HISA Calls an Emergency Veterinary Summit

May 31, 2023

Churchill Downs. (Coady Photography)

Summit was held Tuesday, May 30 in Kentucky

HISA Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.—HISA’s highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of the horses and riders competing under its jurisdiction. We remain deeply concerned by the unusually high number of equine fatalities at Churchill Downs over the last several weeks. We continue to seek answers, and we are working diligently with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to mitigate any additional risk. 

In addition to conducting a thorough and independent investigation of each fatality, HISA today announced the following additional measures to ensure the safest environment possible for horses racing at Churchill Downs:

  1. HISA has called an emergency veterinary summit to be held Tuesday, May 30 in Kentucky. This summit will convene the Churchill Downs, KHRC and HISA veterinary teams to thoroughly review all veterinary information available and conduct additional analysis in hopes of better understanding the events surrounding the recent fatalities.
  2. HISA has dispatched well-renowned, seasoned track superintendent Dennis Moore to provide a second and independent analysis of Churchill Downs’ racing and training surfaces.  During the course of this review, which will begin Wednesday May 31, HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus and Racetrack Safety Director Ann McGovern will also travel to Churchill Downs to receive the results of the analysis and any suggested follow-up.
  3. HISA has also dispatched its Director of Equine Safety and Welfare, Dr. Jennifer Durenberger, to provide additional veterinary expertise and observation on site at Churchill Downs to ensure optimal veterinary oversight of the horses.

HISA continues to monitor this situation closely and will evaluate any additional next steps as appropriate. 

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