April 10, 2013

Sudden Deaths, Breakdowns and Drugging of Horses: Multiple Problems in Racing

The common element in both news items below is about the use of drugs in horse racing, both legal and illegal ones and the probably impact that seems to be having on overall health of horses. This in turn, affects safety of jockeys and integrity of the sports from a bettor's perspective. The more serious issue is definitely equine health and jockey safety, so without further ado, here are the links.

Sudden Death Spike in California Race Horses in 2012 fiscal year

Another breaking story is the investigation by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) into the incidents of sudden deaths of horses. More detail can be obtained from the Bloodhorse.com report.


Related news in Australia: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/drugs-link-to-horse-deaths-claim/story-e6freuy9-1226152163441 (hat tip to Seabiscuit_AR from pace advantage forums)

Racing in Disarray (NYT headline truncated)
The New York Times had come out with an analysis last year of breakdowns and deaths and other incidents in horse racing, that shows that incident rates in US are double that of the racing in England.

Their data also lists incident rates by track for all the major tracks in US. In comparison, they also note that incident rate in Woodbine tracks (Toronto Canada) are significantly lower.


Interactive Video discussion of the risks for horses and jockeys.

The one angle which has not been covered (and perhaps harder to unconver too) is any kind of story related to the insurance on these horses and the payouts if any.


CHRB's annual report can be downloaded from

C H R B website

New York Racing Comission

Ontario Racing Commission (Canada)

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