Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Hazards of Being a Racehorse

This factoid in from the NYTimes: Apparently, in U.S. thoroughbred horse racing, 1.5 out of 1,000 starts result in a fatality, meaning that the horse injures himself or herself so badly that they need to be euthanized. Last year in Arlington Park, over a 3.5 month period, 21 horses died. 16 died in Del Mar.

It's a pretty stunning number, and per the same article, is three times higher (in fatalities per 1,000 starts) than in Europe. Supposedly this discrepency is because in the U.S. the emphasis is so heavily on speed in short races, as opposed to the European emphasis on stamina over longer distances and more varied terrain.


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