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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Horse Lovers Should Pass This Post By

The NYSRWB has made available their data base of equine deaths reported to them as required by their rules. I knew thoroughbreds were much more fragile than standardbreds, having stopped watching and wagering on the runners because I have seen one breakdown too many in person.  But even I was shocked when I saw the results.

Now before we go into the statistics, the database reports training, racing, and non-racing deaths (non-racing deaths can include finding a horse with a broken leg in a barn in the morning, a horse flipping over and hitting their head on the ground while being washed, being found dead in the stall, illness, colic, and other injuries).
  • Since March 4, 2009, there have been 70 standardbred deaths in New York.
  • Since March 4, 2009, there have been 458 thoroughbred deaths in New York. 
These numbers are certainly ugly if you look at the raw numbers, especially if you look at the database since its inception. However, the numbers would be reduced if you looked only at deaths directly related to training or racing.  Being I would need to do this manually, I couldn't weed those out considering this is basically three years worth of data. 

However, to get a more realistic look, let's look at 2011, the last full year of information available in New York.

  • In 2011, there were roughly 103 thoroughbred deaths directly related to training and racing.*
  • In 2011, there were roughly 10 standardbred deaths directly related to racing.
* - Manually subtracted the non-training and non-racing deaths; may be a little off.

Anti-racing proponents would certainly look at the raw numbers, all deaths (146 and 17).  However, racing would also ignore training deaths and focus on deaths per race.  The key is both sides are wrong when they play with the statistics as they may be manipulated to promote their own agenda.  The public wouldn't care that with standardbreds, if you let the horses run loose in nature, you probably would have as many deaths, if not more.

The problem standardbred racing has is their marketshare is so small, when public opinion is formed, they will look at 103 thoroughbred deaths; the 10 standardbred deaths would be meaningless.  While harness racing needs to tell their story, there remains a good chance if any legislation develops regulating racing, harness racing is going to get lumped in with the runners.       


Now after that bit of news, we can use something which may put a smile on your face.

Dropping a racing day has never been so humorous as it is at Pompano Park.  Dropping Tuesdays starting with April, how do you let your customers know Tuesday is now a dark day?  See how Pompano does it.