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Animal rights advocates protest racehorse death at Golden Gate Fields

ALBANY -- A protest is set to take place at the Golden Gate Fields racetrack in Albany Saturday in the wake of the death of a racehorse at the track earlier this month, organizers said.

Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights group, is holding the event at 420 Gilman Street at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in response to the death of racehorse Lexcellent. The horse died at the track April 8 according to the Equine Fatalities page of the California Horse Racing Board.

The funeral-style protest will feature tombstones, smoke flares and other visual elements, organizers said.

The protest is "in tribute to the unconsenting athletes whose extreme stress, horrific injuries, and frequent deaths are, according to activists, downplayed by the profit-driven racing industry," Cassie King, a member of the animal rights group, said in an email.

Animal Rights Protesters
Animal rights activists with Direct Action Everywhere hold signs outside Golden Gate Fields Dec. 9, 2022, with the names of racehorses that have died. Direct Action Everywhere via Bay City News

Her organization is asking for local residents to support a shutdown of the track, King said.

Five racehorses are listed as having died this year at the Golden Gate Fields racetrack, according to the California Horse Racing Board website.

The board, which tracks racing horse fatalities, has taken measures that have reduced deaths at California tracks by more than 50 percent over the past three years, spokesperson Mike Marten told Bay City News Service in March.

One of those has been a requirement that every horse is reviewed by an expert panel to determine its fitness for a race.

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