2.04 per 1000
On first reading, I thought there was an error in the headline of the press release: “Equine Injury Database Statistic Released by The Jockey Club.” But no, the Jockey Club did release just one statistic, and it is a sobering figure:
Based upon a year’s worth of data beginning November 1, 2008, from 378,864 total starts in Thoroughbred flat races at 73 racetracks … 2.04 fatal injuries were recorded per 1,000 starts.
TJC did not report the actual number of deaths, but the Courier-Journal did the math, coming up with:
… about 773 horse deaths, or an average of nearly 15 fatal injuries a week.
For comparison, the New York Times offers:
In England, for example, the average risk of fatality ranges from 0.8 to 0.9 per 1,000 starts. In Victoria, Australia, studies reported the risk of fatality from 1989 to 2004 at 0.44 per 1,000 starts.
More detailed data, although not track-by-track stats, will be released at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in June.