There is a touch of divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse
that should forever exempt him from indignities.
~Herman Melville


Editorial: View from the Wall

Looking out from the Memorial Wall, as far as the eye can see, looms a continual inflow of racehorse fatalities to post. More >>


New-Year Message for All Sentient Beings

The song echoes our thoughts about the state of the world at this time. Let its call be our theme for 2017, our soundtrack for the future. At the end of the day we are all connected, and how we treat others, our children, and animals truly matters. Listen, ponder the words, and look within...


Thank You

Thank you for your interest in the horses and to everyone who has contributed to this Memorial, because one researcher cannot possibly cover the entire world’s tracks. Many horses would have gone unnoticed if not for you. So, thank you so much for your help. ~The Editor


Suggest a Horse for the Memorial

Thousands are listed, yet the Memorial only scratches the surface. Have we missed anyone? We want to know. Suggest a horse >>


A Historical Document for the Horses

Mesopotamian Chariot Horse
Since before recorded history, and later depicted in cave drawings and literatures of ancient civilizations, the horse has been here. Across India, the Middle East, the kingdoms of Europe, and the New World, Equus has served in the hunt, wars, farming and ranching, transportation, processions, and sports competitions. More >>


Del Mar Deaths

Four fatal breakdowns in racing occurred on the Del Mar track in one week:
2 on 11/27/2016, 1 on 12/1/2016, and 1 on 12/3/2016. More >>


1920s Colts, Scapa Flow and Dice

Photo: © Keeneland-Cook, via The Vault
Scapa Flow (Man o’ War) and the undefeated Dice now grace the Memorial (see page for 1800 through 2013), both Eclipse Award Champion 2 Year Olds, in 1926 and 1927, respectively. Thank you, citizen reporter Columbus, GA, for suggesting these two colts who died so early in their careers.


“The Galloping Grey Ghost”

The dark-grey roan Springsteel (1929~1934), “injured in service,” now graces the Memorial (see tab for years 1800 through 2013), never to be forgotten again. His story is told in one of the most touching pieces of photojournalism and tribute to a horse we’ve ever seen: “Of Springsteel and Moving History.” His memory will live on for generations to come.


“Vanned Off”—Dead

UPDATED: We find it interesting that sometimes Equibase charts will simply report a horse was “vanned off” while, subsequently, New York State Gaming Commission and other sources will report the horse was “euthanized on the track.” Why the discrepancy? More >>


35 Horses in 2 Months

On 9/18/2016 we reached the milestone of 4,000 horses posted on the Memorial (since 2005), yet have added 35 more horses since that post two months ago. More >>


Chevaux Fran├žais

Wandshara (FR)
Photo: Sporthorse-Data
We’ve noticed more and more visitors from France, which only shows that, while reports about racehorse injuries and fatalities on French tracks are hard to find, the French people appear interested in their horses’ fate. We would appreciate any reports about fatalities in France. Submit via the Suggest a Horse form.


A Note about Cookies

Some time ago, I was notified by Blogger that they include a message displayed to users about cookies. More >>


Racehorse Memorial Structure

Five pages comprise the Memorial:
  • Memorial: 2014 to Present
  • Memorial: 1800 through 2013
  • Abbreviations
  • Racetrack Abbreviations and Locations
  • FAQ


R.I.P., Corona del Inca (ARG)

Farewell to the 5-year-old mare Corona del Inca who lost her life from injuries in the Breeder’s Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on November 4, 2016. She suffered irreparable multiple fractures to her right-front leg nearing the stretch, was vanned off, and subsequently euthanized. Condolences to all who were involved in her life. May the remaining horses in Day 2 of the Breeder’s Cup today finish their races safe and sound.


