LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Since April 27, seven horses have died at Churchill Downs, including a pair on Derby Day. The Horse Racing and Integrity Authority (HISA) is leading an investigation into those deaths. 

What You Need To Know

  • Seven horses died at Churchill Downs from April 27 through May 6

  • HISA and KHRC will both investigate each of the deaths

  • All findings will be made public

  • Lab tests from horses on Oaks Day and Derby Day were clear

HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus said her organization, along with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) would do several things in the next few weeks.

The KHRC is investigating the circumstances and looking at potential factors of each death that happened. The Equine Catastrophic Injury Review is underway. Investigators are speaking with the horses’ connections and security personnel. They are also looking at veterinary and pre-race exam records, surveillance video and delving into the horses’ racing and training. All of this is in addition to mandatory necropsies. After everything is reviewed, the findings will be given to HISA.

HISA says it will conduct its own investigation into each of the deaths to see if any other steps need to be taken. HISA will review records for every horse, including the necropsy report. It will also examine the fatality rates at Churchill from this year, last year and training fatality information. Racetrack maintenance records will also be combed through and interviews will be conducted with veterinarians, track management, and others, as needed.

Lazarus said, “As we move forward from this collective low, I hope it is together, united with a renewed commitment to what matters most: the safety of our horses and our riders. We owe it to them to get this right. And we owe it to them to do it now.”

All findings of the investigations will be made public.

Bloodhorse.com reported Friday, lab results taken from horses at Churchill Downs that raced on Kentucky Oaks Day and Kentucky Derby Day had no drug violations. All tests were clear.