horse racing death statistics

Horse Racing Death Statistics

 

Jockey Club Data

  ‚ÄúOnce a year, the Jockey Club puts out a short press release giving the year‚Äôs number of fatalities and summarizing the fatality rate for dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces. It also discloses the annual injury rate for individual race tracks, if they agree, but only 35 out of 113 North American tracks are willing to disclose even that much.‚ÄĚ (Thorough Bred Racing Commentary)  

  The Jockey Club collects information on 113 American racetracks. The reported rate of thoroughbred fatalities has steadily decreased from 2.00 horse fatalities per 1000 starts in 2009 to 1.53 in 2019. Comparable fatality rates by year:
Thoroughbred Only
Calendar Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate 2.00 1.88 1.88 1.92 1.90 1.89 1.62 1.54 1.61 1.68 1.53
(The Jockey Club)  

  2018 to 2019 Fatal Injury Comparison
Surface Type 2018 to 2019 2009 to 2020
% change in risk of injury p-value % change in risk of injury p-value
Dirt -14.2% 0.04 -24.1% <0.001
Turf +30% >0.05 -19.6% >0.05
Synthetic -24% >0.05 -37% 0.04
TOTAL -23.5%
(The Jockey Club)     The Jockey Club only collects information on injuries that resulted in fatalities within 72 hours from the date of the race, not from animals that otherwise pass away in their stalls or during training. ‚ÄúThe EID statistics are based on injuries that resulted in fatalities within 72 hours from the date of the race. The statistics are for official Thoroughbred races only and exclude steeplechase races. Summary statistics for the EID are subject to change due to a number of considerations, including reporting timeliness.‚ÄĚ (The Jockey Club)       Races on dirt tracks consistently have the highest mortality rates; In 2019, dirt track fatalities were reported in 1.6 per 1000 starts, compared to the 1.56 and 0.93 for turf and synthetic tracks, respectively. 2019 and 10-year average Equine Injuries by Surface
Fatal Injuries Starts Per 1,000 Starts
2019 2009 – 2019 2019 2009 – 2019 2019 2009 – 2019
Turf 87 865 55,878 586,318 1.56 1.48
Dirt 329 5,226 205,882 2,695,039 1.6 1.94
Synthetic 25 484 26,805 408,250 0.93 1.19
TOTAL 441 6,575 288,565 3,689,607 1.53 1.78
(The Jockey Club)  

  Over the ten-year period from 2009 and 2019, the Jockey Club collected information from 3,689,607 starts. 6,375 deaths were reported from these starts. (The Jockey Club)  

  In 2019, the Jockey Club collected information from 288,565 starts and reported 441 deaths from these starts. (The Jockey Club)  

  That amounts to an average of over 8 deaths per week reported to the Jockey Club in 2019. (The Jockey Club)  

  10-year Jockey Club Data for Equine Injuries by Surface
Turf Dirt Synthetic TOTAL
2009 1.94 2.1 1.49 2.00
2010 1.60 2.04 1.21 1.88
2011 1.54 2.07 1.09 1.88
2012 1.74 2.10 1.03 1.92
2013 1.38 2.11 1.22 1.90
2014 1.75 2.02 1.20 1.89
2015 1.22 1.78 1.18 1.62
2016 1.09 1.70 1.14 1.54
2017 1.36 1.74 1.1 1.61
2018 1.20 1.86 1.23 1.68
2019 1.56 1.60 0.93 1.53
2009-2019 1.48 1.94 1.19 1.78
jockey club data (The Jockey Club)     The Jockey Club reports that fatality rates are higher in shorter races. In races under 6 furlongs, the mortality rate is 1.63 per 1000 starts. For races between 6 and 8 furlongs, the rate drops to 1.5 per 1000 starts. For races over 8 furlongs, the rate drops further to 1.47 per 1000. This trend is also present in 10-year averages 2019 and 10-year average Equine Injuries by Distance
Fatal Injuries Starts Per 1,000 Starts
2019 2009 – 2019 2019 2009 – 2019 2019 2009 – 2019
<6F 122 1825 74,620 899,668 1.63 2.03
6F-8F 249 3654 166,403 2,118,695 1.50 1.72
>8F 70 1096 47,542 671,244 1.47 1.63
(The Jockey Club)  

