Study: Male Horses Have Greater Fatal Injury Rate

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The two-day summit, which concludes Tuesday at the Keeneland sales pavilion, features discussions on various safety initiatives under way in the industry, including expanded drug testing, track surface testing and training procedures.

Much of the discussion during the afternoon focused on the influence of money in the sport. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard expressed concern that financial reasons sometimes trump health when it comes to decisions on racing and selling horses.

"If you want a horse nice and shiny and sleak, whether it breaks down when it becomes a 3-year-old doesn't really matter as long as the guy is going home with half a million (dollars) in his pocket," Sheppard said. "Trainers in general tend to be a little bit easier on horses than they were."

Many speakers stressed that no one change is likely to dramatically cut the number of horses that are fatally injured.

"If it was an easy problem to solve, we would have solved it already," said Ashley Hill, assistant professor of epidemiology at Colorado State University.

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