The Jockey Club today released a North American fatality rate for Thoroughbreds based on a preliminary analysis of data collected over a one-year period in the Equine Injury Database™, the North American database for racing injuries.
The Equine Injury Database, which grew out of a need identified at the first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in Lexington, Ky., in October 2006, was launched in July 2008. It is part of an industry-wide emphasis on the protection of the health and welfare of its equine athletes, and the collection of data is the first step in the process of examining and preventing athletic injuries in the racehorse.
Based upon a year’s worth of data beginning November 1, 2008, from 378,864 total starts in Thoroughbred flat races at 73 racetracks participating in the Equine Injury Database, 2.04 fatal injuries were recorded per 1,000 starts.
The analysis was performed by Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the project.
“Data collected from a broad cross-section of racetracks in the United States and Canada will serve as an important tool for racetracks seeking benchmarks concerning the safety of racehorses,” said Parkin. “Over time, as data continues to be added, the database should yield numerous trends and factors associated with racing injuries and lead to strategies for their prevention.”
Racetracks currently have tools provided by InCompass Solutions Inc. to analyze data collected at their respective facilities. In early April, InCompass will make available an enhanced module that automates selected reports.
“Analysis of data in the Equine Injury Database is ongoing,” explained Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. “Dr. Parkin is scheduled to report additional analysis and insights on the matter at the third Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit on June 28 and 29 at Keeneland.”
The Jockey Club, through two of its for-profit subsidiary companies, InCompass and The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc., has underwritten the cost to develop and operate the database as a service to the industry. By agreement with the participating racetracks, from time to time The Jockey Club may publish certain summary statistics from the Equine Injury Database, but will not provide statistics that identify specific participants, including racetracks, horses or persons.
Eighty-one racetracks and the National Steeplechase Association participate in the Equine Injury Database, representing 86 percent of the flat racing days in North America. A list of racetracks participating in the Equine Injury Database can be found at jockeyclub.com/initiatives.asp.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms, among others.
InCompass is a technology solutions company formed in 2001 to centralize the software applications and systems that serve North American racetracks and simulcast outlets, thereby helping these facilities achieve operational efficiencies, reduce costs and increase revenue.
The Jockey Club Technology Services is a technology company formed in 2002 to maximize the benefits of state-of-the-art communications and data management technology in support of The Jockey Club and its affiliated companies and other customers.