Third horse dies filming Dustin Hoffman TV series

A third horse died Tuesday during the filming of the HBO series Luck, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte (pictured at left). The horse reportedly broke her neck after rearing up and falling backwards onto the ground at the Santa Anita Park race track. She survived the fall but suffered excruciating pain and was euthanized as soon as a veterinarian arrived. Horse deaths have become so common on the show that after the accident, production immediately moved to Marina del Rey to continue filming, unlike the previous two horse deaths, when production was stopped.

TMZ broke the news, saying HBO scrambled to delay publication of the story after the entertainment site called for information on the fatal incident. The American Humane Association, which had a safety representative at the track when the accident occurred, has ordered HBO to stop using horses for now, saying: “We are also insisting that this stoppage remain in full effect pending a complete, thorough, and comprehensive investigation.”

Update: HBO has announced that it has cancelled the series.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Joan • March 15, 2012 @ 12:28 AM

    They should leave animals out of TV and films. The people who are running this show obviously don’t know how to handle horses if three have died while filming it. They should be shut down permanently.

  2. Red • March 15, 2012 @ 12:38 AM

    Exactly what Joan said. This is sick.

  3. Superstar • March 15, 2012 @ 9:02 AM

    I bet this happens in tv shows and movies all the time but it just never gets reported

  4. Missy • March 15, 2012 @ 9:18 AM

    I don’t think so, Superstar. If it happened, it would be reported. A horse died during film of Flicka as well, but there was another TV series about a female jockey and they managed to film two seasons without killing any horses.

  5. BlackJag • March 15, 2012 @ 10:54 AM

    I think this is disgusting. After the second incident, they should have stopped and investigated what was going wrong. In fact, no animal (or human) actor should die or suffer injury in the film industry’s quest to entertain the public and make money. Although accidents do happen during filming with human cast and crew, those involved decide to make that choice, these poor creatures have no choice.

  6. likeit1 • March 15, 2012 @ 12:26 PM

    Well, I have decided that I will not be buying a ticket to go see this movie.

  7. Linda • March 15, 2012 @ 12:35 PM

    Very sad that horses have been dying on this set and happy that it is being investigated. Actually Luck is not a movie, it is a TV series on HBO and not a very good one. Note also that HBO has cancelled it.

  8. Clare • March 15, 2012 @ 12:39 PM


  9. william • March 15, 2012 @ 12:50 PM

    so i guess not much is going to happen about the three horses death, because the americian humane ass. was present and ok it, plus delayed the release of the information on the poor three horses death. and average human or farmer did the same, all hell would break lose but hbo thats ok.
    this is bull. where were these stars, can’t they speak for the protection of the horses? oh forgot money.

  10. Tim • March 15, 2012 @ 5:14 PM

    likeit1 – it’s a TV show. Read it again people, they’ve cancelled the show. Sounds like the horse did itself in without the help of anyone else. Probably mixing prescription meds and alcohol, lol.

  11. Olive • March 15, 2012 @ 8:20 PM

    likeit1- its actually a HBO tv show.

    This is horrible. I would have investigated after the FIRST horse died. What was even going on there? Those 3 horses didnt deserve dying; they did nothing wrong and it was the fault of whoever maintaned those unsafe enviroments. Im glad the show got cancelled. No other animals should be harmed in that show (or any movie or tv show) ever again

  12. Sasha • March 15, 2012 @ 9:17 PM

    This makes me sick. Horses are NOT meant to run. They get beaten if they do not perform well or run slow. Disgusting. I have never supported this and never will. This is torture.

  13. Tracy • March 15, 2012 @ 9:44 PM

    and how many horses die or are killed everyday that nobody knows about? probably hundreds.

  14. Olive • March 15, 2012 @ 11:43 PM

    ^Because noone gives a damn about those ones cause they arent part of some stupid tv show or movie. But truth is we need to know that animals are living freaking creatures too who also who need to be loved, and like humans hurting them is not something that person or animal desrves. Every animal that is beaten or dies because of abuse is just a horrible way of showing how cruel and horrible some humans are. If people would just realize that…..

  15. Nobody Important • March 16, 2012 @ 1:47 AM

    Tragic, but at least they weren’t unicorns. Three deaths would be devastating to their population.

  16. Steve • March 16, 2012 @ 3:24 AM

    Horses are always dying at racetracks, every day accidental or intentional deaths. This tv series is about gambling at a racetrack. Sure it’s sad that these horses died while performing for human entertainment. But why are people upset that they died for the filming of a tv show yet don’t seem so outraged that they die for the purposes of gambling? I am certain that animals are treated much much better in the tv and film industry compared to the betting industry.

  17. Bizzybody • March 16, 2012 @ 4:34 AM

    The horses used were retired horses and they were made to run more than one race in a day. Their hearts gave out from being overworked. Poor souls.

  18. Missy • March 16, 2012 @ 9:41 AM

    I watch the Canadian show Heartland every week. It’s about a horse ranch and a girl who trains horses, so the horses are used in a lot of scenes. It’s been on for at least five years and there has never been a horse death on that show, so if in less than 2 seasons, this show managed to kill three, they should have hired better trained people to work with the horses. The last horse that died wasn’t even racing (the first two were though, so Bizzybody has a good point) – this horse was being led out of a stall, it was simple mishandling and they should have hired people who have some knowledge of natural horsemanship, not someone who thinks you just pull on a horse’s head and they’ll go where you want them to go and who a) managed to get a horse so upset that she reared in a stall and b) didn’t know what to do when the horse reared, probably just kept pulling on her. That death and probably all three deaths could have been avoided if HBO had cared about horses.

  19. nadine • March 17, 2012 @ 8:13 AM


  20. jjjones • March 19, 2012 @ 8:28 AM

    I think the blame should be with the handlers. They wouldn’t put these horses in situations that can’t be managed if they were doing their jobs correctly. Why can’t this show use fake horses for dangerours shots like they did in Braveheart. They were pretty realistic and did not take away from the shots and it made me enjoy the scenes more knowing that they weren’t real horses in those scenes.

    I am very disturbed by this news. I cringe whenever I see a horse fall in a show even if they are stunt horses.

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