Belmont Takes Its Turn

Eight (8) on-track fatalities in October 2016 so far at Belmont Park. Every track gets its turn at suffering an embarrassing flurry of fatalities that no one can explain. More >>


The Enduring Leppspringe (IRE)

In 1892, the Irish Thoroughbred carriage-horse-turned-endurance-horse left Berlin on the grueling 360-mile Distanzritt. More >>


Most Starts for Horses on the Memorial

UPDATED: Added Clearview Bay
Every horse gives the maximum effort on-track, and some achieve an incredible number of career starts, until the last. More >>


NEW: Now Posting Career Stats

Starting with the two horses who, in fatalities occurring on the same day (9/17/2016), brought us to our 4,000th post—Sgt. Major Ross and Indiana Stones—we will include horses’ Career Stats (starts: firsts-seconds-thirds). Because, these facts reflect the horses’ effort over time in what would become part of their legacy.


A Milestone We Never Wanted to Reach

Today, the Memorial reached 4,000 horses posted since its inception in 2005. Hardly something to celebrate. Each and every horse is confirmed to have perished from racing or training injuries. Herein are those remembered, standing in for the “silent majority.”


Bewildered by Del Mar Deaths?

As is true in the case of SeaWorld, a slow but steady drumbeat of
protest over the exploitation of animals for entertainment purposes
is perculating its way through the American consciousness.
~Doug Porter, San Diego Free Press

Currently, the mysterious trend in on-track deaths at Del Mar continues. Reported deaths range from 14 to 19 (over the 39-day meet so far) in training and racing, depending upon which story you read. More >>


Gratitude for the Horses

Big Book
Photo: CTBA
In all these years of documenting fatalities, I never really publicly expressed my gratitude for the gift of horses in this world. And so I say thank you to them for their service, not just for their “utility” but for who they are and what they mean to this life. Join me in thanking the horses... ~Editor


Undisclosed Fatalities in Official Reports

Official race reports are inconsistent in how they disclose racehorse injuries and fatalities. For example, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) stewards’ minutes may or may not report certain on-track incidents publicly. More >>


Racehorse Trainer Takes Her Life

We are sorry to hear that Monique Snowden, trainer of fallen racehorse The Chilli Man, committed suicide on Sunday evening, July 17, 2016, reportedly distraught over the 2-year-old gelding’s death. More >>


The Valiant Magic d’Oro

We can’t write about every horse on the Memorial, even knowing that each and every one is a book unto himself or herself, worthy to be written. But sometimes we are moved to officially say goodbye. More >>


When the Fight Feels Futile

After researching fatalities for 11 years, some days it seems only the Divine could ever undo this complex web the horses are caught in. More >>


Standardbred Harness-Horse Fatalities

While this Memorial is focused on Thoroughbred racehorses, we can’t help but notice what appears to be an increase in reported Standardbred fatalities on East Coast tracks. More >>


Oldest Horses on the Memorial

Tigger Too
Often starting as young as 2 years old, many horses race for their entire lives, for many years, then die in action without the chance for retirement. More >>


Why No End to Track Fatalities?

The Internet was flooded with stories about two racehorse fatalities at Pimlico (May 21, 2016). Attention is drawn to such high-profile races as the Preakness, and people act shocked that two horses perished on the same race card. But many racehorses have died in action since then. More >>


UPDATED: Memorial Suspends Twitter Presence

Recently I announced that the Memorial would cease posting on twitter. That announcement generated retweets that were among the only three or four we have received on twitter since rejoining that platform in February this year. More >>


CHRB Weighs In on Whipping Rule

Since July 1, 2015, California jockeys could only whip a horse three times in succession, limited to the stretch run and only during the race’s last 16th of a mile. This is when horses tire, give way and/or, according to what this Memorial has observed, frequently break down. More >>



Hardly anything in the universe happens by accident, but occurs through direct intention or neglect, by the choices we make. And life reminds us of this in obvious and uncanny ways. More >>


Our Criteria for Posting Horses

We are encouraged by the increasing interest in the Memorial, and many visitors have contributed greatly to it. We welcome suggested horses who meet the Memorial’s criteria and are already confirmed (with a source) as deceased when submitted to us. As much as we would like to recognize all horse breeds, this project is limited to the Thoroughbred racehorse or eventer. Purpose and Criteria >>


Losses at 2016 Grand National: 6

UPDATED: A sixth horse succumbed to complications from an injury at Aintree and was euthanized. See Arzal (FR) on the Memorial.
UPDATED: A fifth horse, Kings Palace (IRE), has perished at the Aintree meet. Four others were fatally injured jumping the infamous Becher’s Brook on the Grand National course. See the Memorial.


