Kentucky’s Equine Fatality Records Are Missing Something Important: Names

by | 06.04.2019 | 11:02am

As public scrutiny continues to sharpen around racing fatalities, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KyCIR) notes the state's racing commission has an atypical way of responding to public information act requests about equine fatalities there: it redacts the horse's name, age, sex, track name, owner's name, race number and date of death from reports provided to the public.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's deputy general counsel told the KyCIR a state law protects identifying information, as it could “put trainers and owners at a competitive disadvantage.” Officials also cited concerns about the confidentiality required by the veterinary-client-patient relationship as defined in state codes.

A spokeswoman for the Public Protection Cabinet, under which the commission is maintained, said the group would confirm identities of dead horses if specifically asked and that other states also withhold horses' identities.

According to the KyCIR's report, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Illinois release identifying information when requested. New York even maintains an online database with details on each on-track fatality which is freely accessible without filing a request.

Read more at the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

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