The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will almost triple the number of veterinarians it has on a typical race day to assist with the two biggest programs of the year May 6-7 at Churchill Downs.
Equine Injury Database statistics show the rate of fatal injuries in Thoroughbred races dropped 14% in 2015 from the previous year. The overall rate is the lowest since the stats were first reported in 2009.
Breeders' Cup has again expanded its welfare, safety, and integrity protocol for this year's World Championships, with a big assist from host track Keeneland.
Dr. Mick Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, was on hand at Keeneland the weekend of Oct. 10-11 to review testing and measuring procedures to ensure the safety of the dirt track.
Breeders' Cup June 1 said it has extended its out-of-competition drug testing program to include the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, which offers winners automatic berths in the World Championships.
A May 6 vote to change the recommended testing threshold for the anti-bleeding medication furosemide when it is administered 24 hours before a race triggered another debate and posed more questions.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International kicked off its 2015 convention April 21 with an emphasis on identifying at-risk racehorses and equine welfare issues.
The people and horses who make Kentucky home for the winter racing season continued to make a good go of it, and this year has been particularly positive from a business standpoint.
Three regulatory veterinarians said Jan. 12 they support recent action by the Association of Racing Commissioners International to adopt a model rule on compounded drugs used in horse racing.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission necropsy program is continuing to provide evidence that many racehorses that suffer catastrophic injuries often have pre-existing conditions that lead to breakdowns.
A panel discussion during the first day of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit yielded no consensus on possible reasons for declines in average starts per horse and average field sizes over the past five decades.
As the North American Thoroughbred industry continues its quest to lower the catastrophic breakdown rate, it is actively pushing the need to identify at-risk racehorses, even if the effort makes stakeholders uncomfortable.
A discussion on the Thoroughbred racehorse today versus decades ago is on the tentative agenda for the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit scheduled for July 8-9 in Lexington.
Out-of-competition testing on more than 75 horses nominated to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks (both gr. I), as well as other stakes on the May 2-3 cards at Churchill Downs, came back clean.
A horsemen's meeting on upcoming equine medication changes in Kentucky revealed some interesting information: The four months of racing at Turfway Park are the "cleanest" in the state according to drug-testing results.
Regulatory administration of race-day anti-bleeding medication in Kentucky has provided a clearer picture of drug testing and produced added security benefits, officials said.
- By Tom LaMarra
The horse racing industry is taking a closer look at a relaxant that produces optimum results when administered within a few hours of a race. The prevalence of GABA, a supplement, is open to speculation.
A member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said a key piece of information was withheld from commissioners when they voted last year to suspend former chief state steward John Veitch for a year.
Test samples taken from some runners in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) are among those that are now being tested for dermorphin.
An increase in the number of fatal racing injuries in May led Kentucky regulatory veterinarians to devise ways to better identify at-risk horses.
The goal of these vets is to keep a close eye on hopefuls', and then contenders', conditions, catching any lump, misstep, or hint of malaise that could compromise performance ability in the days prior to the big race.
Leading veterinarians and a Hall of Fame jockey will be among those studying the 20 fatal breakdowns of horses racing at Aqueduct Racetrack since December, New York officials announced March 22.
An advisory panel to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has given final approval to regulatory changes that include permitting an owner to void the claim of a horse that tested positive.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will review a regulation that permits tracks to withhold all purses from a day of racing when there is a suspicious post-race test for any horse racing that day.
If the tepid response at an Oct. 10 meeting at Keeneland is any indication, horsemen have little or no opposition to stiffer medication guidelines being considered by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The lack of quick veterinary attention for a filly that suffered a catastrophic breakdown during training at Penn National Sept. 18 could lead to required veterinary care during training hours at racetracks.
An advisory panel to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved a recommendation to prohibit the race-day use of adjunct bleeder medications in the state.
The Kentucky Drug Equine Research Council, citing a need to explore use of corticosteroids in racehorses, agreed Feb. 9 to take bids for research into one of the drugs in the research planning phase.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Feb. 9 offered no timeline for the ongoing probe into Life At Ten's performance in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, though there was public acknowledgment of drug testing.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's Equine Drug Research Council has withdrawn support and funding for one of six projects that it had approved for 2010.
- By Tom LaMarra
An initial analysis of equine injury data released earlier this year shows no statistically significant difference in the risk of fatalities in Thoroughbreds on different racing surfaces, officials said June 28.
InCompass will offer its pre-race veterinary exam software free of charge to all racetracks that agree to share their respective examination data with association and regulatory veterinarians at other tracks.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's summit to be held at the Keeneland sale pavilion June 28-29; will be streamed live on Keeneland's website.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Jockey Club Equine Injury Database has compiled statistics over a 12-month period for 84% of all flat racing in North America, but now comes the process of analyzing the data in an attempt to quantify the results.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International will celebrate its 75th anniversary when its four-day conference on racing and wagering integrity kicks off April 20 at the Lexington Hilton Downtown Hotel and Conference Center.
Now in its 19th year, the American Association of Equine Practitioners' "On Call" program will assist the spring season of live Thoroughbred racing on major television networks. The role of the "On Call" veterinarian is to deliver accurate veterinary information to broadcast and print journalists regarding the health of the equine athlete.
Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, will temporarily serve as chief racing veterinarian in Kentucky with the departure of Dr. Lafe Nichols.
The Governor's Task Force on the Future of Horse Racing hopes to have the framework for a plan to create an equine drug-testing laboratory in Kentucky in place by the end of this year.
Kentucky racing officials said they intend on having regulations for use of anabolic steroids in racehorses in place as quickly as possible, but discussion and research are still needed.
Dr. Patricia Maquis was named senior track veterinarian at Calder Race Course. Dr. Marquis replaces Dr. Mary Scollay who took the position of equine medical director at the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority announced May 19 that Dr. Mary Scollay has been appointed to the new position of equine medical director.
In the wake of two highly publicized catastrophic racetrack injuries since May 2006, questions and opinions regarding the safety of Thoroughbred racehorses have been generated and propagated by fans, the media, and animal rights groups.
- By Tom LaMarra
The number of catastrophic injuries on dirt tracks has gone up while the corresponding number on synthetic surfaces has gone down, according to a revision of a report first given at the March 17 Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.
An authority on drug testing who has worked with the United States Olympic Committee and is now advising the horse racing industry has urged caution on efforts to regulate anabolic steroids.
The second Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, slated for March 17-18 at Keeneland, will be a time of learning new approaches to solving industry issues, as well as continuing the discussion of progress on topics brought up at the first meeting in October 2006.
Participants from the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit announced a second summit is scheduled for March 17-18, 2008, at Keeneland. In addition, members on Sept. 20 provided updates on a variety of summit-inspired initiatives.
A state-imposed quarantine on most horses stabled at Florida's Payson Park Training Center was lifted Friday, Jan. 5, as the recent outbreak of equine herpesvirus-1 continued to abate.
With the equine herpesvirus outbreak (EHV-1) in Florida under control, officials are cautiously optimistic things will return to normal.
Although there are no confirmed cases of the contagious disease equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) at either Florida track, Calder Race Course and Tampa Bay Downs have instituted precautionary measures, including moratoriums on any new horses shipping into their stable areas.
Seven horses at Gulfstream Park's Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla. have tested positive for the equine bacterial disease known as strangles.
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