Churchill Downs, the iconic venue that hosts the Kentucky Derby, is suspending racing operations in the wake of several horse deaths. The decision was announced after 12 horses died at the venue and management faced criticism for their handling of the situation.
According to NBC News, Churchill Downs will be closing for “an undetermined amount of time” while investigations into the horse deaths take place. The track will be shutting down all training and racing activities, and horses will be relocated to different facilities.
Churchill Downs had initially attempted to address the problem by moving their spring meet to Ellis Park. However, the move did not prevent more horses from dying. As a result, the venue will now be ceasing all racing activities until further notice.
Eric Crawford of WDRB discussed the decision, saying, “It’s a very tough call, but I think Churchill Downs had to take this step to show that they’re serious about addressing the situation.”
The New York Times reports that Churchill Downs will be launching a comprehensive review of its safety protocols and track conditions to determine what caused the spike in horse deaths. The venue has also promised to take necessary steps to improve the safety and well-being of the horses under its care.
The news of Churchill Downs’ closure has sent shockwaves through the horse racing community, as the Kentucky Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Racing fans and animal rights advocates alike are calling for improved safety measures across the industry to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.