By T. D. Thornton
With the aim of reducing the incidence of large-bone fractures, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) voted unanimously Thursday to advance two new rules that would require examinations and veterinary and training record disclosures for every horse that has not had a recorded work or a race within the past 90 days.
Citing the “concerning rate” of large-bone fractures in horses returning to training after extended periods, the CHRB meeting packet stated that, “An initial examination will be required by both a regulatory veterinarian and the attending veterinarian, including review of veterinary and training records for the previous 60-day period, prior to the horse going to the track to train.
“Additionally, a follow up examination will be required between 30 and 45 days. The goal is to provide a baseline examination and identify any at-risk factors that may predispose a horse from suffering a catastrophic injury related to the shins, tibias, shoulder, pelvis, etc…”
Also, amendments were advanced to clarify existing CHRB rules regarding the specific requirements of racing soundness examinations, including the condition of the horse when presented for examination, who must be present, and how the examination information will be recorded.
“These clarifications also establish consistent requirements for both racing soundness and training soundness examinations,” the CHRB analysis stated. “Additionally, requirements for veterinary treatment records are clarified, including the timeframe for trainers to submit records and the official veterinarian's responsibility to maintain the records.”
CHRB chairman Gregory Ferraro, DVM, said prior to the vote that the new regulations are “directed at long bone fractures of the shoulder and tibia. Horses that come to these injuries have a typical profile that we've identified. This particular regulation would address that profile and require examinations at specific times in order to prevent serious injury.”
The proposed rules now advance to a 45-day public comment period, which will be followed by a final CHRB vote.