EQUUS - - Medicalfro­nt -

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

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