Posted: Oct. 31, 2020
The Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities has introduced two brochures specifically designed to inform horsemen about the initiative. All seven states in the Mid Atlantic—Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia—endorsed the Strategic Plan in 2019, and stakeholders, including regulators, racetrack management and horsemen’s groups, have been working together to implement rules and best practices to improve the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing.
The first brochure provides an overview of the Strategic Plan and the components that impact the day-to-day business of training horses. Over the past 18 months, a number of regulatory and policy changes have been implemented in the Mid-Atlantic on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, intra-articular joint injections, bisphosphonates and thyroid supplements.
There are protocols governing shock wave therapy, horses returning to the races after extended layoffs, and the transfer of joint injection and health records for claimed horses, which have been adopted or are in the process of being adopted across the region. This brochure will give horsemen an outline of the changes, and assist in compliance with current regulations.
The second brochure is focused on risk factors that increase the possibility of fatal injury. Utilizing information collected from the Equine Injury Database, Dr. Tim Parkin, a renowned epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, has analyzed the data and identified more than 20 factors associated with increased risk for fatal musculoskeletal injury in the Thoroughbred racehorse, including those specific to the Mid-Atlantic region. These factors can be used as a guide to assess each horse, and to create care and training regimens tailored to the individual horse that will best protect it from injury.
The brochures are living documents that will be modified as new information is developed and new best practices, policies and regulations are implemented.