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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 16 April, 2014

HBO cancels horse racing series ‘Luck’ after third horse fatality

Drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte ceases production for its second season after latest accident.

Dustin Hoffman at the premiere for the series in LA earlier this year.
Dustin Hoffman at the premiere for the series in LA earlier this year.
Image: Matt Sayles/AP/Press Association Images

AMERICAN CABLE TV company HBO cancelled horse racing series “Luck” last night, a day after a third horse died during the production of the series that starred Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.

The decision was made along with executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann, HBO said in a statement. It followed a call made Tuesday by the American Humane Association to halt filming with horses until a comprehensive investigation into this week’s accident could be completed.

“We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horse racing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures,” HBO said.

“While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future.”

The series looked at racing’s seedier side, with Hoffman playing a crime kingpin who’s scheming to gain control of a racetrack and introduce casino gambling.

During season-one filming in 2010 and 2011, two horses were hurt during racing scenes and euthanised. Tuesday’s death came amid production for Luck’s second season.

“The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers,” Mann and Milch said in the statement. “This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future.”

Two more fatalities at Cheltenham today

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