  10-year Jockey Club Data for Equine Injuries by Distance
<6F 6F-8F >8F TOTAL
2009 2.12 1.95 1.98 2.00
2010 2.24 1.79 1.67 1.88
2011 2.16 1.76 1.85 1.88
2012 2.35 1.78 1.8 1.92
2013 2.39 1.86 1.39 1.90
2014 2.26 1.79 1.72 1.89
2015 1.86 1.58 1.43 1.62
2016 1.77 1.46 1.47 1.54
2017 1.66 1.62 1.53 1.61
2018 1.66 1.77 1.38 1.68
2019 1.63 1.50 1.47 1.53
2009-2019 2.03 1.72 1.63 1.78
  jockey club data2 (The Jockey Club)     The Jockey Club reports that fatality rates are lower in horses under 2 years or over 4 years.
Fatal Injuries Starts Per 1,000 Starts
2019 2009 – 2019 2019 2009 – 2019 2019 2009 – 2019
2 years 29 395 24,588 292,446 1.18 1.35
3 years 141 1,896 82,895 1,063,474 1.7 1.78
4+ years 271 4,284 181,082 2,333,687 1.5 1.84
(The Jockey Club)  

  10-year Jockey Club Data for¬† Equine Injuries by Age
2 years 3 years 4+ years TOTAL
2009 1.4 1.97 2.09 2.00
2010 1.49 1.79 1.97 1.88
2011 1.2 1.98 1.92 1.88
2012 1.39 1.85 2.01 1.92
2013 1.63 1.72 2.00 1.90
2014 1.34 2.08 1.87 1.89
2015 1.19 1.5 1.72 1.62
2016 1.32 1.62 1.53 1.54
2017 1.39 1.66 1.62 1.61
2018 1.28 1.61 1.76 1.68
2019 1.18 1.70 1.50 1.53
2009-2019 1.35 1.78 1.84 1.78
  jockey club data3 (The Jockey Club)     Among races reported to the Jockey Club from 2009 to 2019, the most popular race characteristics were: dirt track surface, 6 to 8 furlough length, and horses over 4 years old. jockey club data4

 

Horse Racing Wrongs Data

  944 horse fatalities were reported from public racetracks to the non-profit Horse Racing Wrongs in 2020, a decrease from the 1119 reported deaths in 2019. However, the number of reporting tracks also decreased from 95 to 79. ‚ÄúWhat can we do when the industry won‚Äôt disclose data that‚Äôs relevant to a scandal threatening its very existence? We can look for other data sources. And the most valuable data on North American horse racing fatalities appears on a website called Horse Racing Wrongs. Horse Racing Wrongs is a non-profit founded by animal rights activist Patrick Buttuelo in 2013. It submits freedom of information requests to the state agencies that oversee racing and posts the results on its website. For every year since 2014, the site has published a ‚Äėkill list‚Äô giving the names of horses who died of injuries, along with the date of each injury, the track where it occurred, and an indication of whether it occurred during training or racing.‚ÄĚ (Thoroughbred Racing Commentary)  

  2019 and 2020 Horse Racing Deaths
State Reported Deaths Reporting Tracks Active Tracks Private Tracks
2019   2020  2019  2020 
Arizona 50 19 3 2 5 0
Arkansas 11 19 1 1 1 0
California 135 97 9 5 12 1
Colorado 5 6 1 1 1 1
Delaware 25 14 3 2 4 2
Florida 103 110 5 3 3 93
Georgia 0 2 0 1 2 5
Idaho 2 0 2 0 7 0
Illinois 29 13 3 3 4 0
Indiana 24 31 2 2 2 0
Iowa 17 14 1 1 1 5
Kentucky 59 62 4 5 7 17
Louisiana 62 46 4 4 4 4
Maine 1 0 1 0 1 0
Maryland 38 40 5 3 9 0
Massachusetts 3 0 2 0 1 6
Michigan 1 0 1 0 1 1
Minnesota 13 17 1 2 2 0
Missouri 0 0 0 0 0 1
Montana 0 0 0 0 2 7
Nebraska 4 11 1 1 6 11
Nevada 0 0 0 0 2 0
New Jersey 22 14 3 2 4 0
New Mexico 63 45 5 4 5 3
New York 99 98 9 8 12 0
North Carolina 0 0 0 0 2 0
North Dakota 0 1 0 1 2 4
Ohio 50 56 5 6 7 1
Oklahoma 49 45 3 3 3 9
Oregon 2 4 2 1 5 1
Pennsylvania 120 74 7 6 9 4
South Carolina 1 0 1 0 3 9
Tennessee 0 0 0 0 1 3
Texas 34 24 4 3 4 5
Utah 0 0 0 0 3 14
Virginia 1 5 1 4 6 0
Washington 18 13 1 1 2 7
West Virginia 73 58 2 2 2 0
Wyoming 5 6 3 2 3 0
TOTAL 1119 944 95 79 150 214
      ¬†This averages out to over 18 deaths per week reported to Horse Racing Wrongs. (Horseracing Wrongs)

