LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A report released by the Breeders’ Cup reveals Mongolian Groom could have been removed from the Nov. 2 competition.
The horse broke down in the Santa Anita Park race and was later euthanized.
In a Thoroughbred Daily News article, it is revealed the report shows that after the incident, Dr. Larry Bramlage with the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital was hired to conduct an evaluating into Mongolian Groom’s condition and injury before the Breeders’ Cup along with safety protocols in place at the championships.
In the evaluation, Bramlage found that Mongolian Groom had a stress fracture before the Breeders’ Cup.
"In fact, he had small stress fractures in both hind cannon bones," the report states. "These fractures were in the depths of the bone, yet as of the start of the race had not caused any inflammation in the fetlock joint even though they were just millimeters away from the joint surface. A little more than one mile into the race the left hind fracture propagated, resulting in the chain of events, like dominoes falling, that created the fatal injury.”
Bramlage made clear in the report that Mongolian Groom’s injury was likely not intentionally ignored.
Five veterinarians checked on Mongolian Groom prior to the Breeders’ Cup, which is considered an above-average number of evaluations. His left-hind leg was noted on Oct. 31 as being “questionable.”
The report also reveals it is unlikely medication had anything to do with Mongolian Groom’s fatal injury.
In a statement, Chairman of the Board of the Breeders’ Cup Fred W. Hertrich III expressed,
“The Breeders’ Cup is committed to taking all actions to ensure our equine and human athletes compete under the safest and most transparent conditions possible. The Breeders’ Cup Board of Directors appreciates Dr. Bramlage’s thorough evaluation, and will review Dr. Bramlage’s recommendations for improvements to the processes that were in place for the 2019 World Championships and discuss them in detail at the next board meeting for adoption at future events. We will also discuss these recommendations with the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, so the recommendations will have an even broader and more beneficial impact on our sport and reducing injury to our athletes.”
Read Bramlage’s full report below.