HBO Covered Up Luck Horse Deaths: Suit
And humane group went along with it, complaint says
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 3, 2013 10:32 AM CST
In this undated image released by HBO, Nick Nolte appears in a scene from the HBO original series "Luck." A drama set at a California racetrack, HBO canceled the horse racing series after a third horse...   (AP Photo/HBO, Gusmano Cesaretti)

(Newser) – HBO horse racing series Luck was canceled in March after at least three horses died; now, a former American Humane Association exec is suing the network and the show's producer. Barbara Casey's lawsuit hits HBO and Stewart Productions for helping cover up alleged abuse of the horses, the Hollywood Reporter notes. Casey is also suing the AHA for wrongful termination in January. The AHA witnessed the show using drugged, underweight, and sick horses, but producers pushed the group to keep quiet to save cash and time, the lawsuit says.

"AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants' conduct to the authorities," the suit says. When one horse died, AHA told staffers not to document it because it occurred during a summer break from shooting, the suit adds. Casey says she was fired over her opposition to the AHA's behavior. For its part, HBO says it "exceeded every safeguard" in caring for the horses.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
geneparmesan
Jan 4, 2013 12:28 PM CST
Too bad there wasn't a show that could shed some light on horse racing's seedier side...
kbw60
Jan 3, 2013 12:34 PM CST
Track horses are regularly doped to run through pain, a fact acknowledged by owners, trainers, vets and jockeys alike and is unregulated. Horses will run until they snap tendons and bones, another known fact. The story said the animals appeared sick, etc., If a horse isn't winning, the owners are losing money on it's care and training; most will appear within a few years at auctions for slaughter. Allowing the use of sick horses was just a way for everyone involved to make a few more dollars before their disposal. What part of animal abuse is NOT our business to know???
Ghille
Jan 3, 2013 12:01 PM CST
We have the image of the noble racehorse pounded into us from very young (Black Stallion) onward. Truth is much less appealing. Just a week or so ago there was a story run on how even the Europeans, who customarily eat horse meat..are banning horse meat from the US due to the majority of it being from "massivly drug raised race horses". There is a lot of money in the race game, and the horses are not the beneficiaries. The life of a 'race horse' is fast begun and most likely just as fast over! They are under saddle and racing by 2 years old...regular horses are not ridden until 3 years old due to the bone growth damage it is likely to cause. If the young starter has not proven himself worthy within a short time..he is "disposed" of. Brutal. Racing horses and racing dogs are our modern day "slaves"...we should be ashamed.