In 2006, The (U.S.) Jockey Club and the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation held the first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit. Originally biannual, the summit now takes place yearly, featuring presentations on racetrack health and safety issues involving both horses and the people who work with them.
Held in Lexington, Kentucky, the reach of the summit is limited. It’s attended mostly by local industry participants, and at the recent Round Table on Matters Concerning Racing presented by The Jockey Club, the organization’s executive vice president and executive director, Matt Iuliano, said that 200 people were present in Lexington at this year’s summit in early July, while another 1,500 streamed at least parts of the all-day event.
A handful of publications covered the event, and no doubt more people have since viewed the video archive on the website of The Jockey Club. Still, it seems likely that the presentations have reached only a small percentage of their target audience, the thousands of trainers, owners, and veterinarians across the country, consigning the valuable information presented to an existence in something of a vacuum.
On the other side of the Atlantic, a similar situation exists, with important research on equine injury failing to reach the very people who can use it most.
Thoroughbred Health Network (THN) is hoping to bridge that gap between researchers and practitioners with a Scottish-led collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow.
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