04/10/2013 4:44PM

Rat poison traces found in two horse necropsies

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Two horses who died unexpectedly at California tracks in the last five months were found to have rat poison in their systems during necropsies, according to Dr. Rick Arthur, California’s equine medical director.

Arthur made a presentation on the number of sudden equine deaths at California racetracks on Wednesday at a California Horse Racing Board medication and track safety committee meeting. Arthur said that 20 sudden deaths were reported in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011 – 19 in 2011-12 and 17 in the current fiscal year through Tuesday.

Arthur said that the deaths of the two horses who had rat poison in their systems were attributed to internal hemorrhage. He said that foul play was not suspected and that the level of rat poison found was at “trace level.”

“I think if there was foul play, there would be more” positives, Arthur said in an interview after the hearing.

Arthur said that the rat poison found in the horses was not the same as the type used by California racetracks for pest control.

Arthur did not identify the stable or the horses in the cases of sudden deaths, which are categorized separately from horses euthanized as a result of leg or pelvis injuries suffered in a race or training.

Necropsies are conducted on all horses who die at California tracks.

Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
Many have chastised DRF before for poor reporting, protecting some trainers such as Baffert, yet being hard on others while others do the same or worse. I have not thought much of it until now. They appear to be correct in their stance. Of all the horses that died in CA of cardiac failure, 7 of 11 were trained by Baffert. That story you don't run. Then you do run a story today of rat poison found in two horse necropsies. You won't tell the whole story, you won't mention Baffert, and want us to conclude that this is because of rat poison? Then you even bury that story. It won't work. The toxologist said the trace amount was so low it was unclear as to it's significance. Basically insignificant. You are all geldings.
Nathan More than 1 year ago
true.
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
If you look at the history in general of drugs and sports two things are apparent. 1. People will always attempt to get away with a performance enhancing advantage. 2. Those who deny the use are usually found to be lying once the science catches up to the crime. The increase in the number of deaths in California from 4 in 2009 to 11 in 2012, nearly triple. The Bloodhorse reports that 7 of the 11 deaths reported in 2012 were horses stabled in Bob Baffert's barn. That's a striking 64% horses stabled with Baffert. Necropsies showed nothing to point a finger at Baffert. So it is either the coincidence of the year or there is no way to test and identify the cause..
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Gotta love the spin. 64% of all horses who died of sudden cardiac failure in the state of California were from Bafferts barn. Cardiac failure is a rare occurrence. "it's disturbing and unnatural". "it's more than a trainer should have." The spin. Barns have rats. Rat poison is used in barns. They say the rat poison in the two horses was at a "trace level". Note the quotes. I'll bet the level is so small it would have no affect. Reminds me of when Bob had a morphine positive. He first said it was from poppy seed bagels. .
Nathan More than 1 year ago
he was dating elaine at the time.
Margaret Cowan More than 1 year ago
How is it that stables, horses, trainers, owners are not identified. Isn't transparency important?
jttf More than 1 year ago
in 2010, when tuscan evening died of a heart attack after a 6f workout. dr. arthur said that heart attacks were rare in horse racing. i guess he isnt saying that now. here is a question for dr. arther. now if a horse receives a trace amount of poison somehow in the feed, before a race. will that that horse shows signs of a fever after the race and will the immunity level drop ?
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
My esteemed fellow posters... DRF has every right to wait till ALL the facts are out people!! Regardless of what "other" publications chose to do. Life at the top is truly tough however, let's not cry for them for to whom much is given much is expected. That being said, most of us posting here at will would CRACK at the pressure that some of these trainers go through. Don't forget, it's way easier to point fingers that have fingers pointed at.
jttf More than 1 year ago
this is very strange how the drf is hiding this report and baffert's name. i guess we cant trust the drf. this story is the hot item on other sites. stop the madness. stop the trainers and vets from giving so many meds. they cant keep track of all of them. horses are being treated lke lab rats.
JeanK More than 1 year ago
Why is this article not mentioning Bob Baffert's horses? Where are the journalists and reporters digging deep into this story? Come on boys get off your chairs and turn off the laptops and get into the field where every journalist should be. We, the readers are paying nearly 8 dollars to buy the racing form. Give us our money's worth. Be what you are paid to be. Journalists and not observers with a keen eye. This story deserves attention and if not, then please explain why not!
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
The Bloodhorse is reporting that 11 horses died of Cardiac Failure in Ca in 2012; up from 6 in 2011. They also say that 7 of the 11 horses were stabled with Bob Baffert which is a freakish number for one trainer to have. The article insinuates that something is fishy and that all the Necropsies conducted on said horses have not determined a reason for any of the sudden deaths..
Hail No More than 1 year ago
QaD, are you sure all 7 were in a one year period from BBs barn? Were they 2yos, 3yos or older? Link?
Hail No More than 1 year ago
OK, read the article at BH, unfreaking real..