ARCADIA (CBSLA) — Protesters gathered outside Santa Anita Park Sunday on the official last day of the racing season.
This weekend, the 30th horse since December — the start of the season — died at the track.
Twenty-nine horses were euthanized after suffering an injury, while another died from a cardiac arrest.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Kandiss Crone spoke to the protesters. They didn’t mince words. They want to see the sport of horse racing banned entirely.
As cars went by, some shouted, “Shame on you!”
Advocates shouted at racing fans as they drove into the park.
“We’re fed up with their excuses. There is no safety measures that they don’t already have they’re just enhanced. We’re still seeing dying horses here,” said April Montgomery, an animal right advocate.
Just yesterday, American Currency — a 4-year-old gelding injured his leg while training — and had to be euthanized.
He was trained by racing Hall-of-Famer Jerry Hollendorfer who was banned yesterday by the track’s owners.
Three other horses he’s trained have also died at Santa Anita or a sister park this season.
Protesters said the problems here are much bigger than one man and insist the only way to stop the horses from dying, is to stop the horses from racing.
“Industry is the problem. It isn’t the trainer — Hollendorfer. It’s not drugs, it’s not whips it is the racing industry as a whole,” says Alexander.
Officials refused to end the season early despite calls from the California Horse Racing Board earlier this month.
Tests were done on the soil and several changes were made at the track when racing was temporarily halted.
Crone spoke to racing fans and some had mixed reaction on what should happen moving forward.
“I love watching race horses but when it comes to animal cruelty the animals should be treated humanely,” says Sam Calague.
“What sport isn’t there injuries?” says Tim Saivar, “It’s a shame but that’s the nature of sports when you’re in a high activity and professional level. Things happen.”