racing horoughbred Racehorse Fatal Injury Rate Steady in 2012

    According to a March 8 Jockey Club release based on information collected in the Equine Injury Database, fatal injuries in North American Thoroughbred races stayed about the same in 2012 at just under two per 1,000 starts.

The Jockey Club Releases Update from Equine Injury Database

NEW YORK, (Jockey Club) – The Jockey Club today released an updated North American fatality rate for Thoroughbreds that includes four years’ worth of data collected in the Equine Injury Database, the North American database for racing injuries.

Based on an analysis of 1,532,418 starts collected during the four-year period January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2012, the prevalence of race-related fatal injury was 1.92 per 1,000 starts. For individual years, the prevalence of fatal injury per 1,000 starts was 2.00 for 2009, 1.88 for 2010, 1.88 for 2011, and 1.92 for 2012.

“The causes of racing injuries are often very complex and involve multiple factors interacting together over time,” said Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the Equine Injury Database and performed the analysis.

“While the fatality rate has remained fairly static over the course of the past four years, the real significance today is that, with 1.5 million starts in the database, we have now established a baseline and we can begin to analyze the relationships between each of the individual factors. In the future, we will be able to design interventions based on these data and recommend actions that will reduce injuries and fatalities.”

Only injuries that result in fatality within 72 hours or less from the date of race are included in the national figures. It should also be noted that statistics from previous years are sometimes updated due to the addition of tracks or corrections in the EID fatality data originally submitted by participating racetracks.

Parkin’s analysis also found that:

  • There continues to be a reduction in the risk of fatality on synthetic surfaces.
  • The risk of fatality on synthetic surfaces was significantly lower than the risk of fatality on turf surfaces, which was significantly lower than the risk of fatality on dirt surfaces.
  • Female horses were at no greater risk of fatality when racing against males than they are when racing against other females.
  • 2-year-olds were at significantly reduced risk of fatality compared to older horses when racing on dirt.
  • Moving a race off the turf onto dirt or synthetic surfaces does not increase the risk of fatality.

Table 1 contains a four-year summary of statistics from the EID stratified by categories of age, surface type and distance.

The Equine Injury Database contains a suite of reports for racetracks to analyze data collected at their respective facilities. The Jockey Club also maintains a website that enables racetracks to make public their data in a standard, summary fashion at (

Summaries of fatality statistics for a participating track include the year, number of race days, number of starts, age of the horse, distance of the race and the surface on which the incident occurred. A list of racetracks that have signed up to participate in the Equine Injury Database, including those who are now reporting their statistics publicly, can be found at

The Jockey Club, through two of its for-profit subsidiary companies, InCompass and The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc., has underwritten the cost to develop and operate the Equine Injury Database as a service to the industry. By agreement with the participating racetracks, from time to time The Jockey Club may publish certain summary statistics from the Equine Injury Database, but will not provide statistics that identify specific participants, including racetracks, horses or persons.

The Jockey Club Releases 2012 Report of Mares Bred Statistics

NEW YORK, (Jockey Club) – The Jockey Club today released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2012 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through Oct. 14, 2012, The Jockey Club reports that 1,861 stallions covered 35,391 mares in North America during 2012.

The annual statistics include the number of mares reported bred to each stallion and represent approximately 90% of the mares that eventually will be reported as bred in 2012. According to historical trends, The Jockey Club expects to receive RMBs representing an additional 3,500 to 4,500 mares bred during the 2012 breeding season.

The number of stallions declined 3.8% from the 1,935 reported at this time in 2011, and the number of mares bred fell 3.0% from the 36,504 reported at this time last year.

RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2012 are available through the Publications & Resources section of The Jockey Club’s website at

The number of stallions covering 100 or more mares increased from 84 in 2011 to 87 in 2012. These stallions accounted for a greater percentage of the total mares reported bred this year — 31.9% of all mares bred in 2012 versus 30.6% of all mares bred in 2011 as reported at this time last year.

Further book size analysis shows a 1.1% increase in the number of mares bred to stallions with a book size of 100 or more in 2012 when compared to 2011 as reported at this time last year; a 14.4% increase in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 75 and 99; a 4.1% decline in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 50 and 74; an 10.6% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 25 and 49; and an 6.3% decline in mares bred to stallions with a book size fewer than 25.

In 2012, Cape Blanco (IRE) led all stallions with 220 mares bred. Rounding out the top five were Scat Daddy, 217; Kitten’s Joy, 213; Uncle Mo, 211; and Wilburn, 169.

Thoroughbred breeding activity in Kentucky traditionally leads North America. During 2012, Kentucky’s 224 reported stallions covered 15,361 mares, or 43.4% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions declined 2.2% percent against the 15,714 reported at this time last year.

Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2012, only Florida and New York stallions covered more mares in 2012 than in 2011, as reported at this time last year. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces, ranked by number of mares reported bred in 2012 through Oct. 14, 2012:

State/Province 2011 Stallions 2012 Stallions Pct. Change 2011 Mares Bred 2012 Mares Bred Pct. Change
Kentucky 228 224 -1.8 15,714 15,361 -2.2
Florida 116 126 8.6 2,876 3,070 6.7
California 176 166 -5.7 2,446 2,406 -1.6
Louisiana 181 144 -20.4 2,674 2,072 -22.5
New York 51 60 17.6 1,147 1,641 43.1
Ontario 71 66 -7.0 1,396 1,288 -7.7
Pennsylvania 77 74 -3.9 1,188 1,061 -10.7
New Mexico 118 109 -7.6 1,066 983 -7.8
Oklahoma 98 93 -5.1 982 911 -7.2
Indiana 79 74 -6.3 898 865 -3.7

Note: Each incident in which a mare was bred to more than one stallion and appeared on multiple RMBs is counted separately. As such, mares bred totals listed in the table above may differ slightly from counts of distinct mares bred.