on six different days in the stable.

I was on an informal “watch list” for additional observation. Veterinary comments were entered on four other horses not identified in the Classic.

“These were the best horses of the racing season in 2019,” the report said. “They had gained some pain and it is a difficult assessment of whether a horse is really lame or if it simply had routine pain from a long season.”

No veterinarians were named in the investigation, which also exonerated the surface of the Santa Anita track from playing some role in the death of the Mongol boyfriend. It was also said that pre-and post-race toxicology showed no prohibitive substances or excess medications.

According to the report, part of the problem was that the Mongol boyfriend had preexisting conditions on both hind legs, which makes it more difficult to diagnose because the horse is not favoring one of its legs.

“Many major injuries, such as those of the back cannon bones of the Mongol boyfriend, are not easy to find,” according to the report. “They can be lost if the correct radiography projection is not obtained exactly.”

Santa Anita recently acquired a $ 500,000 PET (positron emission tomography) machine that will allow scans on horses while standing. Even so, the report, without specifically citing Santa Anita, did not believe that was the answer.

“The new PET images are also promising, but without combining them with something like a location of computed tomography lesions is not yet perfected,” the report said.

A high field MRI is a very effective tool, but it should be used under general anesthesia, so it is not practical for routine screening.

The report concluded that “there were opportunities to eliminate the Mongol Boyfriend from the competition that was lost due to time constraints or deficiencies in the process that could become more prominent.”

He offered six recommendations.

– Identify horses that have a history of problems before reaching the track and make regulatory veterinarians aware of their presence.

– Concentrate the exams in the hands of less veterinarians, which allows greater consistency throughout the series of exams.

– Concentrate observations on the track more trotting, where problems can be detected more easily, instead of walking, galloping or breeze.

– Create an area in the stable area where you can observe the horses of “additional scrutiny” jogging in a circle in both directions. This is even more effective than jogging when seeing problems.

– Make diagnostic images an accepted part of the pre-race exams.

– Watch all available video sequences for “additional scrutiny” horses.

Additional attention for horse safety was in reaction to 37 deaths, either in races or training in Santa Anita during last year’s racing season. The Mongol boyfriend was number 37. This racing season, which began on December 26, has had two deaths, one training and one race. At this point last year, there were five.

The Breeders Cup report contrasted with an investigation conducted by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, which found no factors responsible for the deaths. He offered several recommendations, almost all of which had been previously discussed or proposed by the California Horse Racing Board.

The CHRB will also issue a report, beginning with an end-of-month summary and individual autopsy reports that will follow sometime next month. It is expected to have similar conclusions that most breakdowns are caused by pre-existing conditions, many of which there are no equipment to detect.

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