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“Doing what’s best for the horse is at the core of everything we do here at Keeneland.”

- Dr. Stuart Brown, Vice President of Equine Safety


A Culture of Safety

Keeneland’s Equine Safety team takes a holistic view of the condition of each horse by blending hands-on, practical experience with new technology.

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Evaluation

Expert visual and hands-on evaluation of each horse’s physical condition on-site.

A heart icon with a plus in the middle and an icon of a check on its lower right side.

Analysis

We review the data, records and history of each horse, including race performance.

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Diagnostics

If needed, we can recommend horses be sent to a provider for diagnostics and additional care.

The Latest Technology

Keeneland leverages the best veterinary care in the world while exploring new advancements in technology to keep our equine athletes safe.

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VetCam

Keeneland’s state-of-the-art VetCam and 24/7 video surveillance provide consistent monitoring of our equine athletes throughout our grounds.

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Data-Driven Tech Initiatives

Keeneland contributes data to these initiatives to analyze the causes of equine injuries and prevent them from occurring.

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StrideSAFE Sensors

These on-board sensors help analyze a horse's stride, detect abnormalities & signal the need for diagnostics.

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PET Scan and MRI Technology

Available from nearby world-renowned veterinary providers, including Rood & Riddle Hospital and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

HISA Logo

HISA is the independent national body that oversees uniform safety and integrity rules for racing nationwide. Keeneland is compliant with all HISA Racetrack Safety Standards. HISA continues to enhance standards and practices for the health and wellbeing of the horse.

Getting Ready for Race Day

From our veterinary team to our groundskeepers and beyond, everyone at Keeneland spends weeks preparing for the moment the starting gates open—all to make every race as safe as possible.

vet examining horse

Evaluating Equine Fitness

How does our Equine Safety team determine whether a horse can race? It's all about creating a complete picture to help identify any issues early. The clinical history we assemble here can travel with the horse from track to track.

  1. How long has it been since their last race?
  2. Has there been a change in their workout pattern?
  3. Has their race class changed recently?
  4. Has there been a change in daily management of the racehorse?
  5. What is the horse’s vet list history?
  6. What is the history of veterinary treatment and medication usage on the horse?
  7. At what age did they start racing?
  8. What were the results of their soundness evaluations?
  9. Do in-race sensors like StrideSAFE show any unusual data?
  10. Is there a need for additional diagnostic imaging?
  11. What do diagnostic imaging tests show?

Always prepared

Keeneland’s expert team is on hand for every race to keep our equine and human athletes safe.

Three specially designed equine ambulances—staffed to care for both humans and horses—are on hand to quickly respond to incidents small and large.

A picture of a State-of-the-art Equine Ambulance. It’s a white trailer hitched to the back of a black truck that has “Equine Medical Transport” printed on it.

An extension of our Equine Safety team, these expert racing personnel on horseback monitor training and racing, provide real-time information to trac k vets, and act as first responders when necessary.

A candid photo from the side of a man riding a brown horse. There is an orange flag on the horse that reads “Outrider”.

This flexible rail is designed to spring and bend to absorb the impact of a horse and rider, guiding them back onto the course.

An action shot of jockeys riding their horses mid race. A jockey in a neon yellow shirt and pink hat riding a chestnut brown horse is in the lead.
A picture of a State-of-the-art Equine Ambulance. It’s a white trailer hitched to the back of a black truck that has “Equine Medical Transport” printed on it. A candid photo from the side of a man riding a brown horse. There is an orange flag on the horse that reads “Outrider”. An action shot of jockeys riding their horses mid race. A jockey in a neon yellow shirt and pink hat riding a chestnut brown horse is in the lead.

Taking Care of the Track

Keeneland has three surfaces for racing and training under the supervision of our dedicated Racing Surfaces team. This group works in collaboration with the University of Kentucky’s Racing Surface Testing Laboratory to test and monitor the track regularly, including a thorough review prior to each race meet to identify any necessary adjustments before competition.

Main Dirt Track

A blend of sand, silt and Kentucky clay. Our unique drainage system helps maintain a consistent surface.

Turf Course

A mix of rye, bluegrass and tall fescue on a foundation of sand, silt and clay to create a soft, springy surface.

All-Weather Track

Used for year-round training, our all-weather track—like our dirt and turf tracks—is maintained daily.

Hands-On. Every Day

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Dirt Track
Moisture Readings

75

Surface Depth
Measurements

42

Turf Course
Moisture Readings

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Team
Members

Jockey Health and Wellness

We take jockey health and safety seriously, with industry-leading initiatives and protocols.

