HBO Defends Luck After Two Horses Die

Network says the safety of the animals on the show is of "paramount concern to [them]," following the deaths of two horses during production

By Brandi Fowler Feb 11, 2012 5:55 PMTags
LUCK:  Dennis Farina, Dustin HoffmanGusmano Cesaretti/HBO

HBO is coming to the defense of its racetrack drama following the deaths of two animals on the show.

During the unlucky incidents on the set of Luck in 2010 and 2011, two horses were reportedly injured and subsequently euthanized during the show's production, which drew criticism from animal rights groups like PETA.  

So what did the network have to say about the controversy?

"From the very outset of this project, the safety of the animals was of paramount concern to us," an HBO rep said in a statement to E! News. "Recent assertions of lax attitudes or negligence could not be further from the truth. We partnered early on with American Humane Association, who is the only mandated authority in the industry, and we work very closely with the AHA and racing industry experts to implement safety protocols that go above and beyond typical film and TV industry standards and practices."

"For example, pre-race exams are performed by a California Horse Racing Board certified veterinarian, and radiographs are taken of the legs of all horses being considered for use in any simulated racing sequences," the network rep went on. "Everyone associated with Luck cares deeply about the well-being of the horses who are so much a part of the heart and soul of the production."

The show, which stars Dustin Hoffman, was recently picked up for a second season and is set to start production at the end of February. 

—Reporting by Claudia Cagan