Review of Equine Fatalities Continues at Churchill
Findings from a veterinary summit and an analysis of the Churchill Downs racing surface were not released as anticipated May 31 as discussions continue into June 1, according to a statement from the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. Thursday is the Kentucky track's next scheduled day of racing Veterinarians from HISA, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and Churchill Downs are a part of the summit, which is intended to address equine safety there after at least 12 equine fatalities this spring. The fatalities have occurred on the dirt track and turf course, in racing and during training. One accident occurred in the paddock. At least three of the equine fatalities are not breakdowns—the paddock accident and two sudden deaths during or shortly after races on the turf course. HISA officials previously said the current fatality spike, as well as other elevated instances at other tracks that have occurred over the years, are multifactorial in nature and that "everything is on the table" to address the crisis. On Wednesday, West Coast track superintendent Dennis Moore was to provide an independent analysis for HISA of the Churchill Downs surface, following up on earlier analysis from racetrack surface component expert Dr. Mick Peterson, who found the surface consistent with how it had been in his earlier checks. "It is important that the experts take the time they need to independently evaluate all the information available and make their recommendations," the HISA statement read.