ARCADIA (CBSLA) -- On just the second day of Autumn Meet at Santa Anita Park, track officials have confirmed that another horse was euthanized at the park Saturday after becoming injured in an accident.
Emtech, a 3-year-old colt was euthanized after appearing to break his left front leg and crashing to the dirt in the eighth race. Emtech was reportedly in the stretch of the six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up when the breakdown occurred, the Los Angeles Times said.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez stayed on the ground and a stretcher was brought for him, but got up on his own power. He was taken to a first aid center, where he was examined, according to The Times.
32 horses have died during racing or training at the park since December. Many protesters stood outside the gates of Santa Anita Park Saturday arguing that the sport was dangerous and the park needs to go out of business.
CBS2/KCAL9's Greg Mills spoke to protesters who found it hard to believe -- and disturbing -- that another horse had to be put down.
The situation outside the park was tense enough that Arcadia Police were called.
As fans tried to drive or walk into the park it was dueling protesters. said one group -- "Honk, if you love horse racing." On the other corner, those saying "Horse racing kills horses!"
Two of the women on opposing sides squared off with one (she was holding a sign that said "horse racing kills horses") saying, "Get out of my face, you vile person."
Said Andrew Lesser, decidedly not a horse racing fan. "And this is despicable. This is grotesque. This is not a sport."
Inside the park, officials said they would work closely with state officials to try to figure out what went wrong today.
"As is protocol at Santa Anita, we will open an immediate review into what factors could have contributed to Emtech's injury," said Dr. Dionne Benson, chief veterinarian of the Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita Park. "Santa Anita will work closely with the California Horse Racing Board and will continue to brief our stakeholders and all of our constituents, including the public, as more facts come in. Emtech will undergo a necropsy at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, as is mandatory for all on-track accidents."
A 4-year-old gelding named Zeke was euthanized Sept. 16 after being diagnosed with a pelvic fracture after working on the track's training course, the newspaper reported.
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