  ¬†Horse Racing Wrongs has recorded 5,335 deaths from 2016-2020 2017-2020 Horse Racing Deaths
2017 2018 2019 2020 2020 Active Tracks
D T D T D T D T
Arizona 42 2 50 3 50 3 19 2 5
Arkansas 12 1 3 1 11 1 19 1 1
California 104 8 139 8 135 9 97 5 12
Colorado 10 1 9 1 5 1 6 1 1
Delaware 31 2 17 2 25 3 14 2 4
Florida 85 5 96 6 103 5 110 3 3
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2
Idaho 1 1 2 2 2 2 0 0 7
Illinois 27 3 33 3 29 3 13 3 4
Indiana 29 2 30 2 24 2 31 2 2
Iowa 9 1 24 1 17 1 14 1 1
Kentucky 51 6 77 6 59 4 62 5 7
Louisiana 67 4 49 4 62 4 46 4 4
Maine 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1
Maryland 38 3 46 5 38 5 40 3 9
Massachusetts 0 0 6 2 3 2 0 0 1
Michigan 5 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1
Minnesota 19 1 16 1 13 1 17 2 2
Montana 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Nebraska 5 2 7 2 4 1 11 1 6
Nevada 4 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 2
New Jersey 8 3 24 3 22 3 14 2 4
New Mexico 119 4 82 5 63 5 45 4 5
New York 121 10 100 10 99 9 98 8 12
North Carolina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
North Dakota 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 2
Ohio 49 5 52 5 50 5 56 6 7
Oklahoma 42 3 41 3 49 3 45 3 3
Oregon 4 1 11 1 2 2 4 1 5
Pennsylvania 107 6 98 6 120 7 74 6 9
South Carolina 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 3
Tennessee 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Texas 30 4 41 4 34 4 24 3 4
Utah 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Virginia 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 4 6
Washington 18 1 18 1 18 1 13 1 2
West Virginia 92 2 79 2 73 2 58 2 2
Wyoming 11 4 12 2 5 3 6 2 3
TOTAL 1141 89 1167 96 1119 95 944 79 150
(Horseracing Wrongs)

  Horse Racing Wrongs only collects information on-site deaths, but does not have access to records on stall and training deaths or to private facility records. Thus, they estimate that the total number of deaths in 2020 was in excess of 2,000. ‚ÄúThe following racehorses were killed at American tracks in 2020. Please note, however, that these are on-site deaths only ‚Äď the ‚Äúcatastrophically injured‚ÄĚ who were euthanized back at the farm or after being acquired by a rescue are not reflected here. Neither, the horses who perished at the over 200 private training facilities strewn across the land. In addition, some states withheld, or claimed they had no records of, training and/or stall deaths. So, this list ‚Äď roughly 1,000 strong ‚Äď could easily and reasonably be doubled, leaving us well in excess of 2,000 dead horses last year.‚ÄĚ (Horseracing Wrongs)  

  Florida reported the highest number of horse fatalities to Horse Racing Wrongs in 2020, with 110 deaths from all 3 public tracks. Florida also has the highest number of private racetracks, a total of 93. Active U.S. Racetrack List: (Horseracing Wrongs)  

  Horse Racing Wrongs reports that there are at least 214 private tracks and 150 public racetracks. Active U.S. Racetrack List: (Horseracing Wrongs)  

  A study of three thoroughbred jump racing seasons in Australia found the mortality rate was 5.1 fatalities per 1000 horses in jump races, with 0.75 fatalities per 1000 races for hurdles and 14 fatalities per 1000 starts for steeplechases. (National Center for Biotechnology Information)  

 

State Horse Racing Statistics

  Arizona‚Äôs Department of Gaming reported 50 fatalities from 9,081 starts during the 2017-18 season, making for an average fatality rate 3.41 per 1000 starts for afternoon race injuries. (Arizona Department of Gaming)  

