It may have scorched the tracks of the racecourse here sometime ago, but it died uncared for on Monday.

An abandoned racehorse, looking very emaciated, strayed into the corridor of the special ward of the Government Hospital here late on Monday, paced about for sometime, collapsed and died.

The carcass lay there till noon on Tuesday, with none taking up the responsibility of removing it, leaving patients to bear the stench that came from the corridor.

Around noon, municipality workers removed it. Though abandoned horses are a common sight in the town and even elsewhere on the hospital’s premises, this was the first time one had entered the special ward and died there, authorities said.

In the absence of an agency to deal with such a situation, telephone calls were made to various departments to help remove the carcass, but in vain. Those contacted passed the buck.

With no protective measure in place, stray horses and dogs have a free run in the hospital.

Animal rights activists wondered when the authorities concerned would wake up to the agony of abandoned racehorses.

Speaking to The Hindu, activist Gita Jayaram said there were about 40 to 50 abandoned racehorses in the custody of ‘ponywallahs’.

When the flow of tourists is good they are used for rides and at other times left to fend for themselves in the town. The animals, once used to pampering by their original owners, are forced to rummage through bins and survive on grass on the roadside.

Having all along been part of a gated community, they are suddenly left to face the risk on roads, including speeding vehicles.

She said most of them did not survive for too long. An abandoned horse dies every week or once in ten days. People are either unaware of this or indifferent to it.

“When we come across badly injured horses, we ensure that they are put to sleep (a euphemism for death by injection),” she added.Ms. Jayaram fervently hoped that those who made money out of horse-racing would set aside something for their retirement or at least ensure that they died with dignity.

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