In The News

Thursday, May 23, 2024


Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit Topics Announced


The 11th Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, scheduled for June 25 in the Longship Room at Kroger Field and livestreamed, will focus on how the industry has achieved a more than 35% decrease in racing fatalities since 2009 and what the sport can do to further increase the safety of its athletes.

Presentations will feature Dr. Tim Parkin discussing the latest statistics from the Equine Injury Database and understanding the associated risk factors, a report based on data collected by The Jockey Club and others on the steps the sport can take to further reduce racing fatalities, and Dr. Sara Langsam sharing insights on the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ next steps regarding wearable technology.

Other sessions include a checklist for aftercare by Dr. Jeff Berk, a discussion on track surfaces by Dr. Mick Peterson, and an update on California’s programs and outcomes since 2019 from Dr. Dionne Benson and trainer Tim Yakteen.

The summit will also offer two panels. The first panel will delve into what we know and what we need to learn about sudden death in racehorses, and the second will be a discussion with equine medical directors and state veterinarians on best practices, why rules work, and the harmonization of pre-race inspections.

In addition, Light Up Racing will provide an update of its efforts “to protect the future of Thoroughbred horse racing through transparency, awareness, community, and accountability.”

Annise Montplaisir, equine education coordinator of the Kentucky Equine Education Project Foundation and president of Amplify Horse Racing, will emcee.

“The agenda for this summit is shaping up to cover precisely what the sport needs to continue its efforts to make racing safer for its equine and human athletes,” said Jamie Haydon, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and deputy executive director of The Jockey Club. “We know this summit will be as informative and productive as those past and are grateful to the University of Kentucky for hosting us.”  

The summit is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please visit

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.

Previous editions of the summit can be viewed on Grayson’s YouTube page and have received nearly 16,000 views. Among the major accomplishments that have evolved from the previous 10 summits are the Equine Injury Database; the Jockey Injury Database; the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory; a uniform trainer test and study guide; the racing surfaces white paper and the publication of educational bulletins for track maintenance; the publication of stallion durability statistics; the Hoof: Inside and Out DVD, available in English and Spanish; protocols for horses working off of the veterinarian’s list; recommended regulations that void the claim of horses suffering injuries during a race; and inclement weather protocols.

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. Since 1940, Grayson has provided nearly $42.3 million to underwrite more than 437 projects at 48 universities. Additional information about the foundation is available at
Contact: Jamie Haydon