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HORSE RACES: IHP uncovers the death of three horses at Le Capanelle, but these are not the only onesi


(9 October 2017)

Following a number of reports, an in-depth investigation, and careful cross-checking, IHP is able to reveal evidence, including pictures, of three very serious accidents at the Le Capannelle hippodrome in Rome, in April, June and September of this year.

The three horses, Song for My Heart (3 year old), Machiavellico (4 year old) and Ginseng Coffee (5 year old) were euthanized due to fractures sustained. A comparison of the horrendous images of the three falls actually reveal two identical facts: 1) the horses stumbled on the footing, they did not collide with other horses; 2) the falls happened in exactly the same spot on the track.

Persistent rumours at Capannelle tell of grossly inadequate track maintenance, possibly due to the financial difficulties the industry is facing these days. The section of the track in question is full of dangerous holes and ridges which clearly present serious risks to a horse galloping flat out.
There is no official confirmation of these events and circumstances. In order to clarify the matter, IHP wrote to the relevant Ministry (MIPAAF, responsible for the management in Italy of training establishments and both trotting and racing competitions) asking for an enquiry to be opened.

Song For My Heart, Machiavellico and Ginseng Coffee are not the only horses to lose their lives recently: there have been fatal accidents elsewhere, not least at the infamous hippodrome at Merano. However, it is almost impossible to find any trace of these accidents in the press.

IHP President, Sonny Richichi commented: “While people in the racing industry consider 1% to be a very low mortality rate, for IHP and for the majority of the general public, it is unacceptable for a horse to be forced into a very unnatural life, training and competing well before their musculoskeletal development is complete, constantly risking accidents, sometimes fatal ones. And then to be thrown away as soon as performance falls off. The Ministry must take note of the general waning of interest in this form of exploitation of horses, which runs parallel to a far greater public sensitivity towards respect for these animals. The Ministry must revise its policies in favour of their protection.”


24/01/2017 - San Rossore (PI), muore Burgundi
14/10/2015 - Trieste, muore Spirit Pizz
28/9/2015 - Merano, muore Perfect Gentleman
27/11/2012 - A Merano più cavalli morti che in tutti i palii
2/10/2012 - Merano, muore Errante
5/9/2012 - Merano, muiono Catbar e Nobel
28/5/2012 - Capannelle, muore Mister Red Shine