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Emergency Summit Called Following 12 Deaths At Churchill Downs

  • The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) called an emergency veterinary summit today at Churchill Downs.
  • HISA is “deeply concerned by the unusually high number” of horse deaths at Churchill Downs over the last several weeks.
HISA has called for an emergency summit at Churchill Downs after 12 horses died at the track over the past two months.
Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) have announced an emergency summit to be held today at Churchill Downs in the wake of 12 horse deaths at the historic Kentucky race course over the past two months. 

HISA is sending track superintendent Dennis Moore to analyze the racing and training surfaces at Churchill Downs independently. Dr. Jennifer Durenberger, HISA’s Director of Equine Safety and Welfare, will observe the veterinary standards at Churchill Downs, while HISA’s CEO Lisa Lazarus and Racetrack Safety Director Ann McGovern will also be on site.

“We remain deeply concerned by the unusually high number of equine fatalities at Churchill Downs over the last several weeks,” HISA said in a statement. “This summit will convene the Churchill Downs, KHRC, and HISA veterinary teams to thoroughly review all veterinary information available and conduct additional analysis in hopes of better understanding the events surrounding the recent fatalities.”

Seven horses died from racing or training injuries at Churchill Downs leading up to the Kentucky Derby, including two in the undercard on the day of the race. Over the weekend, Lost in Limbo and Kimberly Dream sustained leg injuries at Churchill Downs. They were euthanized, becoming the 11th and 12th horse fatalities at the course over the past several weeks.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is also attending HISA’s emergency veterinary summit. Earlier this month, 16 members of Congress wrote a letter to HISA urging that necropsy results from horses who recently died at Churchill Downs be made public to bring transparency to the sport. 

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