Returning to an in-person format for the primary time since 2018, the tenth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, held Wednesday within the Keeneland gross sales pavilion in Lexington, Ky., featured a variety of shows on the progress of the racing trade to advertise the well being of its equine and human athletes whereas specializing in the importance of information in facilitating these positive aspects.

The summit was co-hosted by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and open to the general public. It was emceed by Annise Montplaisir, equine schooling coordinator of the Kentucky Equine Education Project Foundation and president of Amplify Horse Racing.

A video replay of the summit, which was livestreamed, shall be posted on the Grayson web site subsequent week.

“The information shared at this year’s Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit demonstrates how the Thoroughbred industry can come together to make meaningful positive changes,” mentioned Jamie Haydon, president of Grayson. “It is clear that collecting and utilizing comprehensive data is key to maximizing the safety of our human and equine athletes. We are thankful to Keeneland for enabling us to host this event and to our speakers for sharing their wealth of knowledge for the benefit of our industry.”

Dr. Tim Parkin, head of Bristol Veterinary School, kicked off shows with an replace on the Equine Injury Database (EID). He reviewed findings from the database because it started gathering knowledge in 2009, together with a 31.5% drop within the fee of fatalities. He mentioned the spike in 2-year-old fatalities in 2020, hypothesizing that this pattern might have been brought on by disruptions in coaching on the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parkin additionally in contrast adjustments in danger for horses who compete on a number of surfaces versus those that race on one floor. Furthermore, he identified that sudden deaths have grow to be a bigger proportion of all fatalities for the reason that introduction of the EID because the reducing fee of musculoskeletal accidents has outpaced the decline in sudden dying charges.

Building off of the knowledge in Parkin’s presentation, Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital offered on the significance of coaching 2-year-olds. According to Bramlage, bones are dynamic organs that strengthen and rework in response to train.

“Bone trains to the level of work, not the amount. The cardiovascular system trains to the amount of work,” Bramlage mentioned. “The limiting system is always the skeleton in the horse.”

Given this information and the aforementioned spike in 2-year-old fatalities in 2020, Bramlage believes that 2-year-olds racing that yr might have been stored in a holding sample when it comes to intense coaching because of the uncertainty of race dates. Consequently, the event of their cardiovascular programs outpaced their skeletal programs.

Dr. Dionne Benson, chief veterinary officer of 1/ST Racing, talked in regards to the adjustments applied at 1/ST tracks following the extremely publicized rash of breakdowns at Santa Anita Park in 2019. Among the protocols are an elevated veterinary presence on the tracks, stricter remedy guidelines throughout racing and coaching, extra monitoring on race day, out-of-competition testing, and required registration of a horse earlier than collaborating in a timed exercise. Santa Anita just lately accomplished the most secure Winter/Spring meet on report, displaying a 74% enchancment for the reason that spring of 2019.

“We have changed to a culture of safety out there,” Benson mentioned. “There is a conscious effort to put the horse first.”

Dr. Ryan Carpenter, who’s a training surgeon at Equine Medical Center in California, described a program whereby racehorses that endure advanced musculoskeletal accidents on the observe are given the chance to endure surgical procedure to restore their fractures if there’s a favorable prognosis for them to finally grow to be pasture-sound.

Joseph Appelbaum, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, moderated a panel on wearable applied sciences for horses. Valentin Rapin, managing director and co-founder of Arioneo, described his firm’s sensors that horses can put on throughout coaching that observe metrics equivalent to coronary heart fee.

Will Duff Gordon, the chief government officer of Total Performance Data (TPD), talked about his firm’s monitoring expertise and the potential advantages to gamblers. Equibase is at present working with TPD to harness this knowledge and acknowledged the problem of creating this expertise scalable.

“You’re looking for a technology that is attainable, that tradeoff, can every horse produce the same information to help with the welfare and the wagering, but not such that only a few racecourses can adopt it,” mentioned Gordon.

“The last few years have been about acquiring the data, getting onto as many racecourses as possible, having a big enough data set. The present and the future is about mining that data.”

Dr. Scott Palmer, equine medical director of the New York State Gaming Commission, reviewed findings from a case examine utilizing StrideSAFE, a tool that detects abnormalities in a horse’s gait and will have use sooner or later for detecting accidents earlier than seen lameness develops. He sees nice potential within the knowledge from these applied sciences, particularly with the approaching implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), which matches into impact July 1.

