The opening of the Del Mar horse racetrack last year. Chris Stone photo
Jockeys and horses at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Chris Stone photo

Updated at 10:50 A.M., Sunday Jul. 17

After a horse racing at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s opening day had to be euthanized Friday, this immediately sparked a few protests over the weekend.

According to a media report, there were back-to-back protests planned on Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The demonstrators met at the parking lot outside of the track entrance.

“This weekend starts the summer season of abusing and killing horses for profit and entertainment. It is beyond me to even think that in the year 2016 this is even legal,” said Ellen Ericksen, the protest organizer, in a press release.

Horse at Del Mar Fair. Photo Credit: Ellen Ericksen
Horse at Del Mar Fair. Photo Credit: Ellen Ericksen

The Facebook event for the protests asks protestors in its description, “How many horses will die this summer?” A separate blog titled Horseracing Wrongs writes about the recently euthanized horse.

To quote the blog: “How many of those 42,000-odd revelers were/are aware that part of the day’s entertainment was killed? More important, how many care?”

The horse was euthanized after breaking down and throwing its jockey, according to reports.

The horse, Presidential Air, who was making her ninth career start, was heading down the stretch in the sixth race when she suddenly collapsed, according to the website, a site dedicated to thoroughbred racing.

Jockey Brandon Boulanger escaped serious injury, but the horse had to be euthanized on the track, the site reported.

The sixth race, a 12-horse event for fillies and mares three years old and up, eventually was won by Song for Jade.

City News Service contributed to this article.