17th racehorse dies at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley this year

A 3-year-old filly that died at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday is the track's 17th racehorse death reported this year by the state horse racing board.

The filly, named Promisemeparadise, died during training from a non-musculoskeletal injury at the Berkeley track, according to a report from the California Horse Racing Board.

The death is the 77th racehorse death at horse racing facilities statewide this year, say activists who maintain the sport is inhumane, that horses are ridden far too young, aren't exercised enough and fed a diet that's only aimed to improve their racing, not their health. A total of 17 horses also died in 2020. 

"No legitimate sport would tolerate the deaths of 17 of its athletes in 11 months of competition in just 1 venue (Golden Gate Fields), much less 77 of its athletes in 11 months of competition in just 1 state (California)," said Martha Sullivan of the group Kill Racing Not Horses, in a statement released on Monday.

The California Horse Racing Board and The Stronach Group, the company that owns the Berkeley track, did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

The board has said previously that they have undertaken measures that have reduced racehorse deaths at California tracks by more than 50 percent over the past three years.  

One of those has been a requirement that every horse is reviewed by an expert panel to determine its fitness for a race.