In A Bad Summer at Saratoga, Taking Steps To Reduce Equine Injury

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

A few days ago, I got a message from a Twitter follower that I didn’t know was a racing fan. She said that she’d always been a racing fan and that her sister owns horses, and she’d come up from Brooklyn to Saratoga for the races.

She was here on a day on which one of Saratoga’s eight racing fatalities took place, and, understandably, it shook her, profoundly, so much so that she’s not sure that she can watch racing any longer. She was especially distressed by the reaction of the people around her, who seemed more concerned about their wagers than about the horse.

Such sentiments are not uncommon this summer, when the equine deaths currently sit at 17, more than last year, which itself was unusually high. Animal welfare protestors congregate at the track’s entrance; two days ago, I saw a man on a bicycle towing a wagon and placard protesting the deaths.

Though the fatality rate has earned a lot of ink this summer, particularly in local publication, racing’s authorities had been quiet. That has changed, with a press release yesterday and two programs focusing on equine injury and safe retirement.

Continue reading at The Saratogian

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