Wow, can't say we saw that one coming down the track.  It seems HBO's 'Luck' has officially run out, and the third time was the charm.  Perhaps there were too many lucky horseshoes on the set, and they all cancelled one another out. Just one day after yet a third horse died during production of HBO's equine-racing drama 'Luck,' the network has decided to pull the plug on production of the series permanently.

TVLine reports the latest incident took place during production of the second season when a horse reared, flipped over backwards and hit its head on the ground, needing to be humanely euthanized.  Two additional horses had died during filming of the series first season, which continues airing Sunday nights on HBO.

HBO issued a press release on the matter, stating:

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.

Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many 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.

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.

In a separate statement, series creators and executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann said, “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.”

The critically acclaimed Dustin Hoffman series had drawn heavy fire from animal rights group PETA and other humane organizations for the three deaths, going as far as to reach out to the Los Angeles District Attorney for a full investigation and cease to production.  'Luck' airs its eighth of nine episodes this Sunday, March 18.  It is unlikely any of the footage shot for the second season will be utilized in the future.

Pretty dramatic, eh?  I never thought they'd go so far as to scrap the entire series, but when it comes to animal safety, this matter is a horse of a different color.  Okay, that was the last one, I swear.  I wouldn't want to beat a dead horse.

What say you, 'Luck' fans?  Will you miss the show, or is this for the best?  Trot it off, and give us your thoughts in the comments below!