Churchill Downs suspends racing after rise in injuries5th June 2023 10:21 am GMT
Racing at Churchill Downs is being suspended from this Wednesday following a spike in injuries in the past month that has resulted in the death of 12 horses.
Racing at Churchill Downs Racetrack will be suspended from June 7 through the remainder of the Spring Meet, scheduled to run until July 3, with the remaining races moving to Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky.
The spike in injuries to horses has been investigated internally and by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), with no single factor identified as a potential cause. The investigations also found no discernible pattern to link the fatalities.
“The team at Churchill Downs takes great pride in our commitment to safety and strives to set the highest standard in racing, consistently going above and beyond the regulations and policies that are required,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated.
“What has happened at our track is deeply upsetting and absolutely unacceptable. Despite our best efforts to identify a cause for the recent horse injuries, and though no issues have been linked to our racing surfaces or environment at Churchill Downs, we need to take more time to conduct a top-to-bottom review of all of the details and circumstances so that we can further strengthen our surface, safety and integrity protocols.
“In addition to our commitment to providing the safest racing environment for our participants, we have an immense responsibility as the economic engine of the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky which provides jobs and income for thousands of families every day,” Carstanjen continued. “By relocating the remainder of the meet to Ellis Park, we are able to maintain this industry ecosystem with only minor disruption. We are grateful to the Kentucky horsemen for their support, resiliency and continued partnership as we collectively work to find answers during this time.”
Shares in Churchill Downs Inc. (NASDAQ:CHDN) closed 3.38 per cent higher at $142.19 per share in New York Friday.