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Arts and Entertainment

Third Horse Dies on "Luck" Set; PETA is "PISSED" and HBO Halts ALL Production [UPDATED]

Production still from January 2012 from "Luck" (HBO)
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UPDATE 4:20 PM HBO has announced they are pulling the plug completely on "Luck."

A horse injured on the set of HBO's series "Luck" had to be euthanized Tuesday, making the animal the third horse to die during filming of the racetrack-themed drama.

A release issued by HBO and published by Arcadia Patch explains what happened:

California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) official veterinarian Dr. Gary Beck stated, “I had just examined the horse as part of our routine health and safety procedures prior to work that would be done later on the track. The horse was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground. Fortunately, attending veterinarian Dr. Heidi Agnic was there to administer immediate aid to the injured horse and determined that humane euthanasia was appropriate.”
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The on-set death was reported by TMZ, who followed up by noting the production "didn't miss a beat after a horse died on location today -- they just kept on shooting."

Additionally, TMZ reports that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are upset (well, "PISSED" to quote the gossip site) about how the horses are faring on the set of the show, which is shot in Arcadia at the historic Santa Anita racetrack. "All the evidence we have gathered points to sloppy oversight, the use of unfit, injured horses, and disregard for the treatment of race horses," a PETA rep has told TMZ.

Just one day prior to the third horse's death, PETA sent a letter to Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, asking his office "investigate and take appropriate action" in regards to HBO's production of "Luck" and their ability to properly handle the animals used in the show.

Now the American Humane Association, which oversees animal usage in film and television, is taking a deeper look at "Luck," and a necropsy has been ordered on the latest dead horse. "HBO has agreed to suspend all filming involving horses during the investigation," notes KTLA.

HBO assured in their release Tuesday that "[all of their] interactions with the AHA have always included 100% transparency."

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