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Report Finds No Clear Reason for Horse Deaths at Churchill Downs

Report Finds No Clear Reason for Horse Deaths at Churchill Downs

An investigation by the authority overseeing horse racing security couldn’t pinpoint why a dozen horses died at Churchill Downs within the days surrounding the Kentucky Derby, however a report referred to as for racetracks to be extra diligent about floor administration, urged veterinarians and regulators to maintain higher medical information and cautioned trainers to not push their horses too onerous.

The suggestions by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority have been made in a report launched Tuesday that examined the deaths of 12 horses — two on Kentucky Derby Day. In June, Churchill Downs suspended its spring meet to make approach for the authority to research the deaths.

The report comes after the lately concluded Saratoga summer season meet, at which there have been 12 horse fatalities — eight whereas racing — and once more left the game struggling to reassure the general public that racing is protected for its human and equine athletes.

“No one entity or issue can on its own guarantee a meaningful reduction in equine injuries,” the authority’s report stated. The authority, overseen by the Federal Trade Commission, was created by Congress to make sure equity and security within the sport. “Horse racing has reached an ‘all hands-on deck’ moment requiring more than ever a truly unified effort for the horses.”

Dennis Moore, a longtime California observe superintendent and racetrack floor knowledgeable, stated there was no information that prompt the filth or turf tracks at Churchill Downs have been liable for the accidents. The report acknowledges that some trainers complained of rocks on the racetrack. Moore advisable that new tractors and harrows with higher screening gear be employed. That gear is in place for Churchill’s fall assembly, which opens Thursday.

Necropsies and toxicology screens didn’t discover any banned substances or the misuse or overuse of authorized drugs within the 12 horses. The coach Saffie Joseph Jr. was suspended by Churchill Downs within the days earlier than the Derby after two of his horses collapsed after racing. The racetrack subsequently rescinded the suspension.

The report clears Joseph and stated the coach offered complete medical information.

The report stated Kentucky regulators, in addition to the business at giant, must replace their insurance policies, acquire extra information and report it in a timelier method to “fully harness its predictive value for mitigating injury risks and informing rulemaking.” In Kentucky, for instance, necropsies are carried out solely on horses which might be fatally injured in races. Horses that die throughout coaching aren’t examined. The report requires necropsies in all deaths.

And California’s Veterinary Medical Board lately positioned a veterinarian on probation for 4 years for prescribing medicine with out performing exams and creating incomplete information. The veterinarian, Dr. Vincent Baker, has handled horses skilled by Bob Baffert, together with Medina Spirit, the horse that received the 2021 Kentucky Derby however was disqualified after testing constructive for a prohibited substance.

Dr. Susan Stover, who heads the authority’s security committee, studied the coaching routine of the horses that died and in contrast them to a management group of comparable ages. She discovered that they’d extra races per 12 months of their careers than the management group and endured extra high-speed work. Both components result in “repetitive, overuse (fatigue) injuries in racehorses.”

Stover wrote that frequent onerous train with out time for restoration contributes to emphasize fractures that “predispose horses to catastrophic injuries.”

Source web site: www.nytimes.com