NYRA Equine Injury Rate Remains Below National Average

The fatality rate at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course in 2015 was 1.1 per 1,000 starts.

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For a third consecutive year, the number of catastrophic equine injuries at New York Racing Association (NYRA) tracks remained continued below the national average, reported March 22 by The Jockey Club.

The fatality rate at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, Belmont Park in Elmont, and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, in 2015 was 1.1 per 1,000 starts. The national average in 2015 was 1.62 fatalities per 1,000 starts.

Since 2013, under the direction of a new reorganization Board of Directors and a new executive management team led by President and CEO Christopher K. Kay, NYRA has implemented a number of proactive safety initiatives, including the creation of its first safety steward, a "Horse Watch" detail, 24/7 horse security coverage, workout requirements, out-of-competition testing, and inspections of trainers’ barns and veterinarians’ vehicles for unauthorized substances. Safety protocol implementation was led by Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice-president of racing operations, and in cooperation with Rick Violette, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

In 2012, prior to the reorganization of the Board of Directors by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the implementation of the current management team, NYRA’s catastrophic injury rate was 2.2 per 1,000 starts

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