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Racehorse safety summit comes to Kentucky

Uncle Leo is comforted after an injury at the 2016 Preakness Stakes
Associated Press
Uncle Leo is comforted after an injury at the 2016 Preakness Stakes

The long-term health of thoroughbred racehorses is the topic of discussion at a day-long summit held Tuesday at Kroger Field on UK's campus.

The 11th Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit brought equine experts from around the world to the Commonwealth to talk about recent changes in the industry and how those changes have impacted the sport.

Dr. Tim Parkin, Professor of Epidemiology at Bristol Veterinary School explained the new Equine Injury Database. One point he homed in on, the correlation of track surfaces to catastrophic injuries.

“If you're racing on dirt, you're about 1.5 to 1.55 times more likely to end up with a fatal injury than if you're racing on synthetic. So that's what this means. The odds of fatal injury. If you're on off dirt, then the risk goes up slightly great, slightly more.” Parking elaborated, “In other words, anything that's not fast, dirt so affected by the weather primarily. And if you're racing on turf, then the odds is about.40% greater, 1.4 times greater than if you're rating on synthetic.”

The Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit is underwritten and coordinated by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and co-hosted by the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and The Jockey Club.

Karyn Czar joined the WUKY News team July 1, 2013, but she's no stranger to radio.