Post-Race Safety

Our commitment to “Safety from Start to Finish” continues long after the race is complete. If equine or human injuries occur at the track, we’re prepared. At Churchill Downs, we take an industry-leading approach to testing of horses for illegal medications, and we’re firmly dedicated to ensuring humane care for horses when they retire.

CDI is taking an industry-leading approach to test horses for performance-enhancing drugs.  The winning horse in every race at CDI tracks will undergo a battery of “supertests” recommended by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (“TOBA”).  The TOBA “supertests” screen for more than 100 drugs – far more than in standard testing.  This will not only ensure that Thoroughbreds in competition receive safe and warranted medications, but it also increases the integrity of the outcome of wagering on each race.

CDI will begin the practice of storing frozen blood and urine samples of racehorses to allow for retrospective testing in the event of suspicious circumstances, an initiative currently being funded by The Jockey Club.  The Company will work with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to adopt the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium program for frozen storage and retrospective “supertesting” as necessary.  CDI has also adopted the Association of Racing Commissioners International Model Rule on androgenic anabolic steroids that was based on RMTC recommendations.  This rule effectively eliminates the use of all anabolic steroids in the training and racing of Thoroughbreds.

During every Churchill Downs race, we have two state-of-the-art Kimzey equine ambulances at the ready. Churchill Downs has had a Kimzey ambulance on-site for more than 20 years. Of course, we’re also prepared for human injuries, with a doctor and an ambulance at Churchill Downs every day we race.

As in all sports, despite every preventive measure, sometimes injuries do happen. When injuries occur on the track, we immediately report details of the injury to the national Equine Injury Database, which in turn compiles statistics and trends to help improve conditions for tracks around the country.

Our commitment to the care and well-being of horses extends long after they race. Churchill Downs proudly supports organizations that provide a caring home for horses after their racing careers have ended. In response to the needs of retiring racehorses and their owners and trainers, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), launched its Green Pastures Program® in 2002 and continues as a Company-wide "best practices" program.

Churchill Downs strictly forbids the practice of horse slaughter.  Any trainer or owner found to have sold a horse for slaughter will have his or her stalls permanently revoked from all Churchill Downs Incorporated tracks.