Scripps News Investigates


The perils facing young racing horses and a shortage of ambulances | Scripps News Investigates

Scripps News Investigates explores a critical gap in safety for young racehorses, a nationwide shortage of ambulances, and policing practices in Bratenahl, Ohio.
A horse at auction
Posted at 9:35 PM, Apr 26, 2024

Tragedy on the Track

American horse racing has seen a year of high-profile deaths among thoroughbreds suffering catastrophic injuries. These deaths have been especially puzzling since the industry has taken steps in recent years to enhance safety.

But a months-long investigation by Scripps News has discovered an area of vulnerability with young horses: those too young to race but old enough to be sold for millions of dollars.

We found during that early part of a horse's career, the organizations tasked with keeping racehorses safe are, for the most part, absent.

Ambulance Emergency

Imagine needing an ambulance and being told there isn't one available or that the one coming to you broke down and won't make it.

In many cities and towns across America, that's the reality. It's because there's a shortage of ambulances nationwide, and Scripps News found it can take as long as four years to get a new one.

In the meantime, emergency workers are having to rely on old ones, some with hundreds of thousands of miles on them.

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Pulled over in Bratenahl

If you're Black and behind the wheel, you're at risk of being pulled over. That's what locals have been saying for years when they travel through Bratenahl, an old, wealthy village near Cleveland, Ohio.

Our investigative team there has been reporting on this story for more than a year, in partnership with the Marshall Project. What they've uncovered has changed how police in that county work.