¬† Of the 50 reported deaths in Arizona, 31 occurred during afternoon racing, 11 during morning training, and 8 occurred during ‚Äúnon-exercise‚ÄĚ. 42 were thoroughbreds and 8 were quarter horses. There were 27 geldings, 19 fillies/mares, and 4 colts/stallions. (Arizona Department of Gaming)  

  The California Horse Racing Board reported 138 fatalities from 39,317 starts in the 2017-2018 season. 65 of these were associated with racing, a rate of 1.65 deaths per 1,000 starts. (California Horse Racing Board)  

  California reported a rate of 1.54 racing fatalities per 1,000 starts for dirt racetracks, 1.80 for synthetic, and 1.89 for turf. Racing fatalities reported by Arizona and California:
Racing Fatalities per 1,000 starts
Arizona California National (The Jockey Club)
2013-14 2.44 1.78 1.9
2014-15 2.41 1.81 1.89
2015-16 1.62 2.25 1.62
2016-17 1.67 1.79 1.54
2017-18 3.41 1.65 1.61
(Arizona Department of Gaming) (California Horse Racing Board)  

  The Washington Horse Racing Commission reported 19 fatalities from 3,737 starts in 2019. (Washington Horse Racing Commission)  

  Of the 19 fatalities, 7 were associated with racing, 2 were associated with racing but occurred more than 72 hours after a race, 3 were associated with training, and 7 were unrelated to training or racing. (Washington Horse Racing Commission)  

  Washington horse fatalities:
Racing Fatalities Fatalities Per 1,000 Starts Training Fatalities Non-racing Fatalities Total Fatalities
2007 15 2.40 12 8 35
2008 11 1.73 11 14 36
2009 16 2.64 8 10 35
2010 9 1.65 12 10 31
2011 10 2.04 5 9 25
2012 8 1.80 4 8 20
2013 8 1.81 4 4 16
2014 5 1.24 8 4 17
2015 11 2.47 4 5 20
2016 8 1.80 4 3 15
2017 6 1.42 4 8 18
2018 9 2.29 2 7 19
2019 7 1.87 3 6 19
(Washington Horse Racing Commission)  

  The Ohio State Racing Commission reported 41 deaths from racing and training in 2019.¬†
Training AND Racing Deaths Starters
2010 50 60,455
2011 43 56,458
2012 40 55,782
2013 46 56,456
2014 47 67,595
2015 36 73,988
2016 46 76,714
2017 46 78,061
2018 41 76,514
2019 41 76,001
In 2020, New York‚Äôs database of equine breakdowns, deaths, and injuries reported 27 racing, 42 training, and 28 other fatalities (New York State Gaming Commission)  

  In 2018, Kentucky reported 2.39 fatalities per 1,000 starts, 32 of which were musculoskeletal and 4 were not. (Kentucky Horse Racing Commission)  

 

Individual Racetracks

Aqueduct
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 8,353 19 2.27
2010 7,659 17 2.22
2011 7,381 17 2.30
2012 8,005 24 3.00
2013 7,350 13 1.77
2014 7,557 16 2.12
2015 6,742 12 1.78
2016 6,682 7 1.05
2017 6,316 11 1.74
2018 5,750 9 1.57
2019 6,191 5 0.81
2020 4,854 9 1.96
(The Jockey Club)  

  Belmont Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 7,192 14 1.95
2010 6,877 12 1.74
2011 6,702 12 1.79
2012 7,231 13 1.80
2013 7,210 5 0.69
2014 6,740 10 1.48
2015 7,172 5 0.70
2016 6,770 7 1.03
2017 6,651 8 1.20
2018 6,142 6 0.98
2019 5,523 8 1.45
2020 4,268 6 1.41
(The Jockey Club)  

  Colonial Downs
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 3,332 5 1.50
2010 2,893 6 2.07
2011 2,641 4 1.51
2012 2,453 4 1.63
2013 1,817 2 1.10
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019 1,145 0 0.00
2020 435 1 2.30
(The Jockey Club)  

  Del Mar
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 2.945 5 1.70
2010 2,657 5 1.88
2011 2,704 5 1.85
2012 2,842 7 2.46
2013 2,884 2 0.69
2014 3,940 9 2.28
2015 4,500 10 2.22
2016 3,981 12 3.01
2017 4,002 6 1.50
2018 3,812 3 0.79
2019 3,219 2 0.62
2020 3,417 1 0.29
(The Jockey Club)  

