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US Jockey Club Project To Identify At-Risk Horses

Friday, 15th June 2012

The US Jockey Club announced "plans to develop a statistics-based system that would notify track officials & regulatory veterinarians when a horse that has been entered in a race is facing a heightened risk of injury" reported bloodhorse.com. Dr Tim Parkin (a noted epidemiologist from the University Of Glasgow who has conducted research & studies on thoroughbreds in the UK & Hong Kong) "is currently developing the protocols, which are based on the US Jockey Club's Equine Injury Database". The project (centered on a "complex analysis of data that included more than 1.5 million race starts to identify risk factors for injury") is expected to be complete in August this year & Dr Parkin noted: "This project provides us with an exciting opportunity to identify the top risk profiles & focus our interventions on the horses that fit those profiles." Using data from the Equine Injury Database, racing officials & regulatory veterinarians "would receive automatic notifications from racing office software tools indicating (based on statistical analysis of patterns in past performances) when a horse presented a heightened risk of injury & needed a closer inspection". Those notices would be sent to regulatory veterinarians & racing office personnel at the racetrack. US Jockey Club president James Gagliano commented: "This development has the potential to be among the most significant advances in the safety of our equine & human athletes. It is only possible because of the excellent participation by racetracks in the Equine Injury Database, which now contains approximately 37,000 injury reports from 86 tracks, representing more than 92% of North American racing days."

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