California Reports Fewer Racing Fatalities During 2008 Season

According to the California Horse Racing Board’s (CHRB) annual report, there were 10 fewer racing fatalities during the 2008 racing season than the previous year.

The report stated: "Fatalities are still categorized into one of three activities: racing, training, or other. Of the 306 fatalities between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, 137 were related to racing and 94 were related to training; other totaled 75."

In comparison, there were 147 race-related fatalities and 97 fatalities from training incidents reported during the period from Nov. 10, 2006 to Nov. 16, 2007. However, there were fewer (301) total fatalities reported for that time period, according to the 2007 CHRB’s annual report.

The 2008 report explains: "Approximately 80% of all fatalities are related to the musculoskeletal system, which has been the case since the postmortem program began, with very little variation. Thoroughbreds sustain the most fatal racing and training injuries, followed by Quarter Horses; Standardbreds race with two legs on the ground at all times and subsequently sustain fewer life-threatening injuries."

The majority of the fatalities listed as "other" were attributed to cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, neurological, or respiratory problems.

One of the major differences between the 2007 and 2008 season was the state’s mandated installation of synthetic racing surfaces at all racetracks.

About the Author

Chad Mendell

Chad Mendell is the former Managing Editor for .

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