IN AN effort to add to the measures ensuring the safety of jockeys and horses during races, the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) is creating a Race Track Condition Committee that will immediately review the condition of the track after an accident.
The decision came about in an emergency meeting at the Philracom office after race officials, commission veterinarians, race track managers and jockeys and trainers concerned during the Race 4 accident involving horse Madrid last March 31, 2018 reviewed the conditions leading to the freak mishap at the San Lazaro Leisure Park.
“The Race Track Condition Committee will immediately respond after a race accident and review the conditions that led to such. They will take photos of both the track and the injuries sustained by the horse/s or jockey/s if there are any and will make a report and recommendation to the Philracom of what needs to be done,” said Philracom Chairman Andrew A. Sanchez.
The committee will be composed of representatives of the race club (track), jockey, trainer, horseowner and the Philracom (veterinarian).
In attendance during the probe and review of the Madrid mishap were Chairman Sanchez, his commissioners Atty. Don Bagatsing, Bienvenido Niles Jr., Jose Santillan, Victor Tantoco, Lydon Guce and Wilfredo Ungria and executive director Andrew Rovie Buencamino, Manila Jockey Club Racing Manager Jose Ramon Magboo and his assistant J-Fel Cuevas and Madrid jockey MM Gonzales, plus jockeys, trainers and stewards concerned during the accident.
The four-horse accident happened after Madrid tripped on its own and fractured the proximal third of its cannon bone near the finish. This caused a pile-up, bringing down Baywatch and its jockey JPA Guce, Strategem and jockey JA Guce, and Sunny Side and jockey EP Nahilat.
The track veterinarians immediately euthanized the severely injured Madrid. No significant injuries were found on the other three racehorses.
Among the four unseated jockeys, only MM Gonzales was declared fit to compete. The rest had minor injuries and were rushed to the nearest hospital.
“There was no physical problem with the horse prior to the race as confirmed by jockey Gonzales and its trainer, nor was there any hole in the track where the accident happened. The horse tripped on its own when the jockey urged it to make a stronger run,” said Sanchez. “Still, a committee that will immediately respond to accidents like this one is a must so that we are adding to the measures that will keep jockeys and horses alike safe during the races.”