More states implementing pre-race exams in horses to minimize number of deathsWhen there is a pre-race evaluation, the number of fatalities would be minimized since there would be better chances of detecting injury.

The death of a filly named Eight Belles due to two broken legs at the Kentucky Derby in 2008 inspired many tracks the do some reforms regarding their safety guidelines.

Last year, fatalities recorded were 1,217 deaths while in 2007, 1,247 deaths were recorded.

Racing officials and equine experts still could not pinpoint the main cause of racetrack deaths, though they believed that it could be due to a number of reasons.

Although the necropsy showed that Eight Belles was not on anabolic steroids, many racing states had banned anabolic steroids in this year’s derby.

Tracks also enhanced their racing surfaces, padding were applied to starting gates and whips were replaced with noisy but less painful riding crops.

Steroid ban though took some time before it was fully implemented. Some of the other theories associated with horse deaths were rear “toe grabs”, a kind of shoes that contain metal spike to help in traction.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson led the investigation of several horse tracks. The NTRA also released a checklist for the proposed safety changes to prevent further accidents in the racetracks.

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