We don't want to say the cast and crew behind HBO's thoroughbred racing drama 'Luck' are beating a dead horse with this latest news, but, well...that's precisely what they're doing. The production claimed the life of yet a third horse, prompting further calls and outrage from American humane societies who demand production of the series be suspended.

'According to California Horse Racing Board official veterinarian Dr. Gary Beck's inquiry into this third equine death, "I had just examined the horse as part of our routine health and safety procedures prior to work that would be done later on the track. The horse was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground. Fortunately, attending veterinarian Dr. Heidi Agnic was there to administer immediate aid to the injured horse and determined that humane euthanasia was appropriate."

During shooting of the first season of the Michael Mann / David Milch drama series starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, two horses died after they were injured and had to be put down. This prompted a call from The American Humane Association to shut down production, and shooting was only green-lit to resume after new safety procedures were implemented.  Says CHRB Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur of this latest death, “As with all fatalities within CHRB racing enclosures a necropsy will be conducted. Unfortunately, we see several of these injuries in the stable area every year. They are more common than people realize.”

The network had its own response to the drama, stating "An American Humane Association Certified Safety Representative was on the premises when the accident occurred, and as always, all safety precautions were in place. HBO and everyone involved with the production are deeply saddened, and are working in full cooperation with the AHA and the California Horse Racing Board to complete their inquiry."

According to TMZ, filming resumed without little delay after the third horse's death, albeit temporarily without its equine stars.  Reps from PETA also told the celebrity network "All the evidence we have gathered points to sloppy oversight, the use of unfit, injured horses, and disregard for the treatment of race horses."  The humane society even wrote to Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, calling for an inquiry into the production, saying "We will want answers on HBO’s latest casualty. Filming must stop now."

Poor lil' fellers.  Now I'm not one for horse racing, or even watching HBO's 'Luck,' but it definitely sounds like the production is pushing its namesake with the gentle creatures.  What say you?  Should 'Luck' shut down production, or race to the finish, consequences be damned?  Yay, or neigh?  Place your bets in the comments below!