Keeneland and the University of Kentucky Sports Medicine Research Institute are working together on a variety of initiatives surrounding jockey safety, including:

  • Concussion studies and development of race-day concussion protocols
  • Safer equipment such as improvements in helmets and safety vests
  • Ongoing studies and protocols to address jockey health and wellness
  • Ongoing jockey wellness study during each race day with the University of Kentucky SMRI
An action shot of a jockey crouching as he balances on a piece of training equipment.

We’re proud to partner with Kentucky’s No. 1 hospital to staff and equip our state-of-the-art First Aid Center and provide Level 1 trauma care for riders. A specially-designed chase vehicle carrying paramedics and an expert horse handler follows the field around the track during every race to respond immediately in the event of an incident. We provide coordinated incident response to facilitate immediate medical care.

A picture of the Keeneland First Aid car on the dirt track. It is a large black Chevy SUV.

Keeneland was a co-founder of the JHIS, a national database of jockeys’ current medical records that are immediately available to medical personnel in the event of an injury.

A candid photo of a jockey (right) adjusting the goggles of his fellow jockey (left).
An action shot of a jockey crouching as he balances on a piece of training equipment. A picture of the Keeneland First Aid car on the dirt track. It is a large black Chevy SUV. A candid photo of a jockey (right) adjusting the goggles of his fellow jockey (left).

The Best Hands in the Business

A candid photo of Dr. Stuart Brown leaning on a rail while talking to a woman who is riding a horse on the track. He is an older White man wearing a white hat, a navy pullover sweater, and khakis.

Dr Stuart Brown

Vice President of Equine Safety

Dr. Stuart Brown

Vice President of Equine Safety

An internationally respected equine veterinarian with a farm of his own, Dr. Brown can be found at the track from sunup to sundown, ensuring the highest levels of safety and integrity for Keeneland.

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An up-close photo of Dr. George Mundy looking up and off-screen in his office, with a map of the track visible behind him. He is an older White man with short silver hair. He is wearing a navy Keeneland-brand vest over a white and blue checkered shirt.

Dr. George Mundy

Racing Safety Officer

Dr. George Mundy

Racing Safety Officer

With decades of regulatory experience in equine care and a focus on the well-being of the horse, Dr. Mundy concentrates his time year-round on equine safety protocols, compliance, and best practices at Keeneland.

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A candid photo of Jim Pendergest standing in front of a large piece of equipment. He is an older White man with short gray hair. He is wearing a brown jacket over a red polo and a pair of blue jeans.

Jim Pendergest

Director of Racing Surfaces

Jim Pendergest

Director of Racing Surfaces

From day-to-day track care to overseeing major renovations, he blends innovative technology with decades of practical expertise to ensure Keeneland has the best racing surfaces in the industry.

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A photo of Alfredo Laureano looking off into the distance while standing by the dirt track at sunset. He is an older Hispanic man with graying chin stubble. He is wearing a green Keeneland-brand hat and a brown Keeneland-brand jacket overtop a white shirt.

Alfredo Laureano

Track Superintendent

Alfredo Laureano

Track Superintendent

As track superintendent, he monitors our tracks, day in and day out—caring for, measuring and testing our racing surfaces to keep our tracks, and our horses, as healthy and safe as possible.

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A close-up photo of Dr. John “Trey” Rogers smiling for the camera. He is an older White man with short white hair. He is wearing a blue and white checkered shirt.

Dr. John "Trey" Rogers

Michigan State University Professor of Turfgrass Management

Dr. John "Trey" Rogers

Michigan State University Professor of Turfgrass Management

The grass master. Head of Michigan State University’s turf program and an advisor for the FIFA World Cup, his expertise ensures Keeneland’s turf course is held to the highest safety standards in the sport.

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A candid photo of Dr. Mick Peterson giving an interview to an off-screen camera crew. He is an older white man with short gray hair. He is wearing a navy suit jacket over a light blue button-up shirt and a patterned tie. He is also wearing a pair of glasses with color-changing lenses.

Dr. Mick Peterson

University of Kentucky Director of Racetrack Safety Program

Dr. Mick Peterson

University of Kentucky Director of Racetrack Safety Program

The racing surfaces expert. Director of the University of Kentucky’s Ag Equine Program and co-founder of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, Dr. Peterson conducts regular research on our tracks.

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Safety Reporting

Keeneland is committed to transparency in reporting all on-track incidents to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and The Jockey Club’s Equine Injury Database. Access this database here. To view ongoing safety updates, click here.