ARCADIA (CBSLA) – Another horse has been euthanized at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia bringing the total number of horse deaths to 35 since Dec. 26 and 71 since the 2018 season.
GQ Covergirl, a 6-year-old mare, sustained what is described as a bilateral forelimb injury while on the inner training track Friday morning, according to park spokesperson Mike Willman.
Per recommendation from the attending veterinarian, the mare was euthanized.
GQ Covergirl, trained by Doug O’Neill, won her last two starts, most recently a five-furlong turf sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 4, her seventh start of the year.
A 3-year-old gelding was euthanized at Santa Anita Park on October 19.
The track has been under extreme scrutiny since the rash of deaths at Santa Anita started garnering more media attention this year than in seasons past.
Animal rights advocates, along with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other politicians, have demanded racing stop until an investigation into the exact cause of deaths can be completed.
Racing at Santa Anita was temporarily suspended in February – following the 19th horse death — and again for most of March – following the 21st horse death — so experts could conduct testing on the park’s three tracks – the main, training and turf tracks — to try and pinpoint the issue.
On March 31, just two days after racing had resumed, a 5-year-old gelding named Arms Runner had to be euthanized after being injured during a race when he fell following a collision with another horse while both were transitioning from the turf course to dirt.
In mid-March, Santa Anita officials announced a series of new measures to help bolster the safety of horses at the track, including restrictions on certain medications, requiring trainers to get permission in advance before putting a horse through a workout and investing in diagnostic equipment to aid in the early detection of pre-existing conditions.
In April, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the creation of a task force to investigate the deaths.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)