  Delaware Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 7,413 15 2.02
2010 7,620 13 1.71
2011 6,703 20 2.98
2012 5,071 14 2.76
2013 4,572 6 1.31
2014 4,258 11 2.58
2015 4,858 12 2.47
2016 4,868 2 0.41
2017 4,801 14 2.92
2018 4,323 7 1.62
2019 4,132 10 2.42
2020 4,068 3 0.74
(The Jockey Club)  

  Ferndale
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 300 1 3.33
2010 288 0 0.00
2011 250 1 4.00
2012 252 0 0.00
2013 229 0 0.00
2014 193 1 5.18
2015 241 1 4.15
2016 256 0 0.00
2017 218 0 0.00
2018 235 0 0.00
2019 166 2 12.05
(The Jockey Club)  

  Finger Lakes
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 11,453 17 1.48
2010 11,167 31 2.78
2011 10,650 27 2.54
2012 10,285 15 1.46
2013 10,392 18 1.73
2014 9,440 13 1.38
2015 9,344 8 0.86
2016 8,863 16 1.81
2017 8,045 12 1.49
2018 7,428 8 1.08
2019 6,613 8 1.21
2020 3,078 2 0.65
(The Jockey Club)  

  Fresno
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 623 0 0.00
2010 523 1 1.91
2011 565 0 0.00
2012 460 4 8.70
2013 449 2 4.45
2014 397 0 0.00
2015 410 0 0.00
2016 366 0 0.00
2017 366 0 0.00
2018 403 0 0.00
2019 358 0 0.00
(The Jockey Club)  

  Golden Gate
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 11,301 15 1.33
2010 10,019 16 1.60
2011 9,478 13 1.37
2012 9,066 12 1.32
2013 9,587 15 1.56
2014 8,721 10 1.15
2015 8,472 11 1.30
2016 8,615 10 1.16
2017 8,233 15 1.82
2018 8,897 10 1.12
2019 9,374 6 0.64
2020 7,304 9 1.23
(The Jockey Club)  

  Gulfstream Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 6,807 20 2.94
2010 7,047 6 0.85
2011 9,248 12 1.30
2012 8,636 12 1.39
2013 10,964 21 1.92
2014 15,104 33 2.18
2015 17,571 20 1.14
2016 17,702 25 1.41
2017 17,393 23 1.32
2018 17,763 25 1.41
2019 17,080 24 1.41
2020 16,867 26 1.54
(The Jockey Club)  

  Hollywood Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 5,621 13 2.31
2010 5,626 11 1.96
2011 5,388 11 2.04
(The Jockey Club)  

  Betfair Hollywood Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2012 5,043 11 2.18
2013 5,237 11 2.10
(The Jockey Club)  

  Hoosier Park (QH)
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 894 2 2.24
2010 855 2 2.34
2011 804 1 1.24
2012 908 0 0.00
(The Jockey Club)  

  Indiana Grand Racing & Casino (TB)
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 4,757 5 1.05
2010 4,749 8 1.68
2011 4,573 10 2.19
2012 4,350 2 0.46
2013 9,355 11 1.18
2014 7,781 10 1.29
2015 8,351 14 1.68
2016 8,014 6 0.75
2017 7,414 6 0.81
2018 7,162 10 1.40
2019 7,266 8 1.10
2020 6,430 9 1.40
(The Jockey Club)  

  Indiana Grand Racing & Casino (QH)
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 746 0 0.00
2010 932 0 0.00
2011 937 1 1.07
2012 923 0 0.00
2013 1,971 4 2.03
2014 1,749 1 0.57
2015 1,934 0 0.00
2016 1,871 0 0.00
2017 1,689 3 1.78
2018 1,809 1 0.55
2019 1,885 3 1.59
2020 1,611 2 1.24
(The Jockey Club)  

  Keeneland
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 2,851 2 0.70
2010 2,755 3 1.09
2011 2,891 4 1.38
2012 2,872 5 1.74
2013 2,988 1 0.33
2014 2,633 2 0.76
2015 2,795 3 1.07
2016 2,710 5 1.85
2017 2,689 5 1.86
2018 2,831 5 1.77
2019 2,807 9 3.21
2020 1,989 1 0.50
(The Jockey Club)  

