Phoenix track says horse fatalities down 40% after new safety protocols

Jun 19, 2019, 3:30 PM
(Facebook Photo)...
(Facebook Photo)
(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — After witnessing an uptick in horse fatalities, Phoenix racetrack Turf Paradise announced new safety protocols that it says has led to a 40% drop in the deaths.

Vincent Francia, general manager of the track near 19th Avenue and Bell Road, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that 23 horses died during the 2017-18 meet..

That number dropped to 14 in the racetrack’s latest meet, which ended in May, and the goal is to reach zero next year, Francia said.

He said the racetrack has implemented new safety protocols that are contributing to the fewer deaths.

“One of the protocols is every horse that races on any given day is given a prerace exam by a veterinarian, and the vet goes over the horse very carefully, has him jog, has him walk, has him do a number of things,” he said.

“If the veterinarian sees something that he is not happy with, then the horse is not allowed to race.”

Francia said the track has always conducted prerace exams, but previously it was only for selected horses.

“We’re taking all these precautions to make sure that when the horse goes on the track, he’s healthy, he’s not having any problems that could lead to injury or worse,” he said.

Francia said the track has increased its testing of the soil’s balance of clay and sand to every two weeks rather than every month.

He also sits on a state committee of racing experts who share concerns and solutions in the industry.

“We meet every month and go over everything that happened in the previous 30 days to see if we’re making progress, what problems, what new articles, what new protocols are out there, everything to do with keeping these horses safe,” Francia said.

With every fatality that does happen, Midwestern University creates a necropsy report for trainers to learn from.

“What that does is put the trainers on notice that we’re watching, but more importantly, it develops a transparency between the management of the racetrack and the trainers that we’re all in this together,” he said.

“One horse is too many, and we want to make sure that every horse out there is healthy.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence contributed to this report. 

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Chandler Police Department Photo)...

Chandler police ask for community help identifying public indecency, stalking suspect

Chandler police is asking for community assistance in identifying a suspect of public sexual indecency and felony stalking, authorities said.
22 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona woman accused of fatally shooting husband, young son

A northern Arizona woman is facing federal charges in the shooting deaths of her husband and young son last week, according to authorities.
22 hours ago
Mark Brnovich, a Republican, smiles as he talks with people on the floor of the Arizona House of Re...
Associated Press

Arizona announces $85M settlement with Google over user data

Arizona AG Mark Brnovich said his office reached an $85 million settlement with Google to resolve a lawsuit that accused the tech company of “surreptitiously” obtaining user data to sell advertisements.
22 hours ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...
Alex Weiner

139 rabbits rescued in Glendale, in need of foster homes

The Arizona Humane Society is in need of foster homes for 139 rescued rabbits that were hoarded in Glendale.
22 hours ago
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images, File)...
Associated Press

Jan. 6 committee attorney says Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward pleaded Fifth

Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a House Jan. 6 committee deposition, according to an attorney for the panel.
22 hours ago
Canyon State Academy (Google Street View)...

1 dead, 2 hospitalized after possible drug overdose at Queen Creek school

One student died and two others were hospitalized after a possible drug overdose Monday night at a residential school for at-risk boys in Queen Creek, authorities said.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Phoenix track says horse fatalities down 40% after new safety protocols