The Thoroughbred racing industry plans to pursue several new safety initiatives, including tracking jockeys' and exercise riders' injuries.
The move was one of several objectives identified at the third Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit this week at Keeneland.
The new national database will be similar to the Equine Injury Database that grew out of previous safety summits. The system probably will be based on rider-injury tracking in California, one of few racing jurisdictions to keep data on human injuries.
Getting the new data collection off the ground could take a year to 18 months, participants said Tuesday.
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But other safety measures might happen much faster, including a push to name a point person at each track to work on transitioning racehorses to second careers.
"We're coming out of this with renewed momentum," said Nick Nicholson, president of Keene land.
He said more data collection is necessary to identify which safety precautions are working and what still needs to be addressed.
"We're going to take this as far as we can, as fast as we can," Nicholson said.
Other initiatives identified include:
■ Setting up reciprocity between racetracks and states on veterinarian, steward and starters' lists, which bar horses from racing for one reason or another. More broad publication of the lists could prevent "jurisdiction shopping," where a horse that can't race in California is shipped to another state to get around the restrictions.
■ Deepening the Equine Injury Database to include factors like track maintenance, training and medication records.
■ Establishing safety committees at each racetrack to get together after a meet and evaluate safety issues.
■ Exploring accreditation programs for horse rescue agencies and organizations.
Like those of previous safety summits, the new recommendations are largely voluntary. But the efforts have been touted as one way the racing industry can stave off potential federal regulation, which had been advocated by some in the wake of the death of Eight Belles in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and the disclosure that Derby winner Big Brown raced legally on steroids.
Trainer Ken McPeek, a summit panelist, said he hopes racing will use its collective muscle to force tracks and states to toe the line on new safety measures.
"You can ask all these states nicely, but at some point, you've got to say, 'You have to,'" McPeek said. "Eventually, you have to demand."
Industry groups also are considering a national racing compact that states could sign onto to streamline uniform rules. Kentucky regulators support the compact, but only Colorado has signed on.