  Laurel
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 8,585 17 1.98
2010 8,520 21 2.46
2011 7,829 8 1.02
2012 8,452 17 2.01
2013 7,860 25 3.18
2014 7,661 17 2.22
2015 8,266 8 0.97
2016 10,067 18 1.79
2017 11,328 18 1.59
2018 11,734 22 1.87
2019 11,512 14 1.22
2020 8,826 12 1.36
(The Jockey Club)  

  Lone Star Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 5,385 10 1.86
2010 4,686 5 1.07
2011 4,244 10 2.36
2012 4,086 10 2.45
2013 3,820 4 1.05
2014 3,774 7 1.85
2015 3,581 5 1.40
2016 3,582 5 1.40
2017 3,542 4 1.13
2018 3,076 8 2.60
2019 2,772 8 2.89
2020 2,996 5 1.67
(The Jockey Club)  

  Monmouth Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 6,627 12 1.81
2010 7,594 15 1.98
2011 6,549 19 2.90
2012 5,218 8 1.53
2013 5,051 11 2.18
2014 5,048 13 2.58
2015 5,240 8 1.53
2016 4,082 3 0.73
2017 3,634 1 0.28
2018 3,881 6 1.55
2019 4,645 11 2.37
2020 3,687 5 1.36
(The Jockey Club)  

  Oak Tree at Pleasanton
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2014 663 2 3.02
2015 602 3 4.98
2016 989 1 1.01
2017 830 0 0.00
2018 714 0 0.00
(The Jockey Club)  

  Pimlico
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 1,482 3 2.02
2010 1,576 4 2.54
2011 2,264 3 1.33
2012 2,396 4 1.67
2013 2,680 5 1.87
2014 2,686 5 1.86
2015 2,875 7 2.43
2016 2,036 3 1.47
2017 952 0 0.00
2018 860 2 2.33
2019 869 4 4.60
2020 445 1 2.25
(The Jockey Club)  

  Pleasanton
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 990 2 2.02
2010 851 3 3.53
2011 757 2 2.64
2012 705 1 1.42
2013 701 1 1.43
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019 747 1 1.34
2020 874 0 0.00
(The Jockey Club)  

  Portland Meadows
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 4,246 16 3.77
2010 4,788 10 2.09
2011 4,102 4 0.98
2012 4,552 10 2.20
2013 2,493 4 1.60
2014 1,912 1 0.52
2015 2,283 3 1.31
2016 2,644 5 1.89
2017 1,494 2 1.34
2018 2,176 5 2.30
2019 542 1 1.85
(The Jockey Club)  

  Presque Isle Down
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 6,166 8 1.30
2010 6,339 5 0.79
2011 6,609 3 0.45
2012 6,416 5 0.78
2013 6,102 5 0.82
2014 6,658 11 1.94
2015 5,975 6 1.00
2016 5,838 6 1.03
2017 5,895 6 1.02
2018 5,829 2 0.34
(The Jockey Club)  

  Remington Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 5,796 14 2.42
2010 6,482 9 1.39
2011 6,052 12 1.98
2012 5,865 16 2.73
2013 5,441 9 1.65
2014 5,637 7 1.24
2015 5,489 5 0.91
2016 5,167 8 1.55
2017 5,410 12 2.22
2018 5,490 12 2.19
2019 5,259 10 1.90
2020 5,257 6 1.14
(The Jockey Club)  

  Sacramento
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 627 0 0.00
2010 456 0 0.00
2011 445 0 0.00
2012 377 1 2.65
2013 427 2 4.68
2014 303 1 3.30
2015 465 1 2.15
2016 422 1 2.37
2017 409 0 0.00
2018 428 0 0.00
2019 404 0 0.00
(The Jockey Club)  

  Santa Anita
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 5,961 5 0.84
2010 5,237 8 1.53
2011 6,472 19 2.94
2012 6,925 18 2.60
2013 6,847 15 2.19
2014 9,211 21 2.28
2015 8,920 19 2.13
2016 8,836 25 2.83
2017 8,475 20 2.36
2018 8,845 18 2.04
2019 6,650 20 3.01
2020 5,120 6 1.17
(The Jockey Club)  

