Welfare and Safety Summit Scheduled for July 8

By Blood-Horse Staff
The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation have announced that the sixth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will be held Wednesday, July 8, in Lexington.

The summit, which brings together a cross-section of the breeding, racing, and veterinary communities, again will be underwritten and coordinated by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and hosted by the Keeneland Association.

The first summit was held in October 2006 followed by March 2008, June 2010, October 2012, and July 2014. In August 2014, The Jockey Club announced that the summit would become an annual event.

"There has been a steady increase of interest in the discussions, initiatives. and the achievements emanating from these summits,” said Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation president Edward Bowen. “We believe that holding the summit every year will help keep the industry focused on initiatives that can and will improve the safety and integrity of our sport.”

The summit will be held in the Keeneland sales pavilion and is open to the public. A live webcast also will be available.

“Hosting this summit is another example of Keeneland’s commitment to the Thoroughbred industry and to the safety of our athletes,” said Keeneland president Bill Thomason.

“We are pleased that this has become an annual event and we are proud to utilize our facility for such a good cause.”

A formal agenda and a list of speakers will be announced at a later date.

Among the major accomplishments that have evolved from the previous four summits are the Equine Injury Database; the Jockey Injury Database; the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, which provides science-based testing of racing surfaces to enhance safety for horse and rider; a uniform trainer test and study guide; the racing surfaces white paper and publication of educational bulleting for track maintenance; the publication of stallion durability statistics; the hoof DVD, available in English and Spanish; a model rule banning toe grabs greater than 2 mm and elimination of all traction devices on front shoes (approved and passed in August 2008); and the movement by state racing commissions to create regulations that void the claim of horses suffering fatalities during a race.