EQUINE NEWS

International researchers and industry leaders meet to explore racing safetyMay 2008




International researchers and thoroughbred owners, trainers and caregivers converged at Woodbine Racetrack, May 13, 2008, to discuss recent research investigating racing safety. These investigations have been funded by the Ontario Racing Commission, Horsemenís Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario, and the E.P. Taylor fund through Equine Guelph. Those directly involved with thoroughbred racing had the unique opportunity to access top researchers including; Drs Wayne Mcllwraith, Colorado State University, Chris Riggs, Hong Kong Jockey Club and from the University of Guelph; Antonio Cruz, Mark Hurtig and Jeff Thomason.

Risk factors associated with injury were examined including; track surfaces, breeding, bone damage and repair, as well as, preventative diagnostic methods. In the United States, there are 1 to 2 fatalities in every 1000 race starts. The rate is slightly lower in Canada. While much work is yet to be done to identify and implement methods to reduce the risk of injury which will require an increase in the level of funding for these type of studies, the racing industry is taking
steps now including:

  1. - The on-track catastrophe reporting system
  2. - The implementation of a death registry
  3. - The regulation of drug use and;
  4. - The investigation of alternative racetrack surfaces

The event, the first of its class in Canada, was organized by Dr. Antonio M. Cruz from the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory of the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph and sponsored by; Bayer Animal Health, Game Ready, the Horsemenís Benevolent and
Protective Association of Ontario, Purina Agribrands and the Woodbine Entertainment Group.