“I think that the introduction of HISA is going to make a huge change. They’re already requiring a lot of data, and it seems to me that right now the challenge is going to be to prioritize,” he mentioned. “Having sensors on horses while they train and while they race is going to be important.”

In addition to serving as emcee, Montplaisir moderated a youth panel of people working within the Thoroughbred trade or pursuing a profession within the trade. The group consisted of Hayley Amoss, supervisor, communications & social media, Breeders’ Cup; Hallie Hardy, government director, Horse Country; Dr. Ferrin Peterson, jockey and veterinarian; Eric Resendiz, pupil at Bluegrass Community & Technical College and former Amplify Horse Racing mentee; and Deja Robinson, pre-vet pupil.

There was shared sentiment among the many youth panel that contributors within the Thoroughbred trade should take the time to coach those that are unfamiliar with the trade in order that they develop a constructive impression. They highlighted the impression of connecting with individuals on a private stage, both in individual or by means of social media.

“People want a response that shows empathy,” mentioned Amoss.

The summit included a regulatory panel that was moderated by Dr. Mary Scollay-Ward, government director and chief working officer of the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium. Formerly the equine medical director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, she was joined by Dr. Will Farmer, equine medical director, Churchill Downs Inc.; Dr. Jaclyn Bradley, Prairie Meadows; and Dr. Lynn Hovda, chief fee veterinarian, Minnesota Racing Commission. The group provided their views on the expertise of a regulatory veterinarian, what they’ve realized, and challenges within the function. All agreed on the significance of clear communication with horsemen, homeowners, and different veterinarians throughout jurisdictions.

In a continuation on the work in California, Dr. Mathieu Spriet, professor of diagnostic imaging at University of California, Davis, offered findings from using positron emission tomography (PET) to judge fetlocks. In 2019, California put in a standing PET machine that may scan all 4 limbs in underneath 20 minutes with out using anesthesia. The knowledge demonstrated the efficacy of this expertise for monitoring horses for harm and monitoring therapeutic.

Dr. Jerry Hill, chief medical adviser for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), detailed a method by the BHA to enhance the bodily and psychological wellbeing of jockeys by elevating weights, prioritizing vitamin, and revamping areas on the racetracks which might be devoted to riders on race day.

Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, founding director of the Orthopaedic Research Center at Colorado State University, talked in regards to the historical past of floor testing and the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. Key elements in a secure racetrack are consistency, correct moisture content material, and temperature. With HISA set to enter impact subsequent month, racetracks shall be required to have knowledge protocols and standardized testing strategies in place.

The summit concluded with shows from Chris Dobbins, senior vp of InCompass, and Dr. Stuart Brown, vp of equine security at Keeneland. Dobbins summarized the packages that InCompass presents to tracks to help them in gathering and organizing knowledge that’s used to advertise security and welfare, together with present efforts to facilitate report retaining as soon as HISA goes into impact. Brown reviewed Keeneland’s security protocols and the way InCompass software program offers Brown with necessary knowledge for flagging horses which might be at elevated danger of harm.

The first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit was held in October 2006; subsequent summits had been held in March 2008, June 2010, October 2012, July 2014, July 2015, June 2016, and June 2018. A digital summit collection was held in 2020.

Among the most important accomplishments which have advanced from the earlier 9 summits are the Equine Injury Database; the Jockey Injury Database; the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory; a uniform coach check and examine information; the racing surfaces white paper and publication of instructional bulletins for observe upkeep; the publication of stallion sturdiness statistics; the Hoof: Inside and Out DVD, out there in English and Spanish; protocols for horses working off of the veterinarian’s record; really useful rules that void the declare of horses struggling accidents throughout a race; and inclement climate protocols.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is historically the nation’s main supply of personal funding for equine medical analysis that advantages all breeds of horses. Since 1983, the inspiration has offered greater than $32.1 million to fund 412 tasks at 45 universities in North America and abroad. Additional details about the inspiration is on the market at grayson-jockeyclub.org.

The Jockey Club, based in 1894 and devoted to the development of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In success of its mission, The Jockey Club, instantly or by means of subsidiaries, offers assist and management on a variety of necessary trade initiatives, and it serves the knowledge and expertise wants of homeowners, breeders, media, followers and farms. It based America’s Best Racing (americasbestracing.internet), the broad-based fan growth initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (ownerview.com), the possession useful resource. Additional data is on the market at jockeyclub.com.

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