The West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) is investigating the April 19 death of a horse in the receiving barn at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort, in Chester, W.Va.

Officials are looking into the cause of death, any violations that occurred at the time of death, and how reporting and protocol were handled after the death of Slippin’ Around, who was scheduled to run in the ninth race April 19 at Mountaineer.

WVRC executive director Jon Amores said the investigation includes trainer Kathy Jarvis, adding that her handling of the situation would play into "how heavy the hammer would be," if a penalty is assessed. Amores, who said he did not know if a necropsy was conducted on Slippin’ Around, said WVRC investigator Mike Vapner, a retired Wheeling, W.Va. police officer, also will look at the actions of WVRC staff and anyone else involved.

Jarvis had entered Slippin’ Around, a homebred 5-year-old Storm Boot mare for Jeffrey Jarvis’ AFM Stables, in the $5,000 claiming event. The horse died in the receiving barn before the race and, while the WVRC was providing few details, a full investigation has been launched.

"This is graver than most cases but just like any other situation where there’s a potential violation of the rules, we’ve ordered an investigation," Amores said. "Now we’re just in the process of seeing it completed and providing it to the stewards."

Stewards at Mountaineer declined comment and Amores said Vapner would not be able to comment until the investigation was complete.

One aspect of the investigation is focused on the apparent failu