Horse Racing

Horse Racing

Anne M. Eberhardt

Racehorse Welfare Summit Scheduled Oct 16-17

Welfare & Safety of the Racehorse Summit IV will take place Oct. 16-17 at Keeneland.

A fourth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will be held Oct. 16-17 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, K.Y., the Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced July 24.

Like three previous summits, held in October 2006, March 2008 and June 2010, the fourth summit will be underwritten and coordinated by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and hosted in the Keeneland sales pavilion. The two-day workshop will bring together a wide cross-section of the breeding, racing, and veterinary communities.

A live video stream of the open sessions will also be available on Keeneland's website.

"These conferences have served as a think tank for our industry, and several initiatives that have improved the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing, including the Equine Injury Database, grew out of discussions at previous editions of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit," said Edward L. Bowen, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. "We are once again particularly grateful to Keeneland for hosting this important event."

A formal agenda and additional details about the event will be announced in the near future.

"For now, we wanted primarily to get the date out there so people would be aware of it," Bowen said.

Bill Thomason, who will succeed Nick Nicholson as president and chief executive officer of Keeneland in September, said hosting the Welfare and Safety is a new tradition the Lexington oval is proud to have begun.

"Keeneland strives to improve the Thoroughbred industry in any way it can and these summits certainly do that," Thomason said.

Among major accomplishments that evolved from three previous summits were the creation and launch of the Equine Injury Database, the first North American database of racing injuries; the creation and launch of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, which provides science-based testing of racing surfaces to enhance safety for horses and riders; the incorporation of proposed safety and welfare recommendations from the first two summits into the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Code of Standards; the production and widespread distribution of an educational DVD on shoeing and hoof care; and the publication of stallion durability statistics.