The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced today that a fourth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will be held Tuesday, October 16, and Wednesday, October 17, 2012, in Lexington, Ky.
Like the three previous summits, held in October 2006, March 2008 and June 2010, the fourth summit will be underwritten and coordinated by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and hosted by Keeneland Association in the sales pavilion.
The two-day workshop will bring together a wide cross-section of the breeding, racing and veterinary communities.
“These conferences have served as a ‘think tank’ for our industry, and several initiatives that have improved the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing, including the Equine Injury Database, grew out of discussions at previous editions of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit,” said Edward L. Bowen, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “We are once again particularly grateful to Keeneland for hosting this important event and for once again producing a live video stream of the open sessions on its website so that anyone with an interest in equine safety can follow the proceedings.”
Bowen said that a formal agenda and additional details about the event will be announced in the near future. “For now, we wanted primarily to get the date out there so people would be aware of it,” he said.
“As traditions go, playing host to the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summits is one of our newer ones here at Keeneland but we are immensely proud of our association with the event,” said Bill Thomason, who will succeed Nick Nicholson as president and chief executive officer of Keeneland Association Inc. in September. “Keeneland strives to improve the Thoroughbred industry in any way it can and these summits certainly do that.”
Among the major accomplishments that have evolved from the previous three summits are the creation and launch of the Equine Injury Database, the first North American database of racing injuries; the creation and launch of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, which provides science-based testing of racing surfaces to enhance safety for horse and rider; the incorporation of proposed safety and welfare recommendations from the first two summits into the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Code of Standards; the production and widespread distribution of an educational DVD on shoeing and hoof care; and the publication of stallion durability statistics.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation’s leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. In 2012, the foundation is allocating $845,646 for 16 research projects that address a broad spectrum of issues, including foal pneumonia, laminitis, vitamin D’s role in immunity, and stem cell therapy.
Since 1983, the foundation has provided approximately $19 million for 287 specific projects at 40 universities. Additional information about the foundation is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org.