GOOD NEWS ABOUT RACETRAC K INJURIES
The number of fatal injuries sustained by Thoroughbreds at American racetracks continues to decline, according to The Jockey Club.
The latest statistics from the organization’s Equine Injury Database (EID) show a 14 percent drop in fatal injuries to Thoroughbred racehorses from 2014 to 2015. Fatal injuries are defined as those that cause the death of a horse within 72 hours of a race.
Data from more than 90 racetracks across the country shows that the fatal injury rate among racehorses in 2015 was 1.62 per 1,000, down from a ratio of 1.89 per 1,000 starts recorded in 2014. This marks the lowest overall fatal injury rate since 2009, the first year the statistics were collected. Decreases in fatal injuries were seen regardless of track surface, distance raced and age of the horses.
Do these statistics mean that racing has become safer for horses? No one knows for sure, says Tim Parkin, BVSc, PhD, a veterinarian and epidemiologist at the University of Glasgow who serves as a consultant for the EID.
“The drop from 2014 to 2015 was far greater than a statistical blip and cannot be explained by differences in reporting from different tracks being in or out of EID reporting,” Parkin says. “Many different factors will have contributed to this drop, some of which we have identified as previous risk factors.”
Parkin provided an update on the database at the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s