Racehorse deaths at highest level since 2014, according to BHA figures

POSTED ON  |  30-01-2019

The number of horse deaths on British racecourses has reached its highest level since 2014. Figures from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) show that of 93,004 runners last year, 202 died - which bucked the general downward trend. The rate of 0.22 per cent is the same as recorded in 2014. In 2017, there were 167 from 91,360 runners (0.18%).

A review into deaths at last year's Cheltenham Festival warned welfare issues threaten the sport's future. Seven horses died as a result of injuries sustained at the four-day meeting. One of them - Melrose Boy - was owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, who told trainers they do not want their horses to race at the course.

They are said to be concerned the home of jump racing could pose a greater risk of injury to their horses, although other owners have supported the track. Extra veterinary checks, alterations to some race conditions and a major project to study faller rates are among 17 recommendations from the review.

While the fatality rate is 0.22% per runner, it is higher at 1.049% per horse - 202 out of 19,249 individual horses - because most run more than once a year.
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