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Updated: After 3rd Death, 'Luck' Asked To Stop Using Horses ... For Now

HBO confirms a report on the tabloid news site TMZ that a horse involved with the production of the racing show has died.

10:15 p.m. The Associated Press reports the American Humane Association has issued an immediate demand "that all production (on Luck) involving horses shut down."

"We are also insisting that this stoppage remain in full effect pending a complete, thorough, and comprehensive investigation," the American Humane Association said in a statement issued to the Associated Press.

Updated 5:45 p.m.: HBO sent us this statement:

Tragically, this morning, one of the horses in LUCK’s stable suffered an accident while returning to the stall.

California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) official veterinarian Dr. Gary Beck stated, “I had just examined the horse as part of our routine health and safety procedures prior to work that would be done later on the track. The horse was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground. Fortunately, attending veterinarian Dr. Heidi Agnic was there to administer immediate aid to the injured horse and determined that humane euthanasia was appropriate.”  CHRB Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur said, “As with all fatalities within CHRB racing enclosures a necropsy will be conducted. Unfortunately, we see several of these injuries in the stable area every year. They are more common than people realize.”    

An American Humane Association Certified Safety Representative was on the premises when the accident occurred, and as always, all safety precautions were in place. HBO and everyone involved with the production are deeply saddened, and are working in full cooperation with the AHA and the CHRB to complete their inquiry.  All our interactions with the AHA have always included 100% transparency. 

Previously: is concluding its first season on the air and is going to shoot its second at Arcadia's famed , but now comes a report that a third horse has perished as part of the show.

The report, which isn't sourced, was posted by the tabloid news show/website TMZ:

We're told the crew was trying to get a horse out of its stable when it reared and fell back, suffering a head injury.  The horse was euthanized at the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia.

It's unclear whether Luck has actually started shooting or how this death, if it occurred, figured into the show's production; we'll check and find out and report back.

The New York Observer earlier

You can read more about Luck in our previous coverage on Arcadia Patch:





Natalie Ragus March 14, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I don't know if this death could have been prevented. It sounds like something that could have happened on a normal day, in the horse's own stable/home and had nothing to do with the T.V. show. Horses spook easily, so who knows what induced the horse to flip over backwards.
Natalie Ragus March 14, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I hope the AHS puts out a detailed, public report so we can find out exactly what happened, how/if any of these deaths could have been prevented, etc.
SandraT March 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I wonder exactly what "several of these happen every year" really means. Do several animal deaths occur on the same movie set every year? Here's my (unpopular, I'm sure) plea: STOP USING ANIMALS FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT!!
Natalie Ragus March 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Hey Sandra! I take it to mean that it's common for horses to freak out, even at home, and injure themselves (fatally or otherwise). They are very skittish animals, and that, coupled with their weight and size, can create a perfect storm for injuries.
Patrick Lee March 15, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Hey all: HBO has cancelled Luck! http://arcadia.patch.com/articles/hbo-ceases-production-of-luck-following-horse-deaths

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