HBO’S ‘Luck’ stops film­ing with horses af­ter 3rd death

The Washington Times Daily - - Television -

viewer-se­lected top 13 fi­nal­ists af­ter the judges gave him a last-minute spot among the 11th sea­son’s top 13 male semi­fi­nal­ists.

He was among the bot­tom three vote-get­ters last week af­ter per­form­ing Ste­vie Won­der’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet” but ad­vanced to the group

A horse was in­jured and eu­th­a­nized Tues­day dur­ing pro­duc­tion of the race­track drama “Luck,” the third death in con­nec­tion with the se­ries, and HBO agreed to sus­pend tap­ing scenes with horses while the ac­ci­dent is in­ves­ti­gated.

The hu­mane group that over­sees Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tions had is­sued an im­me­di­ate de­mand “that all pro­duc­tion in­volv­ing horses shut down,” the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

“We are also in­sist­ing that this stop­page re­main in full ef­fect pend­ing a com­plete, thor­ough, and com­pre­hen­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the Amer­i­can Hu­mane As­so­ci­a­tion said in a state­ment. It noted that the ac­ci­dent didn’t oc­cur dur­ing film­ing or rac­ing.

The an­i­mal was be­ing led to a Santa Anita Park race­track sta­ble by a groom when it reared and fell back Tues­day morn­ing, suf­fer­ing a head in­jury, ac­cord­ing to HBO. The horse was eu­th­a­nized at the track in sub­ur­ban Ar­ca­dia, where “Luck” is tap­ing its sec­ond sea­son.

In the se­ries, which was cre­ated by David Milch (“Dead­wood,” “NYPD Blue”) and looks at rac­ing’s seed­ier side, Dustin Hoffman plays a crime king­pin who’s schem­ing to gain con­trol of a race­track and in­tro­duce casino gam­bling.

Dur­ing film­ing in 2010 and 2011, two horses were hurt dur­ing rac­ing scenes and eu­th­a­nized. HBO de­fended its treat­ment of the an­i­mals, say­ing it’s worked with the Amer­i­can Hu­mane As­so­ci­a­tion and rac­ing in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als to im­ple­ment safety pro­to­cols that ex­ceed film and TV in­dus­try stan­dards.

The Amer­i­can Hu­mane As­so­ci­a­tion’s film and TV unit, the group sanc­tioned and sup­ported by the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try to pro­tect an­i­mals used in film­ing, called for a pro­duc­tion halt at the Santa Anita Race­track in sub­ur­ban Ar­ca­dia af­ter the sec­ond horse’s death.

Rac­ing re­sumed af­ter new pro­to­cols were put in place and proved ef­fec­tive, Karen Rosa, the AHA unit’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent, said in Fe­bru­ary.

On Tues­day, Dr. Gary Beck, a Cal­i­for­nia Horse Rac­ing Board vet­eri­nar­ian, said he had ex­am­ined the horse as part of rou­tine health and safety pro­ce­dures be­fore it was to race later in the day. The horse passed the in­spec­tion, the AHA said.

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