What is the level of risk to horses racing?

21 Jul 14

The British Horseracing Authority is committed to reducing the risk in racing for both horse and jockey. However, as with all sports, including any equestrian activity, there is an inherent risk for the participants.

British Racing is open and transparent about the risks involved. Over the last 15 years, the equine fatality rate in British Racing has fallen by one-third (from 0.3% to 0.2% of runners). In recent years the average number of runners per annum is in excess of 90,000.

Horses are at risk of serious injury throughout their lives, regardless of the type of equestrian activity they participate in, even when turned out in a field, exercising at home or doing what they were bred to do, namely racing on the track. A study by Liverpool University found that 62% of “traumatic injuries” (ranging from grazes to fractures) suffered by a sample of leisure and competition horses occurred when turned out in the field, compared to only 13% during ridden exercise.

In the event of an incident on a racecourse:

Any horse affected will receive immediate attention and treatment from the racecourse veterinary team.

Qualified paramedics and doctors are also on hand in the case of any incident involving a jockey.

If necessary, horses and riders will be transported from the course to receive further treatment at the most appropriate equine hospital or Accident & Emergency hospital.

More information about what British Racing does for our equine participants: www.thehorsecomesfirst.com