Jockey Club Sets Up Injury Reporting Website

More than a dozen racetracks have committed to publishing their statistics.

The Jockey Club announced March 5 that more than a dozen racetracks have committed to publishing their statistics from the Equine Injury Database through a new website set up by the breed registry.

“The Equine Injury Database recently completed the collection of a third year of data from participating racetracks, representing approximately 93% of the racing days in North America and more than 30,000 records,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “Keeneland, Woodbine, and the California racetracks have made a practice of publishing their injury and/or fatality data. This new website is designed to encourage other racetracks to follow their lead and make public their data in a standard, summary fashion.”

The website will be maintained by The Jockey Club. Summaries of fatality statistics for a particular track will include the month, year, number of race days, number of starts, age and sex of the horse, distance of the race and the surface on which the incident occurred.

Among the tracks that have agreed to have their statistics published are all of the New York Racing Association tracks--Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga--and tracks operated by the Stronach Group--Santa Anita, Golden Gate, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Pimlico, and Portland Meadows.

Other participating tracks are Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park, Remington Park, Turfway Park, and Woodbine.

None of the tracks operated by Churchill Downs, Inc.—Churchill Downs, Calder Casino & Racecourse, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, and Arlington Park—are on the list of tracks that have agreed to have their data published.

A spokesman for Churchill Downs said the track has been involved in the Equine Injury Database and reports its injury data to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. He said the injury statistics are available from the regulatory body.

"Churchill Downs is an active participant in the Equine Injury Database, and has been since its inception," track spokesman John Asher said. "We also provide our injury data to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission , and the information is discussed publicly each month at the KHRC meeting.  Anyone wishing to review the information we disclose can easily obtain it from the KHRC.”

“We are committed to making our racetracks as safe as possible for our human and equine athletes,” Greg Avioli, chief executive officer of the Stronach Entertainment Group, said in the release. “Sharing information through the Equine Injury Database is an important step in the industry’s ongoing effort to better understand the causes of on-track injuries and take necessary steps to reduce these injuries in the future.”

“NYRA devotes considerable resources to the proper maintenance of our racing surfaces, and we believe they are among the safest in the country,” said Charles Hayward, president and chief executive officer of NYRA. “We are happy to provide our data for The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database.”

“We commend the racetracks that will be contributing to this important new website,” said National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance executive director Mike Ziegler. “The collection of equine injury data is essential, and so is transparency with respect to how this data is presented to the public.”

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. A complete list of tracks participating in the Equine Injury Database can be found in the “Safety Initiatives” section of The Jockey Club website.