The power of collaboration for improving racing safety

Dr Peta Lee Hitchens, epidemiologist and Research Fellow in the Equine Orthopaedic Research Group at the University of Melbourne, spoke with The Horse about how the power of collaboration can improve racing safety and welfare.

There are both profound social and financial effects when a jockey or a racehorse is injured or dies. While some risk factors affecting their injury and fatality cannot be changed, a number of significant risk factors could be improved, including:

  • Racehorse training programs
  • Track surface and quality
  • Horse behaviour
  • Medications and doping
  • Racing experience of the horse and/or jockey.

To contribute to reducing these risks, Dr Hitchens emphasised the importance for research centres, government and industry to collaborate effectively from the beginning.

“By bringing the various players together to collaborate on this one common goal—safety of rider and horse—we can hope for more efficient and reliable ways to bring the risks of catastrophic injuries and death as close to zero as possible,” she said.

“When they’re all in it from the start, there’s more sharing, and there’s also more change, because everyone has a sense of ownership in the project.”

Read the full article on The Horse

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