  Santa Rosa
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 700 4 5.71
2010 952 1 1.05
2011 861 1 1.16
2012 833 0 0.00
2013 729 1 1.37
2014 673 1 1.49
2015 582 1 1.72
2016 593 2 3.37
2017 519 1 1.93
2018 412 1 2.43
2019 332 1 3.01
(The Jockey Club)  

  Saratoga
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 3,072 3 0.98
2010 3,296 5 1.52
2011 3,232 3 0.93
2012 3,433 4 1.17
2013 3,332 5 1.50
2014 3,193 6 1.88
2015 3,384 2 0.59
2016 3,227 5 1.55
2017 3,274 6 1.83
2018 3,095 3 0.97
2019 3,128 4 1.28
2020 2,965 5 1.69
(The Jockey Club)  

  Stockton
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 564 1 1.77
2010 202 0 0.00
2011 185 0 0.00
2012 346 1 2.89
2013 295 1 3.39
2014 284 3 10.56
2015 247 0 0.00
(The Jockey Club)  

  Suffolk Downs
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 7,369 19 2.58
2010 6,726 16 2.38
2011 5,673 13 2.29
2012 5,930 9 1.52
2013 5,214 9 1.73
2014 4,017 6 1.49
2015 281 0 0.00
2016 446 0 0.00
2017 726 0 0.00
2018 850 2 2.35
2019 493 1 2.03
(The Jockey Club)  

  Timonium
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 467 2 4.28
2010 445 3 6.74
2011 399 0 0.00
2012 416 3 7.21
2013 537 3 5.57
2014 401 0 0.00
2015 419 1 2.39
2016 425 2 4.71
2017 483 3 6.21
2018 460 0 0.00
2019 398 1 2.51
(The Jockey Club)  

  Turfway Park
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 8,958 15 1.67
2010 7,038 8 1.14
2011 7,469 8 1.07
2012 6,923 4 0.58
2013 4,412 7 1.59
2014 3,764 4 1.06
2015 4,165 5 1.20
2016 5,219 4 0.77
2017 4,417 4 0.91
2018 4,017 8 1.99
(The Jockey Club)  

  Woodbine
Number of Starts Number of Fatalities Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 14,254 15 1.05
2010 13,627 12 0.88
2011 13,009 12 0.92
2012 12,687 7 0.55
2013 10,937 12 1.10
2014 10,647 12 1.13
2015 10,246 12 1.17
2016 10,482 9 0.86
2017 10,392 6 0.58
2018 10,370 11 1.06
2019 9,920 13 1.31
2020 8,052 11 1.37
(The Jockey Club)  

