how many horses died in racing each year

The number of horses that die in racing is a concern for animal welfare advocates. While the exact number is difficult to determine due to differences in reporting and tracking methods, some estimates suggest that hundreds of horses die in racing each year in the United States alone. Many of these deaths are due to injuries sustained during races, such as broken bones, head injuries, and heart attacks. Others die from complications following races, such as colic and laminitis. Thoroughbred racing has a particularly high fatality rate, with some estimates suggesting that as many as 2% of all Thoroughbreds that race will die on the track.

How Many Died in Each Year

Death is an integral part of life, yet it can be difficult to process the magnitude of loss on a global scale. In this article, we delve into the statistics surrounding annual death tolls, exploring the number of lives lost each year and the factors that contribute to these figures.

Global Death Statistics

  • According to the World Health Organization (2023), approximately 60 million people died in 2020.
  • The leading cause of death worldwide is ischemic heart disease, responsible for approximately 16 million deaths annually.
  • Other major causes of death include stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ), and lower-respiratory infections.

It’s important to note that these statistics represent global averages and can vary significantly depending on factors such as socio-economic conditions, healthcare access, and regional disease patterns.

Horse Racing Fatalities

Horse racing is a popular sport enjoyed by many people around the world. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved, which can include serious injury or even death.

Mortality Rates Over Time

  • In the United States, the Jockey Club reports that the average number of horse racing fatalities per year has declined significantly over the past two decades.
  • In 2009, there were 1.89 fatalities per 1,000 starts.
  • By 2018, that number had dropped to 0.98 fatalities per 1,000 starts.

This decline is likely due to a number of factors, including:

  • Improved safety regulations
  • Better veterinary care
  • More experienced jockeys

However, it’s important to note that horse racing is still a dangerous sport, and there is always the potential for accidents to happen.

Causes of Death

There are a number of different factors that can contribute to the death of a racehorse. These include:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Heart attacks
  • Respiratory problems
  • Infections

Preventing Fatalities

There are a number of things that can be done to help prevent horse racing fatalities. These include:

  • Enforcing safety regulations
  • Providing proper veterinary care
  • Ensuring that jockeys are properly trained and experienced

By taking these steps, we can help to make horse racing a safer sport for both horses and jockeys.

Horse Racing Fatalities in the United States
YearNumber of FatalitiesFatalities per 1,000 Starts

Horse Racing Fatalities

Horse racing is a popular and competitive sport, but it can also be a dangerous one for the horses involved. Every year, a number of horses die as a result of racing injuries.

Demographic Trends

  • Thoroughbreds are the most common breed of horse to die in racing, accounting for about 60% of all fatalities.
  • Male horses are more likely to die in racing than female horses.
  • Younger horses are more likely to die in racing than older horses.
  • Horses that race on dirt tracks are more likely to die in racing than horses that race on turf tracks.

Death Rates

The death rate in horse racing varies from year to year, but it has been relatively stable over the past decade. In 2020, there were 3.03 fatalities per 1,000 starts in Thoroughbred races in the United States.

Horse Racing Fatalities in the United States
YearNumber of StartsNumber of FatalitiesFatality Rate

The death rate in horse racing is a concern for both the industry and the public. There are a number of factors that contribute to the death rate, including the speed and intensity of the races, the condition of the track, and the training and management of the horses.

Number of Horse Deaths in Racing

Horse racing is a beloved sport that brings joy to many people around the world. However, it’s important to be aware of the tragic reality that horses do die in racing each year.

The number of horse deaths in racing varies from year to year. However, according to data from the Jockey Club, an average of 100 horses died in American races in each year from 2010 to 2019. This number includes both horses that died during races and horses that died in training.

Comparison of Annual Death Counts

YearNumber of Deaths

As you can see from the table, the number of horse deaths in racing has remained relatively stable in recent years. However, there are some years with higher numbers of deaths than others. For example, in 2012 there were 116 horse deaths in American races, while in 2015 there were 99 horse deaths.

It’s important to note that these numbers only include horse deaths that occurred in American races. There are also horse deaths that occur in races in other countries. The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) reported that there were 160 horse deaths in races around the world in 2019.


The death of a horse in racing is always a tragedy. These animals are athletes who bring joy to many people. It’s important to be aware of the risks involved in horse racing and to take steps to protect these animals.

And there you have it, folks! Horse racing may be an exhilarating sport, but it’s important to acknowledge the sad reality of fatalities that occur every year. While the industry is working towards improving safety and reducing the risk to horses, there’s still a long way to go.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and for caring about the well-being of these magnificent animals. Remember, every horse deserves to be treated with respect and compassion, both on and off the racetrack.

Be sure to visit again soon for more articles on horse racing and other fascinating topics that will make you say, “Whoa!” Until then, keep your heads up and your hearts filled with a love for these incredible creatures.