A lawsuit filed against HBO for the mistreatment of horses on the show has been dismissed by the show's head trainer, The New York Daily News reports.
American Humane Association staff member, Barbara Case, asserted in the suit that the horses used on the show drugged and abused. "It appears to be a desperate attempt to squeeze money out of the producers. It's sad," Matthew Chew - the head trainer - said after the suit filed in Los Angeles claimed that the horses were sick, underweight and "often drugged to perform." Chew added, "The horses were never drugged to perform. She's lying. We were drug-tested 100 times, randomly. Not one of the tests came back bad. She called as a friend," Chew told The News. "The part that strikes me as funny is that she never expressed any concerns to me." He admitted the horses were given anti-inflammatory medication after they exerted themselves, but he said it was an industry-standard measure for the comfort and protection of the animals.
The show was cancelled on March 14, 2012, soon after a third horse died during production, although the suit also claims that number was actually 4. The first season's remaining episodes continued to air and the complete series was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 27, 2012. "There are allegations, and there are facts. There were three AHA reps and two vets, all very qualified, checking these horses every day," Chew said. "This show was just very unlucky. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I understand why it was canceled."