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Following Santa Anita deaths, Keeneland hires safety experts in advance of fall meet

Posted at 12:53 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 12:53:44-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Keeneland announced today that it has hired two safety experts in advance of their fall meet.

Prominent equine practitioner Dr. George Mundy as Equine Safety Director and Jim Pendergest, General Manager of The Thoroughbred Center (TTC) and longtime race track professional, as Director of Racing Surfaces. The two will serve on the Track Management Team.

Dr. Mundy will develop, communicate and enforce safety and integrity policies; review all racing-related accidents with the goal of prevention; assess relevant equine health and safety research; and proactively communicate best practices to the racing community and public.

Pendergast has previously overseen major renovations to the track. He will continue as General Manager of TTC in addition to his duties as Director of Racing Surfaces.

“Dr. George Mundy and Jim Pendergest bring invaluable race track expertise to the Keeneland team, and they reinforce our commitment to the safety and welfare of our horses and riders, which is priority No. 1,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “Keeneland strives to provide the safest racing environment possible, and we hold ourselves to the highest standards. The addition of these two positions enhances our established safety practices and our leadership advocacy for additional reforms.”

The safety of horse racing has been under scrutiny lately as news broke of another horse death at Santa Anita. There have been 32 horse deaths at the California track since December of last year.