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 during the third Welfare
and Safety of the Racehorse Summit.
The analysis of information contained in the Equine Injury Database looked at
factors that could be associated with fatal breakdowns. The results are strictly
preliminary; in fact, officials said it could take a few more years of data to
even consider a more detailed study.
The EID was launched in November 2008 with 73 participating racetracks, a
number that has grown to 86 that account for about 86% of total flat racing
starts in North America. The initial analysis was based on one year’s worth of
data from November 2008 to November 2009.
Data was collected based on pre-race, racing, training, and non-exercise
The analysis only looked at fatal injuries. Non-fatal injuries probably will
be addressed in the future as more data is collected, officials said.
The analysis of racing surfaces didn’t show a large enough swing in the
number of injuries, though officials said it could be because data is limited.
The number of catastrophic injuries per 1,000 starts was 2.04; by surface the
figures were 1.78 for turf, 1.78 for synthetic, and 2.14 for dirt, which had a
much higher number of starts.