Outrage as Maple Leaf Mel – the horse owned by legendary NFL trainer Bill Parcells – suffers a catastrophic leg injury just yards from the finish line in a $500,000 race in Saratoga … before being euthanized by on-site veterinarians
- Maple Leaf Mel was leading a $500,000 run in Saratoga but collapsed late
- The filly was euthanized by vets after suffering the catastrophic injury
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Horse racing mourns the shock death of Maple Leaf Mel, the filly owned by Bill Parcells who was euthanized after suffering a catastrophic leg injury just yards from the finish of a $500,000 race in Saratoga Springs SATURDAY.
The horse led the field and looked sure to cross the finish line as the winner, before its leg twisted, knocking down jockey Joel Rosario, who was taken to hospital for evaluation and needed points. suture for facial abrasions.
On-site veterinarians attended to Maple Leaf Mel, but she was euthanized due to the severity of the injury, the New York Racing Association said.
Taking to social media, some viewers were outraged, with one urging: “We need to ban horse racing.”
Another added: “Let these beautiful animals live in peace. RIP Maple Leaf Mel.’
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Maple Leaf Mel (right) led the way in a $500,000 race at Saratoga Springs on Saturday
A few meters from the finish, the filly of Bill Parcells suffered a catastrophic leg injury
Maple Leaf Mel then stood up but was later euthanized by vets on site due to the leg injury
Coached by Melanie Giddings, Maple Leaf Mel went 5-0 in her career. It belonged to August Dawn Farm, which includes Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Parcells, who was on the track to watch the race.
Maple Leaf Mel passed the required pre-race veterinary inspection, NYRA said.
A required necropsy will be performed at Cornell University and the results will be reviewed by officials from the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority, the New York State Equine Medical Director and the management of the NYRA.
Pretty Mischievous won the test by a header after finishing fifth at the top of the streak as a 9-5 favorite.
Winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione said: “I feel so bad for Mel’s relationships. It’s hard to enjoy this one thinking about it. My condolences go out to their team. I hope they can get through this and God bless them.
The incident is just the latest in a string of tragic horse deaths in sport this year and has fueled calls for it to be banned.
Since April, 12 horses have died at Churchill Downs, with officials yet to identify a commonality between the deaths.
Following the recent spate of deaths, the track made the decision to suspend all racing there in June, moving its 2023 Spring Meet to Ellis Park instead.
Churchill Downs suspended racing operations for the remainder of the Spring Meet in June
Seven horses had died before the Kentucky Derby which took place in Louisville on May 6
However, PETA accused the track of playing “Russian roulette” with the horses’ lives after the move.
“We are relieved that racing has been suspended, something PETA has been calling for since May 2, but Churchill Downs must not play Russian roulette with the lives of these horses by simply shifting the issue elsewhere,” the organization said. animal rights group in a statement. at the Mail Sport in June.
“Placing the ball in a different chamber could have the same deadly result. We are frustrated by the racing industry’s refusal to implement scientifically and statistically proven life-saving technology.
“Until race tracks install synthetic surfaces and use CT equipment to detect injuries, among other improvements, they cannot claim to be mystified by fatalities.”