Feinstein Asks for 'Thorough, Transparent Investigation' Into Medina Spirit's Death

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Dianne Feinstein Getty Images

California Senator Dianne Feinstein called on the California Horse Racing Board to conduct a “thorough, transparent and independent investigation” into the death of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) in a letter to CHRB Executive Director Scott Chaney sent from her office Monday.

The letter reads:

“As the California Horse Racing Board proceeds with the investigation into the jarring death of Medina Spirit, I urge you to ensure such efforts are thorough, transparent, and independent of any outside influence. Further, I ask that you
provide my staff with regular updates on the investigation and any recommended actions necessary to prevent additional fatalities.

“As you well know, Medina Spirit is one of 71 racehorses who have died at California racing facilities thus far in 2021. While this represents a reduction in deaths from prior years, it is apparent that more work is necessary to prevent these tragic fatalities. The continuation of racehorse deaths across the country illustrates why states' cooperation is especially critical to support the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. As you know, this law establishes national, uniform safety standards for horse racing, which will take effect on July 1, 2022.

“I recognize that Governor Newsom and the CHRB have worked to improve the safety of horse racing, and I expect this matter will be treated with the seriousness and professionalism it deserves. As a lifelong horse-enthusiast, I appreciate your prioritizing the welfare of racehorses. Your oversight role in this investigation and beyond is critical to protecting these horses and strengthening the integrity of the sport. Please let me know if I can be helpful.”

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