NewsCovering Kentucky


Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Makes Mortality Reviews Public For First Time

Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 22:39:23-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – For the first time, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is making details about recent horse death’s public.

Commission leaders say they’ve posted mortality reviews to the organization’s website in an effort to be more transport in light of recent scrutiny.

The list of reports that details the deaths of six horses at Kentucky tracks this year  is new.

“We had a bad year with respect to safety in 2018 and we decided that we needed to be more thorough and comprehensive in our review of racing mortalities,” said Dr. Mary Scollay.

Scollay is the Equine Medical Director at the commission. She says the reviews were much more informal in the past. Now the name of the horse, owner and trainer is listed, plus the horse’s history and details of their injuries.

“It is a learning process for us to ask better questions going forward so hopefully we can prevent these injuries,” said Scollay.

Dr. Scollay says there are lessons to be learned from the reports, but there’s no one solution to prevent horse injuries. She says she hopes making the details of the death’s public will help people understand the nuance in these situations.

“Even when several horses sustain the same injury, the circumstances around each horse are unique to that horse,” said Scollay.

She says the sport is under heavy scrutiny lately. 30 horses have died at the Santa Anita track in California this year, sparking concern for the animals. But Scollay says so far this year in Kentucky, horse deaths have decreased compared to 2018.

“We have to respond to public concern. We can’t just say nothing to see here, move along. We have to foster public confidence that we are responsible in our stewardship of these horses,” said Scollay.

She says the commission plans to continue to find new ways to protect horses.

To see the full reviews: click here.