Rillito Institutes ''StrideSage'' Horse Safety
Rillito Park Racetrack will institute “StrideSAFE” Horse Safety as a new component of its renowned Equine Wellness program during the 2023 season.

© Coady Photography
Rillito Institutes ''StrideSage'' Horse Safety

TUCSON, AZ—JANUARY 22, 2023—Rillito Park Racetrack will institute “StrideSAFE” Horse Safety as a new component of its renowned Equine Wellness program during the 2023 season. StrideSAFE is a biometric sensor mechanism that slips into the saddle cloth to detect minute changes in a horse’s gait at high speed.

The changes are undetectable to the naked eye and are recorded in a stop-light fashion with green for all-clear, varying shades of amber as warnings for possible lameness and red for potentially serious injuries.

The New York Racing Association conducted a StrideSAFE study of 6,600 Thoroughbred race starters in 2022.

Dr. David Lambert, StrideSAFE CEO and Dr. Scott Palmer, Equine Medical Director for the New York State Gaming Commission reported that the StrideSAFE technology detected 90% of all the catastrophic injuries.

The Rillito Park study is to identify horses the Track Regulatory Veterinarians should examine prior to running.

Rillito Park will test over 1,000 Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses at the race meet at a cost estimated at $45,000 and includes a gift from Jim McIngvale, “Runhappy Wellness” project, of two thirds of the costs for Thoroughbreds. StrideSAFE Biometric System has been utilized only with Thoroughbreds, however, Rillito will include American Quarter Horses in the study.

After the Rillito Park research, American Quarter Horse racetracks could potentially employ StrideSAFE biometric sensors across the country.

Charitable Donations are being accepted through Rillito Park Foundation (a 501(c)3 non-profit) to provide for increases in horses tested with StrideSAFE in all races, more workouts and training and to help fund the complete development of StrideSAFE parameters for Quarter Horse racing.

Those interested in funding the project can contact Rillito Park General Manager Mike Weiss (614) 496-8383 or Rillito Park Steward Dan Fick (502) 319-0767

The 80th winter meet will include increased purses, a new retail store with apparel and gifts, upgraded food and beverage service, plus live entertainment.

Engaging in a public/private partnership with Pima County Natural Resources Parks & Recreation and the University of Arizona, private donations and investments enhance County assets to provide amenities, while preserving Tucson’s heritage for future generations.

At over 90 acres located in the heart of Tucson, Rillito Park consists of Rillito Downs Race Track, the J. Rukin Jelks Stud Farm Historic Site, and eight Pima County Parks and Recreation soccer fields and is a festival site year-round.

University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program student interns receive hands-on experience including safety protocol with the renown Equine Wellness Program. Many RTIP graduates go on to careers in the racing industry in racetrack management, veterinary, equine wellness, marketing, hospitality, and retailing.

For more information contact: Dr. Ed Ackerley Ackerley Advertising (520) 850-7058.