Preliminary Study: Racing Surface Has No Effect On Fatality Rates

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Preliminary statistics from a new on-track
injury reporting program showed fatality rates among horses that run on synthetic surfaces are nearly identical to the fatality rates of horses that run on traditional dirt tracks.
The program took information from on-track injuries and fatalities provided by 42 track veterinarians across the country between June 2007 and early 2008.
Synthetic tracks averaged 1.95 deaths per 1,000 starts over the
course of the study, compared with 1.96 deaths per 1,000 starts for
horses that ran on dirt.
Program developer Mary Scollay said more study must be done before the safety benefits of racing on synthetic surfaces can be determined. She added additional evidence suggested racing on synthetic surfaces could lead to a significant drop in fatality rates.
Scollay released her findings at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit at Keeneland, which concluded its two-day meeting
on Tuesday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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