The Jockey Club yesterday released a North American fatality rate for Thoroughbreds based on the Equine Injury Database, launched in July 2008, as a first step in the process of examining and preventing athletic injuries in racehorses.

Results found 2.04 fatal injuries per 1,000 starts based on a year’s worth of data from 378,864 total starts (November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2009), in Thoroughbred flat races at 73 North American racetracks.

The analysis was performed by Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the project.

“Data collected from a broad cross-section of racetracks in the United States and Canada will serve as an important tool for racetracks seeking benchmarks concerning the safety of racehorses,” said Parkin. “Over time, as data continues to be added, the database should yield numerous trends and factors associated with racing injuries and lead to strategies for their prevention.”

Racetracks currently have tools provided by InCompass Solutions Inc. to analyze data collected at their respective facilities. In early April, InCompass will make available an enhanced module that automates selected reports.

“Analysis of data in the Equine Injury Database is ongoing,” explained Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club.”

Dr. Parkin is scheduled to report additional analysis and insights on the matter at the third Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit on June 28 and 29 at Keeneland.

The Jockey Club, through two of its for-profit subsidiary companies, InCompass and The Jockey Club Technology Services Inc., has underwritten the cost to develop and operate the database. By agreement with the participating racetracks, the Jockey Club may publish certain summary statistics from the Equine Injury Database, but will not provide statistics that identify specific participants, including racetracks, horses or persons.

Eighty-one racetracks and the National Steeplechase Association participate in the Equine Injury Database,representing 86 percent of flat racing days in North America. A list of racetracks participating in the Equine Injury Database can be found at