Nearly 40 racetracks across the country are participating in a new system for compiling injury statistics that may eventually be used to make racing safer for horses.
After a horse is injured at a participating track, the racetrack veterinarian will complete a standard reporting form detailing the type of injury, track surface conditions, the site of the injury along the course and other factors. Information from the forms will be entered into a central database, which will be used to create composite statistics.
"Most racetracks have been keeping information on racing injuries for years but using different systems," says Mary Scollay, DVM, who developed the injury report form. "This just changes the way they record their information."
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, which coordinated the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in 2006, is expected to review the reports. In addition, says Scollay, statisticians and epidemiologists may help analyze the data to identify injury risk factors.
This article originally appeared in the September 2007 issue of EQUUS magazine.