By Laura Studley, CNN
(CNN) — Four horses have died at Golden Gate Fields in the San Francisco Bay Area in the past two weeks, California Horse Racing Board spokesperson Mike Marten told CNN on Tuesday.
Two of the horses, a 5- and 6-year-old, were euthanized on October 1 and September 25 after they suffered musculoskeletal injuries from racing and exercising, Marten said.
A 2-year-old horse died on September 27 after an “apparent cardio failure” and a fourth horse was euthanized after she sustained a wound in her stall, he said.
CNN has reached out to Golden Gate Fields for comment.
There have been 12 horse deaths at Golden Gate Fields in 2023, Marten said. Five were recorded as musculoskeletal injuries, which are sustained during racing and training, and seven were non-musculoskeletal, he said.
The non-musculoskeletal injuries could range from illness or stall accidents, according to Marten.
The horse racing board has over 50 safety initiatives in place to ensure horse safety, including a review panel that looks at racing, training and veterinary records of horses entered to run, Marten said. “This was a bold step that California took to protect horses, as historically, regulators had not involved themselves in decisions pertaining to the training and racing of horses,” he told CNN.
From 2020-2021, there were 16 deaths from musculoskeletal injuries at Golden Gate Fields and 13 from 2021-2022, Marten said.
Golden Gate Fields will be closing in 2024, so the company can “double down on its prestigious racing and training venues at Santa Anita Park and San Luis Rey Downs,” the racetrack said earlier this year.
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