Improving the Health & Welfare of the HorseEdward L. Bowen
Edward L. Bowen: Thank you very much, Dr. Arthur. Again, we appreciate your leadership and your willingness to be involved in so many important efforts on behalf of the horse, the sport, and the business of racing.
As Dr. Arthur mentioned, there was another committee growing out of the summit, which we call the Durability Committee. The consensus at the summit was that Thoroughbreds today are not as sound, rugged and durable as their counterparts of yesteryear. Those of you familiar with The Jockey Club Fact Book are probably familiar with a chart, similar to that which Dr. Arthur showed, this one showing the average starts per horse per year has declined from more than 11 in 1960 to fewer than 7 today.
During one of the summit committee meetings, Jimmy Bell of Darley USA was among those who developed the idea of a statistical search for bloodlines that exceed the norm in indicating durability and soundness. Over many trials and with the help of The Jockey Club Information Systems, we have almost finalized two lists. These will point out stallions with records above the average in two measures: percentage of foals that get to the races and average career starts per starter.
We did not discover some magical subset of the American Thoroughbred that could correct the trends overnight, but we believe these lists will point out some individual stallion statistics that will be interesting to the various segments of the industry. The lists will soon be distributed broadly to the media, to state and national breeding organizations, and basically to anyone who is interested.
Now, I am pleased to announce that the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club will be organizing and underwriting a follow-up Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit some time during the first half of 2008. We will be announcing a date and location in the near future.
I would like to salute those who participated in the summit, those who have come on board committees since then, and those in the media who have helped keep the industry informed. The message will continue to be that the summit launched not just words and wishes, but concerted action. Thank you.
Ogden Mills Phipps: Than you, Ed and Rick. I also want to thank those participants. Their
efforts are leading to some large gains for us.