  Summary Table of Individual Racetrack Statistics+
  Number of Fatalities per 1,000 starts
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Aqueduct 2.27 2.22 2.3 3 1.77 2.12 1.78 1.05 1.74 1.57 0.81 1.96
Belmont Park 1.95 1.74 1.79 1.8 0.69 1.48 0.7 1.03 1.2 0.98 1.45 1.41
Colonial Downs 1.5 2.07 1.51 1.63 1.1 0 2.3
Del Mar 1.7 1.88 1.85 2.46 0.69 2.28 2.22 3.01 1.5 0.79 0.62 0.29
Delaware Park 2.02 1.71 2.98 2.76 1.31 2.58 2.47 0.41 2.92 1.62 2.42 0.74
Ferndale 3.33 0 4 0 0 5.18 4.15 0 0 0 12.05
Finger Lakes 1.48 2.78 2.54 1.46 1.73 1.38 0.86 1.81 1.49 1.08 1.21 0.65
Fresno 0 1.91 0 8.7 4.45 0 0 0 0 0 0
Golden Gate 1.33 1.6 1.37 1.32 1.56 1.15 1.3 1.16 1.82 1.12 0.64 1.23
Gulfstream Park 2.94 0.85 1.3 1.39 1.92 2.18 1.14 1.41 1.32 1.41 1.41 1.54
Hollywood Park 2.31 1.96 2.04
Betfair Hollywood Park –¬† ¬† 2.18 2.1 –¬† –¬† –¬† –¬† –¬†
Hoosier Park (QH) 2.24 2.34 1.24 0 –¬†
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino (TB) 1.05 1.68 2.19 0.46 1.18 1.29 1.68 0.75 0.81 1.4 1.1 1.4
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino (QH) 0 0 1.07 0 2.03 0.57 0 0 1.78 0.55 1.59 1.24
Keeneland 0.7 1.09 1.38 1.74 0.33 0.76 1.07 1.85 1.86 1.77 3.21 0.5
Laurel 1.98 2.46 1.02 2.01 3.18 2.22 0.97 1.79 1.59 1.87 1.22 1.36
Lone Star Park 1.86 1.07 2.36 2.45 1.05 1.85 1.4 1.4 1.13 2.6 2.89 1.67
Monmouth Park 1.81 1.98 2.9 1.53 2.18 2.58 1.53 0.73 0.28 1.55 2.37 1.36
Oak Tree at Pleasanton           3.02 4.98 1.01 0 0    
Pimlico 2.02 2.54 1.33 1.67 1.87 1.86 2.43 1.47 0 2.33 4.6 2.25
Pleasanton 2.02 3.53 2.64 1.42 1.43 1.34 0
Portland Meadows 3.77 2.09 0.98 2.2 1.6 0.52 1.31 1.89 1.34 2.3 1.85  
Presque Isle Down 1.3 0.79 0.45 0.78 0.82 1.94 1 1.03 1.02 0.34    
Remington Park 2.42 1.39 1.98 2.73 1.65 1.24 0.91 1.55 2.22 2.19 1.9 1.14
Sacramento 0 0 0 2.65 4.68 3.3 2.15 2.37 0 0 0  
Santa Anita 0.84 1.53 2.94 2.6 2.19 2.28 2.13 2.83 2.36 2.04 3.01 1.17
Santa Rosa 5.71 1.05 1.16 0 1.37 1.49 1.72 3.37 1.93 2.43 3.01  
Saratoga 0.98 1.52 0.93 1.17 1.5 1.88 0.59 1.55 1.83 0.97 1.28 1.69
Stockton 1.77 0 0 2.89 3.39 10.56 0          
Suffolk Downs 2.58 2.38 2.29 1.52 1.73 1.49 0 0 0 2.35 2.03  
Timonium 4.28 6.74 0 7.21 5.57 0 2.39 4.71 6.21 0 2.51  
Turfway Park 1.67 1.14 1.07 0.58 1.59 1.06 1.2 0.77 0.91 1.99    
Woodbine 1.05 0.88 0.92 0.55 1.1 1.13 1.17 0.86 0.58 1.06 1.31 1.37
(The Jockey Club)  

  Of the 3,152 starts recorded at Churchill Downs in Spring 2019, there were 3 racing fatalities – 1 musculo-skeletal and 2 sudden death – and 3 training fatalities, all musculo-skeletal. (Kentucky Horse Racing Commission)  

 

Horse Racing Industry

According to the American Horse Council Foundation‚Äôs 2017 study, the horse industry directly contributes around $50 billion and 988,394 jobs to America‚Äôs economy and a further $38 billion in direct wages, salaries, and benefits. Overall, the total contribution is estimated to be $122 billion and 1.7 million jobs in the U.S. (American Horse Council)  

  ¬†In Pennsylvania, 1,400 thoroughbred deaths have been recorded since 2010. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)  

  AHC estimates there are 7.2 million horses in the U.S.: 3,141,449 for recreation, 1,227,986 for showing, 1,224,482 for racing, and 537,261 for working. (American Horse Council)  

  AHC estimates the states with the most horses are Texas, California, and Florida, with over seven-, five-, and three-hundred thousand horses respectively. (American Horse Council)  

  AHC estimates the equine industry land use accounts for 32 million acres of owned land and 49 million acres of land leased for horse-related uses. (American Horse Council)  

  According to IBISWorld, the horse racing market has declined in the past five years, mirroring a long-term trend in decline. (IBISWorld)  

  In 2019, $165.5 million was wagered on the Kentucky Derby. (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network)  

  Horse racing in America dates back to 1665, when a racetrack was plotted on Long Island. (Smithsonian Magazine)  

 

Resources

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Racing Commentary Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs Horseracing Wrongs National Center for Biotechnology Information Arizona Department of Gaming Arizona Department of Gaming California Horse Racing Board Arizona Department of Gaming California Horse Racing Board Washington Horse Racing Commission Washington Horse Racing Commission Washington Horse Racing Commission New York State Gaming Commission Kentucky Horse Racing Commission The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club The Jockey Club Kentucky Horse Racing Commission American Horse Council The Philadelphia Inquirer American Horse Council American Horse Council American Horse Council IBISWorld Entertainment and Sports Programming Network Smithsonian Magazine