Racehorse Training, Drug History Needed to Understand Breakdowns
Over the six-month meet at Santa Anita racetrack, in Arcadia, California, 30 Thoroughbred racehorses died or were euthanized due to injuries sustained while training or racing. When the precise reasons for catastrophic racehorse injuries aren’t clear, as is the case at Santa Anita, science—specifically, collections of data—can help. But for that data to be most useful for preventing future injuries, it needs to include comprehensive, accurate medication and training history data, says Prof. Tim Parkin, Sc, BVSc, PhD, DECVPH, MRCVS, veterinarian and epidemiologist at the University of Glasgow and consultant to The Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database (EID).
An epidemiologist is someone who seeks to find the cause of health outcomes and disease in populations. In his EID role Parkin analyzes information on all horses at participating tracks that die or are euthanized as a direct result of injuries sustained while participating in a race and within 72 hours of a race (this includes musculoskeletal injuries, nonmusculoskeletal injuries, and sudden deaths). The database also contains information on training and nonracing fatalities, though those are not included in the EID annual statistics.
We at The Horse were curious about the data the EID is collecting and how the industry could make it even stronger and more useful, so we interviewed Prof.
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