Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for June, 2010

Public Data Ferret On KOMO 1000: Washington State Race Horse Fatalities

by Matt Rosenberg June 2nd, 2010

Today during the weekly Public Data Ferret radio installment on KOMO 1000 news radio Seattle, we talked about a recent report released on race horse fatalities in Washington state. The original Ferret write up of the report is here.

Last year, there were 16 racing-related fatalities among 6,058 starts reported in 815 races on 91 race days at the state’s sole for-profit horse racing facility, Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA.

The audio of today’s radio discussion is here. The transcript follows.

Brian Calvert: “The state has just released an interesting report on racing injuries and deaths, and how to prevent them. Matt Rosenberg of communityforums.org is with us, where you can use their feature, the Public Data Ferret. And Matt, the Public Data Ferret actually came across a report that deals with horse racing injuries.”

Matt Rosenberg: “We did. Everyone loves a day at the horse races, but if you’ve ever seen a horse take a tumble, and the trailer come to haul them away, you’ve gotta wonder if the horse will survive. So, how often do racing-related horse fatalities occur in our state, and how can they be prevented? It turns out that the Washington Horse Racing Commission monitors that, and they’ve recently released their ‘Equine Safety And Health Report for 2009.’ Now, on the upside, more than 997 out of every 1,000 starts by a racehorse last year in Washington state, at our pre-eminent track, Emerald Downs in Auburn, did not result in a fatality. But on the down side, the racing-related fatality rate per 1000 starts at Emerald Downs reached its highest level yet in 2009, of 2.64.”

Nancy Barrick: “And as you look at these figures, what are you seeing as far as the main problems, the biggest risks for these horses?”

Matt Rosenberg: “Well, they say that muscolo-skeletal injuries are really the big thing. Over eight years that they’ve been keeping track of the data, there’ve been 268 race horse fatalities in Washington state, and seven out of every ten have been caused by injuries to the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and bones.”

Brian Calvert: “So Matt, did the report also issue some recommendations perhaps , to prevent these serious injuries or the deaths to the racehorses?”