Tell Tale Friend

His name conjures a certain truth: When the racehorses leave us, they leave traces of themselves in the memories of those who are unable to witness a catastrophic injury or death and then forget about it in the next race like it never happened. More >>


Remember the Racehorses

Holocauste (FR)
Soldiers fall as casualties of war,
and so do the racehorses.
On the turf's battlefield,
some are wounded and
some do not return.
For this reason, remember
the racehorses.


The 2016 Scottish Grand National

We don’t have to be watching from the sidelines in person to understand that a race like this can’t be fun for anyone (or can it?), least of all the horses. During the chase where less than half the horses finished, Golden Chieftain broke down. More >>


Hidden Racehorse Fatalities

Many times we have reminded that this Memorial (or any other) only scratches the surface of the true death toll. For example, the 8-year-old gelding Brassy Pete (see Memorial) was the 11th horse this season to suffer a fatal injury in racing at Turf Paradise, said the track’s general manager Vince Francia (The Arizona Republic/azcentral, 4/18/2016)—leaving us to ask: Who are the other 10?


Finally Free

Death is the great leveler. And horses, like humans, must leave the body. They must go where championships, rankings, and earnings no longer matter. At last, they are just horses. But they forever remain in our memories for who they were and what they gave. Now they belong to the cosmos, and always did. Now they are finally free. In Memoriam >>


Losses at Cheltenham 2016: 7

No More Heroes (IRE)
Seven valiant horses perished during the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. The annual race meeting is a grand event for the players, spectators, and the horses’ connections. But how did things look out on the course as the races unfolded? More >>


How Tough Does a Horse Have to Be?

The Govaness (GB) Wins at Cheltenham, 2015
Photo credit: Sporting Life
Three horses died today on day one of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. The horses may love to run, but do they know the danger they face or that this may be their last race? No. Only the humans know that. Here are the three racehorses and what happened in their respective races: More >>


The Story of Sunloch

Sunloch (GB)
Steeplechaser Sunloch (GB) joins the Memorial and oldest horses pages today. He reminds us that every racehorse has a story to be told. In this case, the horse is celebrated. Sunloch will receive the coveted “green plaque.”
More >>


For the Racehorses’ Safe Return

Berlin Karlshorst Race Course, 1931
Photo credit: ullstein bild
We send our love and best wishes to all the horses working or competing today. Regardless of rank, every racehorse is engaged in an extreme sport with inherent dangers. So, for every horse who puts his or her foot on the track, we wish you well.


The Overwhelming Truth

(artist unknown)
This morning I reviewed a couple other racehorse memorials (founded years after this one was) that focus on UK horses and was overwhelmed. More >>


Fatally Injured Racehorses Ad Infinitum

Admire Rakti (JPN)
For over 10 years the Memorial has tracked fallen racehorses amid the industry's attempts to make racing safer. Surely, no one would like to minimize injuries more than the very industry whose survival depends upon its athletes. More >>


French Racehorses Underrepresented

Sanctuaire (FR)
Unintentionally, the Memorial does not properly represent French and some other non-U.S. racehorses, because information can be harder to find. 
More >>


Racehorses Unknown, But Not Forgotten

On the Memorial, unknown soldier is used when a source reported a fatality without disclosing the horses name. Named or not, every horse counts.


International Visitors to the Memorial

Visits to the Memorial are increasing, with the largest audiences from: USA, UK, Canada, and Russia, with an increasing number recently from Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, and The Netherlands (in that order). We encourage visitors from around the world to suggest fallen racehorses we may have missed on the Memorial. Suggest a horse >>