(KRON) — On Saturday afternoon, animal rights advocates with Direct Action Everywhere and Stop Bloodsports will gather outside the Golden Gate Fields for a demonstration calling out the horseracing industry and memorializing horses who died at the track this fall.
The protest is planned in response to an “unprecedented surge of deaths at the track” since Golden Gate Fields’ owners announced their intention to stay open for an additional season before shutting down indefinitely.
Six horses died this fall at Golden Gate Fields, according to the California Horse Racing Board.
- September 20 – Gardees World, a five-year-old mare
- September 25 – Great Story, a five-year-old gelding
- September 27 – Weeping Willow, a two-year-old filly
- October 1 – Navy Queen, a six-year-old mare
- October 4 – Hangin at Haven, a two-year-old gelding
- October 21- Zakkiyyah, a five-year-old mare
The cause of death for horses Zakkiyyah, Gardees World, and Hanging at Haven were undisclosed. Two horses died after suffering musculoskeletal injuries, including Navy Queen on Oct. 1 during training, and Great Story on Sept. 25 during a race.
Sixteen horses have died at Golden Gate Fields so far in 2023. The racetrack was initially supposed to shut down this fall, but the owners later extended the track’s timeline to continue horseracing until June 2024.
Animal rights advocates maintain that horseracing is an “archaic spectacle that creates profit off cruelty to animals and people with gambling addictions, serving only to bolster the egos of billionaire owners.” Protesters who will be outside the track on Saturday to demand that the California Horse Racing Board rescind Golden Gate Fields’ license, as well as close the track permanently this season.
Golden Gate Fields, which straddles the cities of Albany and Berkeley along the shore of the San Francisco Bay, opened in 1941. The Stronach Group purchased the track in 2011.