CROSS-POSTED FROM EQUINEWS.COM
Written by Kentucky Equine Research Staff
Source link: http://www.equinews.com/article/fatality-rate-racehorses
After completing four years of data collection through the Equine Injury Database, The Jockey Club has released an updated fatality rate for Thoroughbred racehorses in North America. The figures reflect only racing injuries that result in the horse’s death within 72 hours of a race.
Data collection began on January 1, 2009. An analysis of 1,532,418 starts through December 31, 2012 showed that the rate of race-related fatal injuries was 1.92 per 1,000 starts. Figures for each of the four study years showed that the rate per 1,000 race starts was 2.00 for 2009; 1.88 for 2010; 1.88 for 2011; and 1.92 for 2012.
Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow who serves as a consultant on the Equine Injury Database, made some observations based on analysis of the data. According to Parkin, the risk of fatal injury is lowest for races on synthetic surfaces. Races on dirt have the highest risk, and turf races have a risk level between dirt and synthetic tracks. The risk is no greater for female horses racing against males as opposed to competing against other females, and older horses seem to be at greater risk than two-year-old racehorses.
For tracks participating in the database, submitted information included the number of race days, number of starts, ages of the horses, and race surfaces and distances. It is hoped that further analysis of the data may lead changes that might reduce racing injuries and fatalities. See source >>
This is somewhat useful, but when you have significant amounts of data missing — in this case because reporting is voluntary so who knows what it is omitted, when and by whom — the best you can hope to do is chart trends. This is not to insult Dr. Parkin. He worked with what was at hand. Dirt is no doubt on a racehorse’s limbs and overall constitution. However, one does not need a doctorate to see that.
Speaking of which, our esteemed Jane Allin (who does not hold a doctorate that I know of but has other fine degrees) researched and wrote an excellent series exposing the flaws of U.S. horse racing using her noggin and what is on public record. Thank you Jane. — Editor.
— Horse Racing Reports
Ground Matters: God’s Dirt versus Man-Made Synthetic
— Part 1: Weighing the Controversy
— Part 2: The North American Switch
— Part 3: Synthetics vs Dirt – Pros and Cons
— Part 4: Statistics and Safety – The Facts?
— Part 5: Opposing Forces
— Part 6: Today and Beyond