The Jockey Club March 31 released the fatality statistics collected from the Equine Injury Database for the five-year period from 2009 to 2013.
The prevalence of race-related fatal injury for the time frame from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2013, was 1.91 per 1,000 starts. The data was based on analysis of 1,871,522 starts. For 2013, the prevalence of fatal injury per 1,000 starts was 1.90. The attached document contains a five-year summary of statistics from the Equine Injury Database by surface, distance and age.
"The analysis shows that although the incidence of fatal injury on dirt and synthetic racing surfaces trended slightly upward in 2013, the incidence of fatal injury declined 20% over turf," said Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the Equine Injury Database and performed the analysis. "Overall, synthetic racing surfaces continued to be associated with significantly fewer fatal injuries than dirt and turf."
When comparing race distance, shorter races saw a slightly higher injury rate versus middle distance and long races. This is consistent each year over the five-year span.
Similar to prior years, in 2013, the injury rate was higher in older horses, with 2-year-olds continuing a five-year trend of the lowest rate of catastrophic injuries.
The statistics include only injuries that resulted in fatalities within 72 hours from the date of the race.
A list of racetracks participating in the Equine Injury Database and detailed statistics from those tracks that voluntarily publish their results can be found here.