The Jockey Club today released fatality year-over-year statistics comparing 2013 and 2014 and a six-year summary of statistics collected from the Equine Injury Database. The incidence of fatal injury for 2014, 1.89 per 1,000 starts, was slightly less than it was in 2013. In 2013, it was 1.90 per 1,000 starts.
Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the Equine Injury Database, performed the analysis.
“In 2014, the incidence of fatal injury on turf increased 27 percent after showing a 20 percent decrease in the prior year; however, the incidence of fatal injury decreased 3.8 percent on dirt and 1.6 percent on synthetic over 2013,” Parkin said.
The prevalence of race-related fatal injury for the six-year timeframe from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2014, was 1.91 per 1,000 starts. The data was based on analysis of 2,180,443 starts.
Click here for the six-year summary of statistics from the Equine Injury Database by surface, distance and age.
When comparing race distance, shorter races (<6F) saw a slightly higher injury rate versus middle (6F – 8F) and long (>8F) races. This is consistent each year over the six-year span.
Similar to prior years, 2-year-olds continued the trend of the lowest rate of catastrophic injuries. However, unlike four of the previous five years, in 2014, 3-year-olds had a higher rate of catastrophic injuries than horses 4 years old and older.
The statistics include only injuries that resulted in fatalities within 72 hours from the date of the race. Summary statistics are subject to change due to a number of considerations.
A list of racetracks participating in the Equine Injury Database and detailed statistics from those tracks that voluntarily publish their results can be found at http://jockeyclub.com/default.asp?section=Advocacy&area=11.
The Equine Injury Database, conceived at the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, was launched by The Jockey Club in July 2008 and seeks to identify the frequency, types and outcome of racing injuries using a standardized format that generates valid statistics, identify markers for horses at increased risk of injury and serves as a data source for research directed at improving safety and preventing injuries.
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, directly or through subsidiaries, 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. It is the sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best Racing at americasbestracing.net. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.