CYPRESS (CBSLA) — Another horse died over the weekend at the Los Alamitos Race Course after suffering racing injuries.
Billy the Hott, a 5-year-old gelding, was removed from a race on Saturday and later euthanized, the race track said.
This marks the 24th horse to die at that facility in a racing or training injury this year alone.
Repetitive deaths have sparked protests against for such horse racing tracks to be shut down.
Races have continued at Los Alamitos without crowds due to coronavirus restrictions but the extreme heat on Saturday and Sunday were also concerns.
Saturday’s high in Los Alamitos was 104 degrees and Sunday’s forecast called for a high of 102.
According to the California Horse Racing Board, a “heat stress index” (HSI) should be used to determine if it is safe enough for horses to race.
“Horses generate a tremendous amount of heat even during relatively short episodes of intense exercise, such as racing. Horses, as humans, dissipate heat by sweat,” according to a statement from Rick Arthur, the California Horse Racing Board’s equine medical director. “HSI is a simple way to estimate the ability of a horse to dissipate heat naturally. Horses start losing their natural ability to dissipate heat at HSI 130; they cannot dissipate heat at or above HSI 180.”
Los Alamitos officials did not reply to a request for comment about if they’ve considered postponing racing over the weekend.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)