Horse Racing

HISA Issues Churchill Downs . Update

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Update: June 1, 2023 at 5:26 pm

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After 12 horses were seriously injured at Churchill Downs in the past five weeks, forcing the Louisville racetrack to announced new safety initiatives on Thursday, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) released an update on the situation. The full HISA statement appears below:

Over the past few days, the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has taken steps to better understand the circumstances surrounding the recent series of horse deaths at Churchill Downs with the hope that We look forward to working with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and Churchill Downs to reduce the additional risk to horses and riders competing at Churchill Downs in the future.

On Tuesday, May 30, HISA convened a Veterinary Summit with partners at Churchill Downs and KHRC to scrutinize all available veterinary information and conduct additional analysis. Those discussions continued until yesterday with ongoing engagement among veterinary groups. Specifically, the Summit included a powerful discussion of three different intervention points related to racing injuries: 1) managing injuries, 2) preventing at-risk horses from participating in racing through monitoring veterinary medicine and 3) prevent horses from entering at risk.

The dialogue was productive, and the conclusions from the Summit were shared directly with key stakeholders to inform next steps. Although no clear or specific pattern has emerged, HISA welcomes Churchill Downs’ efforts announced earlier today to reduce the risk of equine mortality and is taking measures Add later:

  1. Effective for Saturday entries, HISA’s Horse Welfare and Safety Director will conduct an additional layer of post-entry screening. HISA Rule 2142 (Race Health Assessment) requires post-entry screening of previous Pre-Race test results for Entered Horses to identify Horses that may be at high risk of injury than. Evaluation included past performances, training breaks (more than 60 days without a Timed Workout or Race), medical history in the past 30 days, diagnosis of prior injury and limping, corticosteroid injections intra-articular, previous surgery and other individual risk factors of the Horse.
  2. HISA directed the Equine Welfare and Integrity Unit (HIWU) to collect blood and fur samples from all Covered Horse-related deaths. Results from such collections will be used to aid in the investigation of the causes of such deaths. Data collected by HIWU regarding Insured Horse deaths will also be used to track relevant statistics and trends related to deaths.
  3. HISA has appointed Dr Alina Vale, an equine forensic expert, to conduct an additional thorough review of all autopsies performed on Covered Horses. Vale conducted a number of post-mortem assessments as an official veterinarian of the California Horse Racing Board, including participating in the review following a series of equine deaths. in Santa Anita in 2019.

Additionally, Dennis Moore began analyzing Churchill Downs racing and training surfaces yesterday. That review is ongoing; Moore’s conclusions will be shared publicly once his review is complete.

HISA continues to urgently seek additional answers to better define the causes of these recent deaths as well as tangible interventions to prevent them in the future. All options remain on the table and HISA will continue to carefully monitor events at Churchill Downs going forward.

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This story was posted in Top News and tagged Churchill Downs, Dennis Moore, dead horse, horse death, horse safety, horse safety and welfare, HE, Horseracing’s Safety and Integrity Authority, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, safety measures, veterinary summit.


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