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UPDATE: Injuries at the Santa Anita Racetrack

November 5, 2019

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) joins the horse racing community in mourning the loss of Mongolian Groom at the Breeders’ Cup Classic this weekend at Santa Anita Park. We invite Diplomates to review the statement released by Breeders’ Cup Ltd. at https://www.breederscup.com/article/statement-breeders-cup-ltd. Additionally, the Breeders’ Cup commitment to equine welfare and safety standards can be found at https://www.breederscup.com/safety.

ACVS continues to support efforts to understand and mitigate the cause of catastrophic injuries like that which occurred this weekend, and acknowledges Diplomates who are developing best practices that lead to injury prevention. ACVS will continue to keep Diplomates informed of future developments.

Original post: September 10, 2019

Dear ACVS Diplomates,

The ACVS Board of Regents would like to acknowledge the cluster of injuries in racehorses at Santa Anita racetrack during this past winter race meeting.  The general trend of racing fatalities in North America as tracked by the Equine Injury Database has been continually declining for years, but it is not always a linear progression.  Focal clusters of increased or decreased incidence occur.  This was the case at Santa Anita this winter.  While the events at Santa Anita are the most publicized, they are only part of an increased focus on racing injuries at American racetracks throughout the country.  The catastrophic injuries at Santa Anita this year are the subject of ongoing investigation into the multifaceted factors that contribute to these events.  The ACVS supports ongoing studies and further investigation into what is contributing to such injuries.  Many of our own Diplomates care for these horses and have a close association with the owners and trainers who are anxious to understand and minimize these injuries of equine athletes.  We have posted a link on our website to an interview of two of our Diplomates who are experts in both injury prevention and medications associated with racehorse injuries.  Dr. Wayne McIlwraith and Dr. Larry Bramlage address many of the factors associated with these injuries, along with potential solutions designed to minimize and prevent further occurrences of this nature.  Our college is fortunate to have many Diplomates who understand and are working towards best practices in this area, and we support and encourage investigations that lead to injury prevention for these amazing athletes.

Interview with Dr. Wayne McIlwraith and Dr. Larry Bramlage