For once, the sport of thoroughbred horse racing will be simulcasting something other than the sport itself, Instead, the Welfare and Safety Summit will broadcast over the internet to all interested parties. The webcast – and the meetings themselves – will take place all day on June 28th.
The Welfare and Safety Summit is a joint venture under the larger umbrellas of The Jockey Club the and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. Donna Barton Brothers will return in her capacity as the master of ceremonies. It will be hosted by Keeneland, which continues to be a major cornerstone in recent developments within the sport.
A number of important subjects will be covered over the day. These include respiratory health of the competitors, racetrack surfaces, equine injuries, biosecurity, nutrition, use of the riding crop, and rider safety. It is a broad venue so that these issues can be raised with a wide audience of both administrators, horse men, connections and fans.
Fans and outsiders of the sport are welcome to submit questions to the Welfare and Safety Summit at firstname.lastname@example.org, or using Twitter with #horsesummit. With the live broadcast and the desired interaction with a broader base, the dynamic will be interesting to witness as Brothers attempts to mediate the entire day’s discourse.
The move to host such a meeting resonates with the progress that full contact sports like hockey, basketball and football have made in addressing major injuries. Concussions are a very real issue in horse racing and have been for the entire history of the sport. Beyond that, the care of horses at all levels – from colts to stallions – is vital to the continued uptick of thoroughbred racing in the United States. How symposiums such as these go will help define the direction of the sport for years to come.