As major news outlets take a critical look at equine safety in the Thoroughbred racing world, PennLive's David Wenner turned his eyes toward Pennsylvania's racing fatality record in a recent report for WITF. The bad news: roughly one horse dies each week at Pennsylvania's racetracks, according to figures provided to the news outlet. The good news: the state's fatality rate is down from previous years, and slightly below the national average.
Pennsylvania made headlines several years ago in connection with an FBI investigation and subsequent race-fixing charges related to illegal medication administration. The state's racing commission says it has made positive changes, such as making its rulings publicly available and searchable, and implementing out-of-competition testing.
But some, like rescue advocate and veterinarian Dr. Kate Papp told WITF there are still changes to be made. For one thing, Pennsylvania condition books still show a problematic unbalance between slots-infused purses and claiming prices. Papp is also convinced trainers and backstretch employees witness cheating but are afraid to testify about it; the remedy may be increased security cameras.
Read more at WITF
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