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Horse euthanized after injury at Hastings Racecourse

Lizzie's Rayne, right, pulls up during a race at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, May 25, 2024. The horse suffered a leg fracture that was determined to be "unrecoverable" and was euthanized. (Vancouver Humane Society / YouTube) Lizzie's Rayne, right, pulls up during a race at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, May 25, 2024. The horse suffered a leg fracture that was determined to be "unrecoverable" and was euthanized. (Vancouver Humane Society / YouTube)
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A racehorse was euthanized after suffering an injury during a race at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver over the weekend.

In a statement Monday, the Vancouver Humane Society reported receiving an "anonymous tip" about the death of a horse named Lizzie's Rayne on Saturday.

The B.C. Ministry of Public Safety's Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch confirmed the death to CTV News and the humane society on Tuesday.

The GPEB said its official veterinarian and members of the gate crew tended to the horse shortly after its injury.

"It was determined by the veterinarian that Lizzie’s Rayne had sustained a complete fracture of the left hind leg," the branch's statement reads.

"The injury was unrecoverable, and Lizzie’s Rayne was euthanized and transported for necropsy."

This is the first horse death at Hastings Racecourse since the 2024 racing season began on April 27. A total of eight horses died in each of the 2022 and 2023 seasons, according to the GPEB.

"GPEB takes steps to prevent and respond to incidents that occur during the race season, but unfortunately horse injuries and deaths can occur," the branch said, adding that it always follows the advice of veterinarians "on matters related to the health and welfare of horses."

"GPEB will continue to take the advice of GPEB’s contracted official veterinarians to protect the health and welfare of racehorses, and will continue to monitor incidents to determine if further actions are required," the branch's statement concludes.

For the humane society, there are "inherent welfare concerns" related to horseracing.

"Each time a horse loses their life at Hastings Racecourse, it is heartbreaking and sadly unsurprising," said Chantelle Archambault, VHS’s communications director, in the organization's statement.

"The racing industry puts these beautiful, sensitive animals through fear, stress, and risk to their lives, and these incidents are commonplace … This is why the VHS is asking Vancouverites not to attend horse racing events. These horses are being bred and run to death for the sake of an afternoon of human entertainment because there is profit to be made in people attending and betting on races." 

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