05/27/2019 11:27 EDT

Horse Death Toll At Santa Anita Race Track Rises To 26 In 5 Months

Racehorses have been inflicted with a number of mysterious fatal injuries at the Los Angeles-area park since late December.

Another horse has died after suffering an injury at Southern California’s Santa Anita race track, bringing the horse death toll at the park to 26 in just five months.

The 9-year-old gelding named Kochees was euthanized on Sunday after injuring a leg in a race on Saturday, according to local news stations.

“Every attempt was made to save him, but he was euthanized earlier today,” track spokesman Mike Willman told Los Angeles station KABC. 

Since Dec. 26, racehorses at the famed park have been inflicted with a number of mysterious injuries. The last death due to a similar injury was on May 17.

MARK RALSTON via Getty Images
Horses race at the Santa Anita Racetrack on May 26 as controversy continues over the high number of horse deaths at the track in Arcadia, California.

The fatality rate at the park is two and a half to five times greater than the rest of the horse racing world, the New York Times reported.

The deaths have prompted a number of protests, an investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, as well as one by the park.

Its staff brought in a track soil expert who used ground-penetrating radar to examine the track’s consistency, searching for potential anomalies. It has also banned race-day medication that could potentially mask injuries so injured horses could still compete. The park also introduced new regulations, including full transparency on all veterinary records.