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Racehorse Fatalities Continue to DeclineBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 3, 2017

For the fourth consecutive year, fatal injuries to Thoroughbred racehorse declined in 2016 in all three primary areas of study—track surface, racehorse age, and race distance—according to the Equine Injury Database, a safety initiative of The Jockey Club.

The rate dropped from 1.62 deaths per 1,000 starts in 2015 to 1.54 deaths per 1,000 starts in 2016. The latest figure is the lowest since the Equine Injury Database began disseminating statistics in 2008.

The Equine Injury Database includes fatalities within 72 hours of the race date and only factors in those Thoroughbreds used for flat racing, not racing over jumps.

Though not mentioned specifically in the report, trainers believe that horses are especially susceptible to injury following a lay-up or convalescence, particularly if stall rest has been prescribed.

Stall confinement is nonnegotiable in some recuperation scenarios, though it is far from ideal for dynamic skeletons. Supplemental nutrition can help combat the negative effects of extended stall confinement. DuraPlex, a product developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), is an effective mineralization supplement complete with a special blend of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.