Probe of Horse Death at Mountaineer Racetrack Continues

West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) officials said May 21 they are continuing an investigation into the April death of a horse at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack, and Resort, and are developing protocol to handle such incidents in the future.

The horse, Slippin' Around, died in the receiving barn at Mountaineer, located in Chester, W.Va., April 19. Officials are looking into the cause and any violations that might have occurred at the time, and how reporting and protocol were handled after Slippin' Around's death. The horse was trained by Kathy Jarvis.

"We're moving forward on a number of fronts," WVRC executive director John Amores said. "In addition, an internal investigation is being done (in conjunction with) the state investigator."

One aspect of the investigation is focused on the apparent failure to report the horse's death to the Mountaineer stewards. West Virginia racing rules require trainers to promptly report serious injury or death of their horses to the stewards and a racing commission veterinarian.

Officials also are looking into a possible breakdown in the chain of command of racing officials.

Changes already have been made in the receiving barn at Mountaineer involving signage with contact numbers and "more consistent coverage" by officials, Amores said. A plan could be ready in about 10 days, he said, but the WVRC will still have to schedule a hearing into the incident.

Jarvis continues to race horses in Indiana and Ohio.

Originally published on

About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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