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Industry Safety Discussion

Saratoga is normally an exciting, rejuvenating time of year for all of us who are passionate about horse racing, and we’ve certainly had our fair share of fun and success this summer. But there’s no denying this has been a trying Saratoga meet for anyone who loves horses, as the track has had a heartbreaking spate of breakdowns, including two major, high-profile injuries suffered by Maple Leaf Mel in the Test Stakes and New York Thunder this past Saturday in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes.

These incidents naturally shake us to our core and bring up questions about the state of the sport we’ve dedicated our lives to. Namely, why is this happening, and how can it be prevented? As major industry stakeholders, I can assure you West Point Thoroughbreds is continually asking those same questions, both of each other and of racing’s decision-makers, as we analyze how all of us in the business can make the sport as safe as possible for our equine athletes.

I’m confident that the industry is headed in the right direction on horse safety. Fatal injury rates are on a steady decline; uniformity in medication policy has finally been instituted; exciting breakthroughs in biometric technology have the potential for early intervention to prevent catastrophic injuries before they happen; increased veterinary scrutiny helps to find underlying issues that would’ve gone undetected in past years; there have been broad-based diagnostic equipment upgrades at all major racing circuits; California, in particular, has accomplished a remarkable safety turnaround since having its own issues in 2019, and provided a template for the rest of the industry.

But as important as these positive trends are, it is also on all of us who have the privilege of being around horses to ensure their health and well-being is at the top of our priority list. That’s always been the case at West Point. Sometimes, that can produce frustration as horses suffer setbacks and have to go months without racing. But you have to walk the walk in this industry, not just talk the talk. The horses put it all on the line for our enjoyment, and nothing will ever be as important to us as the ability to bring them all home safely every time they perform.

An “Industry Safety Discussion” is scheduled for Wednesday, September 6 at 3 pm ET. I invite all Partners to join us to talk about these points and the strides the industry is taking to keep our equine athletes safe.

Industry Safety Discussion with WPT
Wednesday, September 6
Time: 3:00 ET/12:00 PT
Zoom link to join

If you prefer to dial in:
Phone number: 1 312 626 6799
Webinar ID: 826 0539 9323

West Point’s commitment will continue, and I and the rest of the team are here to listen. If you have questions, thoughts, or need someone to lend an ear, please reach out to us. We’re all in this together, and we’re all in it because, above everything, we love these horses.

Thank you for being part of the West Point family.

My best,
Terry Finley
[email protected]