Saturday, May 03, 2014

Derby Day Videos: Health and Safety Updates from Churchill Downs and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

The Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation funds equine research like the surgery at Rood and RIddle Equine Hospital described in this video; its Welfare and Safety of the Racehorsee programs work to keep racehorses safer and healthier during their competitive careers.

It's Derby Day!

It takes a lot of effort and skill to get a horse to the level of racing in the Kentucky Derby. There's luck involved, too. But you can be the best trainer with the best horse, and none of it matters if the racetrack and the industry aren't keeping up with safety and health initiatives that insure your horse has a fair chance.

Churchill Downs is being pro-active about stressing the safety and health reforms it has put into place for this year's race, and for the industry as a whole.

But health and safety start long before the horses step off the van at Churchill Downs. Just ask anyone who has successfully raised a foal and watched it actually race. The odds are not on your side.

To many, The Jockey Club may just sound like the vague governing body of racing, and they do have their fingers in many aspects of racing, but one of the most important aspects that they influence is a large percent of the money that goes to our universities for research into equine lameness and disease.

The Jockey Club does this through the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, a charity that is involved both in directly funding research, and in safety and health initiatives like the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse and Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP), which educate horse professionals about better ways to care for horses or to prevent injury and improve health.

And let's not forget what it's all about, as nicely illustrated by RAM Trucks' 2013commercial for the Derby:

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