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Horse Body Found In Landfill, Prompting Questions About Racing Industry

Liz McCormick/ WVPB
A stallion at O’Sullivan Farms in Charles Town, Jefferson County. Founded in 1939, O’Sullivan Farms is the oldest thoroughbred breeding farm in West Virginia.";s:

A former West Virginia horse racing commissioner says photos posted online of a euthanized thoroughbred racing horse surrounded by trash in a landfill should be a wakeup call for state leaders.

Bill Phillips served for years on the commission before being replaced by Gov. Jim Justice in 2017. He told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that the commission is underfunded and understaffed.

The commission's executive director, Joe Moore, said the thoroughbred named Bridget Moloney was catastrophically injured during a September race and couldn't be saved. He said there are no state rules for the disposal of racehorse remains, but Mountaineer Park Racetrack has procedures, and he says they weren't followed in this case.

The commission took no formal action against the track, and a sheriff's investigation ruled out animal cruelty.

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