Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Equine Studies: Industry & Management

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Sarah Rigg


Thoroughbred racing is the highest-profile segment of the equine industry in the United States and around the world, accounting for 50% of industry jobs and 25% of industry revenue. Public interest in the sport is rising thanks to social media and celebrity involvement at marquee events like the Kentucky Derby, leading to increased scrutiny of the sport, posing a high risk to human and equine participants alike. Public outcry at equine injuries in particular threatens the sport’s social license to operate (SLO), making it critical to protect the “whole-life welfare” of the animals involved in the sport to ensure its future. This study reviewed existing research on thoroughbred racing to create a list of best practices and future research directions recommended to protect the equines and the sport of racing itself.