Dustin Hoffman‘s HBO drama Luck has been axed following the death of a third horse.
Production on the horseracing crime drama was suspended recently after two animals used on the show had to be put down during filming on the second season, sparking protests from animal rights group PETA. The network has now chosen to cancel production after the announcement of another fatality.
A statement reads: “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. Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintain the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horse racing anywhere with 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.”
The third horse death occurred when one of the creatures flipped over backwards, striking its head on the ground. Attending veterinarian Dr Heidi Agnic administered immediate aid to the injured horse and determined that humane euthanasia was the most appropriate course of action.
HBO’s statement finished: “We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses, and everyone involved in its creation.”
Creator Milch and director Mann 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.”
Luck is currently airing in the UK on Saturdays at 10pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK.