Fri | Oct 30, 2020

Broken horses - Bartlett raises alarm after ­frequent fractures at Caymanas Park

Published:Monday | January 6, 2020 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Senior veterinarian Dr St Aubyn Bartlett is calling for a forensic report into the recent increase of foot fractures being suffered by horses while competing at Caymanas Park.

While no figures were immediately available, Bartlett described as “alarming” the number of horses that have been put death after suffering a broken leg at the track, admitting, also, that the quality of the track itself might be a contributing factor.

“It is very concerning and a proper in-depth investigation needs to be done in what is really happening,” Bartlett told The Gleaner. “We have to go right around, because I don’t think it is a matter of necessarily the track surface, but our track surface could have some impact.”

“I have been here for over 30 years and I have never seen so many cases of jockeys falling and horses feet breaking so often. It is an enormous amount of horses that I must say in the last two or three weeks have broken their foot,” Bartlett said.

“I think when you look at some of the ­situations when the horses foot have been broken, some of the jockeys have little control over some of the horses and so we need to investigate to see what is causing this sort of problem,” added Bartlett.

Anthony Nunes’ Grade One chestnut colt EARN YOUR STRIPES, along with WARRIOR and CRUCIAL TREASURE, is among the horses that have suffered leg fractures while ­competing in the past four weeks.


Bartlett believes that the promoting company, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), along with all stakeholders in the racing industry, needs to join forces and take a careful look at the situation to see how best they can come up with a solution.

Meanwhile, Bartlett, who is one of four veterinarians on duty at Caymanas Park on racedays, shared that while there is no deep examination, the horses are usually observed by the vets before they take to the track.

“The horses are checked before they enter the track, because there is no requirement for an in-depth examination of all the horses at the races,” Bartlett said.

“What we do on a raceday is that we are here and we do a visual examination of the horses, looking at their movement and things like that, and wherever we see horses that look as if they are not in the best shape, we generally scratch those horses,” Bartlett added.

“Some of the best horses can go out on the track, and while participating in the race, they can make a bad step and fracture a limb,” he stated.

Efforts to get a comment from SVREL on the matter were unsuccessful.