The HBO horse racing drama “Luck” has come to an end following the deaths of three horses used in production. Cast and crew were shooting the second season on Tuesday (March 13) when the third horse reared and fell, sustaining a head injury. The animal was euthanized.
Both PETA and the American Humane Association demanded that HBO cease production involving horses, but HBO took it one step further and decided to axe the show entirely — likely because it would be impossible to continue the series without using real animals.
“It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series ‘Luck,'” HBO wrote in a statement.
“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.”
Executive producers Michael Mann and David Milch added, “The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers. This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future.”
The series starred Dustin Hoffman in the lead role as Ace, who becomes involved in the race track when he’s released from a three-year prison stint for his involvement in gambling and organized crime. It premiered to great success on January 29, and was immediately picked up for Season 2.