Animal rights activists protested outside of Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley following the death of a horse last week at the track, activists said.

Beautiful Lavender is the 15th racehorse to die this year at Golden Gate Fields. The thoroughbred is the fourth horse to die at the track in about three weeks. Protesters demonstrated at the track this past Friday and Saturday in response to the most recent deaths.

In all of last year 26 racehorses died at Golden Gate Fields.

Deaths are identified as musculoskeletal, non-musculoskeletal or other and the California Horse Racing Board sometimes provides additional details on the cause of death. Beautiful Lavender’s death has been classified as “other” and details on the cause are “pending.”

“Humans can consent to run and risk injury. The horses do not, and when they get injured and can’t run anymore, they are killed,” said Paul Picklesimer, an organizer with Direct Action Everywhere in a statement.

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) held Friday’s protest and plans to hold a protest at the track each time a racehorse dies there.

“Humans can consent to run and risk injury. The horses do not, and when they get injured and can’t run anymore, they are killed.”

Paul Picklesimer, Direct Action Everywhere

DxE wants the cities of Berkeley and Albany, where the track is located, to shut it down.

DxE spokesperson Cassie King said her group is hearing a lot of opposition from the public about horse racing.

“The horses are dying so regularly,” King said.

She would like California to be the first state to ban horse racing, she said. Perhaps Golden Gate Fields could be used for a park or housing instead, she said.

DxE thinks with enough pressure they may be able to shut down the track, King said.

But DxE is tangled in a lawsuit with Golden Gate Fields following previous demonstrations at the track, which may pose a threat to DxE’s goals.

DxE tried to have the case dismissed, and then petitioned for a review by the California Supreme Court, which declined to take up the case.

“The ruling is a threat to social movements because it draws a map for millionaires and billionaires to sue their critics,” DxE attorney Matthew Strugar said.

Beautiful Lavender never competed in any races, which means the horse did not earn any money for its owner, King said. The same is the case with a horse that died in November.

A spokesperson with Golden Gate Fields did not immediately respond to a request for comment.