The Del Mar Racetrack, located in California, is one of the most iconic horse racing venues in the United States. With a long and illustrious history, the track has hosted some of the most prestigious races in the country, including the Breeders’ Cup, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Unfortunately, the track has also been the site of numerous horse deaths over the years. This article will explore the number of horses that have died at Del Mar Racetrack, the causes of the deaths, and the measures that have been taken to improve the safety of the track.
Overview of Horse Racing Deaths at Del Mar
Del Mar Racetrack has been in operation since 1937 and has since become one of the most popular and prestigious venues for horse racing in the United States. Unfortunately, the track has also been the site of numerous horse deaths over the years. From 2009 to 2018, a total of 57 horses died while racing or training at the track, with the majority of these deaths occurring during training sessions.
Causes of Horse Deaths
The causes of horse deaths at Del Mar Racetrack are varied and complex. Some of the most common causes of death at the track include cardiac arrest, musculoskeletal injuries, and neurologic events. In some cases, horses suffer catastrophic injuries while racing, while in other cases, the deaths may be attributed to pre-existing medical conditions that were not detected prior to the race.
In some cases, deaths have been caused by human error, such as jockeys pushing the horses too hard or failing to properly control the horse during a race. Poor track maintenance can also play a role in horse fatalities, leading to injuries due to dangerous surfaces or improper training techniques.
Measures Taken to Improve Horse Safety
In response to the rising number of horse deaths at Del Mar Racetrack, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has taken a number of steps to improve the safety of the track. The CHRB has implemented a number of measures, including increased veterinary inspections, improved track maintenance, stricter drug testing protocols, and stricter penalties for violations.
In addition, the CHRB has adopted a number of rules aimed at improving the safety of horses on the track. These rules include the implementation of a “zero-tolerance” policy for horses that are found to be unfit to race, the establishment of a Horse Injury Database, and the adoption of a “No Whip” policy, which prohibits the use of riding crops during races.
The track has also installed a number of safety features, such as a cushioning layer beneath the turf track and improved barriers to reduce the risk of injury. In addition, the track has implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion in horses, including the installation of cooling systems and improved access to water.
Del Mar Racetrack has a long and storied history, but unfortunately, the track has also been the site of numerous horse deaths over the years. While the causes of these deaths are varied and complex, the California Horse Racing Board has taken a number of steps to improve the safety of the track. Through increased veterinary inspections, improved track maintenance, stricter drug testing protocols, and the adoption of a number of rules aimed at improving the safety of horses on the track, the CHRB is working to reduce the number of horse fatalities at Del Mar Racetrack.