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TV bosses axe Luck after third horse dies

US horse racing series Luck has been axed by HBO chiefs after a third thoroughbred died during the making of the drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.

The final two episodes of the first season of Luck, which portrays the seedier side of racing, will be shown. But it will not return for the second season that began production last month.

"Accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won't in the future," the channel said.

"Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision."


Retired jockey Gary Stevens, who co-stars in Luck and was in the racehorse film Seabiscuit, tweeted his support to the HBO series, saying: "So bummed. Peace out to all my family in (hash) luck."

The American Humane Association, which oversees animal welfare on Hollywood productions, said that in light of the three deaths "this is arguably the best decision HBO could have made".

The group said it would work with HBO to ensure that horses used on Luck were "retired properly".

On Tuesday, a horse was being led to a stable by a groom when it reared and fell back, suffering a head injury, according to HBO. The horse was put down at the track in Arcadia.

During season-one filming in 2010 and 2011, two horses were hurt during racing scenes and euthanised.