By Tom LaMarra

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee will implement a centralized database for racehorse necropsy information and has recommended all horses that come off the vet’s list be subject to testing based on current medication rules.

Since its inception in 2008, the committee has made about 20 recommendations designed to improve racehorse health and safety.

Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director for The Jockey Club, discussed the new initiatives at the Aug. 9 Round Table conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. They stemmed from the recent Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, at which Kentucky’s necropsy program was discussed, along with the Equine Injury Database.

“Information derived from detailed laboratory analyses of each racing injury is valuable input when reviewing the events and circumstances with connections and stakeholders, to improve safety planning and injury mitigation,” Iuliano said. “To continuously improve the value of this information, the need for a centralized database to standardize the collection, storage, and analysis of pathology data was identified.

“The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee has authorized development of a comprehensive centralized database to meet this important national objective. The committee instructed staff to work closely with veterinary professionals in the design and launch of the database as soon as possible.”

The vet’s list, for racehorses identified as not being fit to race for a period of time, is part of the EID. The database suggests such horses have a greater risk of injury in races.

Iuliano said the committee has recommended that any horse on the vet’s list be “tested pursuant to existing racing medication rules and subject to penalty for violation. In addition, the committee recommends that all medical records, therapeutic treatments, and diagnoses of horses placed on the vet’s list are thoroughly reviewed by regulatory officials before returning to training and competition.”