HBO’s Luck runs out

HBO is ending further production on drama Luck, one day after the announcement that a third horse involved in the show had been injured and put down.

Luck, which was set in the world of California horse racing and made its debut in January and starred Dustin Hoffman as a recently-released prison convict who returns to his gambling ways.

But production of the series raised questions about the handling of the horses involved with the show, which had recently been filming episodes for a coming second season at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

The American Humane Association and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had called for an inquiry into Luck after a horse flipped and struck its head on Tuesday and was put down at the determination of an veterinarian. Two horses were lost during the production of the first season of Luck.

HBO said: “Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures. While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.”

“We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses, and everyone involved in its creation.”

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