Target: Joe Harper, CEO of the Del Mar seaside track
Goal: Discontinue all horse races on the deadly new grass track until it can be made safe
Six thoroughbred race horses have been euthanized due to injuries sustained on the new grass track at Del Mar in San Diego, California. The new grass turf was laid this spring, replacing the commonplace dirt track. The CEO of Del Mar, Joe Harper, insists that the track has performed as expected, and the injuries are not proven to be caused by the track. Modifications have been made to the dangerous course since the last fatality, though scary slip-ups have still occurred. Something is amiss with how horses are handling the new track, even with modifications. The safety of the horses must come first and all use of the track should cease until changes can be made.
The new, synthetic grass turf was supposed to improve horse performance and comfort while running. The track was aerated and watered a few times over the course of a few weeks, in hopes of making the track softer and safer for horses. Though, no matter how much care was taken in the operation, another horse became crippled after racing or practicing on the grass. Racing was moved to another track for five races and more modifications were made at Del Mar recently, including narrowing the track and waxing the surface; upon completion, racing resumed on the track.
Modifications to the course have not made the track fool-proof. Jockeys are insistent that the new track requires more work on their part, in order to keep the horses from tripping or slipping. Six fatalities are six too many. It is only a matter of time before the turf is worn the wrong way, or a jockey cannot keep his or her horse safe. Urge for the turf at Del Mar to be completely re-evaluated in order to spare all horse lives. Experimenting with horse lives is extremely irresponsible.
Dear Joe Harper,
Six horse fatalities are under Del Mar’s belt since the synthetic grass turf was installed. This is six too many. I understand that modifications have been made to the grass turf, including narrowing the track and waxing the surface, on top of many aerating and watering sessions over the course of a few weeks. While no fatalities have happened since resuming racing on the new track after its reprieve, this is not to say that the track is now safe.
I urge you to re-evaluate the track fully, enlisting the help of many professionals in order to properly assess the track and its inconsistencies. Hoping that Del Mar’s stint of bad luck is over is not enough. The track is supposed to be safe, though it obviously is not. Please address all issues once more before subjecting any more horses or jockeys to the dangerous turf. I understand that the horses are considered athletes and injuries happen. However, the horse did not choose this title and keeping them safe should be of utmost importance.
Please do all you can to ensure the track is indeed safe; do not just hope and assume.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dirk Hansen