A horse drowned in a pond at a race track at MGM Northfield Park in Ohio on Monday after finishing a harness race, the Ohio State Racing Commission said on Wednesday.
Harness racing is a form of horse racing where the horses race at a specific pace and pull a two-wheeled cart with a driver. The horse who drowned was being unhooked from the two-wheel race bike attached to him.
A nearby tractor scared him, and he ran into the pond and drowned, Freddie Hudson from the United States Harness Racing Alumni Association told Cleveland TV station WKYC.
Marty Irby, the executive director of Animal Wellness Action, told news agency Reuters that the horse couldn’t swim because he was still wearing his leg harness when he fell into the water.
He added that a similar incident had occurred at the park in the past, and track officials had previously said they would put up a barrier around the pond but hadn’t.
“We are saddened to see yet another racehorse death in the world of harness racing,” Irby said. “The authorities should investigate this incident, and MGM Northfield should elevate their standards to protect the horses at all costs.”