ROCK SPRINGS — The Wyoming Gaming Commission (WGC) is close to completing its investigation into the accidents that led to three horses being euthanized and three jockeys injured at Sweetwater Downs on August 23.
In a recent discussion, WGC Executive Director Charles Moore said the stewards for the commission conducted an investigation on the accident, but are still waiting on the toxicology results in order to complete the investigation, and that could take up to three more weeks.
In a prior interview, Eugene Joyce, Wyoming Horse Racing, LLC Managing Partner and Sweetwater Downs General Manager, said the commission interviewed jockeys, trainers, reviewed the racing films, and looked at the track and weather conditions.
Moore said even though the case hasn’t been closed on these three accidents, it has been determined all three accidents, were “isolated incidents.”
During one of the accidents, a horse collapsed after crossing the finish line causing its back to break. It was rumored that this same horse had collapsed at a race in Evanston a week prior to the race at Sweetwater Downs. Moore said this particular horse didn’t collapse at a previous race or it would have been placed on veterinarian watch and wouldn’t have been allowed to race until the veterinarian gave it the okay.
Moore said this horse did stumble three races prior to the Sweetwater Downs’ race when it was running out of the gates at a previous race and lost the rider, which is common in racing. He said when a horse stumbles running out of the starting gate, it is not placed on a veterinarian watch.
“It’s a dangerous sport. We take it extremely serious when we have these types of incidents.”Charles Moore, WGC Executive Director
He said the WGC has five employees and a safety officer at all races and all horses go through a pre-race examination.
Moore said the safety of the jockeys and horses is the No. 1 duty of the gaming commission. Races have continued at Sweetwater Downs since the accidents without any other major incidents.