Churchill Downs has confirmed that live racing will return to the Churchill Downs Racetrack from September 14 after an inquiry into safety features stemming from a series of horse deaths earlier this year.
The firm confirmed that it has implemented several enhancements to ensure the safety of the horses at the racetrack site after the internal safety review.
“We are excited to resume live racing again at Churchill Downs,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “Our commitment to safety remains paramount as we enter this September meet and our participants, fans and the public can be assured that we will continue to investigate, evaluate and improve upon every policy and protocol.”
In June, CDI halted all racing activity at the racetrack after “an unusual level of horse injuries” was detected through H123. The remainder of the spring race meet will be relocated to Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.
Reviews into the increase in injuries have been investigated by multiple parties, including internally, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
Following the review’s conclusion, CDI has made four key decisions to improve equine health and safety, including:
- Upgrading infrastructure including new surface maintenance equipment and doubling surface testing.
- Allowing additional veterinary resources to ensure there is adequate and specialized care for all horses.
- CDI will work with the HISA to predict at-risk horses using data analytics
- Implementing a new safety committee to discuss concerns and observations about horse health as well as provide real-time feedback on areas of improvement.
CDI has implemented these changes and confirmed racing will continue from September 14 onwards, with tickets on sale for a 40-day meet during the fall. The September meet runs through October 1 while the Fall meet runs through November 26.