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HBO’s Cancelled ‘Luck’ Season After Third Horse Dies

03/15/2012 03:56 PM ET

HBO Luck - After a third horse used in the filming of the HBO series ‘Luck’, producers had originally announced they would take an indefinite time off while an investigation was completed, now the show has been canceled all together and will not finish filming its second season.

The series that had just premiered this past January follows, Chester “Ace” Bernstein, played by Dustin Hoffman, a lifelong mobster, just released from prison after three years, who tries to cease control of the Santa Anita Horse Track and seek revenge against those who were responsible for his imprisonment.

After garnering high ratings a second 10 episode season was ordered by HBO.

However, during the filming of the 1st season the show came under fire by PETA after two horses had to be euthanized due to stumbling and suffering devastating fractures during short racing segments.

Afterwards, The American Humane Association, said, “the horses were checked immediately afterwards by the onsite veterinarians and in each case a severe fracture deemed the condition inoperable.” HBO announced new precautions it would take with each of the 50 horses it used for the show.

However during shooting of the second season on Tuesday, a third horse on set that was away from filming, reared up and fell over striking its head on the ground and breaking its neck.

Once again PETA targeted HBO and said on its web site, “Perhaps if producers had considered the proved safety protocols that we would have suggested, these horses would still be alive.”

HBO released a statement on the issue Wednesday which read; “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 maintained 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.”

The statement went on to explain the decision to cancel. “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 remainder of season one will air as scheduled.

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