Golden Gate Fields, a notoriously deadly horse racing track in Northern California, will shutter forever at the end of 2023, according to The Stronach Group.

Eight horses already have been killed in this year’s racing season — and that’s not an anomaly. Fifteen horses were killed or died in 2022 and 26 were killed or died in 2021. 

Animal advocates, including Lady Freethinker, have spoken out about the mounting death tolls of the defenseless horses. 

Recently, Berkeley Councilmember Kate Harrison proposed an ordinance directly aimed at the horse racing industry that would limit the amount of time horses could be stabled and that also mandated minimum pasture space for horses. The introduction of the ordinance noted horses needed protection amidst the “disturbing display of sanctioned animal abuse.”

The Stronach Group didn’t provide a reason for terminating operations at Golden Gate Fields but rather said they were shifting their focus to tracks in Southern California — namely Santa Anita Park and San Luis Rey Downs — in an attempt “aimed at consolidating, invigorating, and innovating racing,” according to a corporate press release

Meanwhile, those touted tracks have accounted for nearly half of the state’s 43 racehorse deaths this year — with one horse dead at San Luis Rey Downs and 17 dead or killed at Santa Anita as of July 25.

While the permanent closure of Golden Gate Fields means no more innocent horses will die or suffer at this specific track, California needs to stop this fatal brutality.

More than 34,000 people, including Lady Freethinker’s supporters in California, have signed our petition urging California to ban horse racing and so continue its legacy of being a progressive state that cares about the welfare of animals. 

If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to help us continue advocating for horses exploited in racing in California and then share the petition with your family and friends!

SIGN: Ban Horse Racing in California, Where Horses Are Drugged, Beaten and Killed