Data analysis from the Equine Injury Database for the year 2018 resulted in an aggregate fatality rate of 1.68 per 1,000 starts, The Jockey Club announced Friday. Prof. Tim Parkin, veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow and consultant to the EID, concluded that the year-over-year difference from 1.6 fatalities per 1,000 starts was not statistically significant.
From 2009 to 2018, the fatal injury rates were as follows: 2.00, 1.88, 1.88, 1.92, 1.90, 1.89, 1.62, 1.54, 1.61, 1.68. Detailed graphs with statistics grouped by surface, distance and age can be viewed here.
“Analysis of the EID has demonstrated that there are a multitude of factors that contribute to the risk of fatal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses,” said Prof. Parkin. “Moving forward, we should focus on the medications present in horses during racing and training, transparency of veterinary records for all starters and the collection of injury data from morning training hours.”
Two-year-olds had a significantly lower fatal injury rate of 1.28 per 1,000 compared 1.72 per 1,000 for older horses.
Since the EID began in 2009, there has been a 16% drop in all fatal injuries, including an 11% drop in dirt races, 38% decrease in turf races and 17% drop on synthetic tracks.
Since March of 2012, tracks have had the option to voluntarily publish their fatal injury rates–of the 25 self-reporting tracks for 2018, the aggregate rate was 1.51.
On average, the lowest average rate (1.45) was seen among the following tracks that disclose their fatality rates and are accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Safety and Integrity Alliance: Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Indiana Grand Race Course, Keeneland, Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course, Santa Anita Park, Saratoga Race Course, Suffolk Downs, Turfway Park and Woodbine Racetrack.
Since its inception, 109 racetracks have provided data to the EID–tracks hosting approximately 98% of all flat racing cards in 2019 are expected to contribute.