HISA Changing Rule on Dirt Shoes

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Dirt Racing Coady Photography

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority will be implementing changes to HISA Rule 2276, which pertains to full outer rim shoes and toe grabs. The rule will not be enforced for horses racing on dirt that are shod with traction devices on their hind feet in the form of either a full outer rim shoe or a toe grab, both up to 4mm in height. All other provisions of the rule will remain the same and be enforced Aug. 1 as previously announced.

Click here to read the full HISA release, which states, “The concerns are that reduced traction will result in horses either slipping, falling, or otherwise being unable to firmly grip the track surface, with resulting injury to horses and their riders. In response to these concerns, the [Racetrack Safety] Committee invited a representative group of horsepersons including trainers, owners, a veterinarian, and a blacksmith to present their concerns to the Committee.”

The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association was one of the organizations involved and they released a statement that included the following, “HISA is the law and it is in effect. Notwithstanding that there is ongoing litigation, we believe that it is our responsibility on behalf of our constituencies to engage with HISA as necessary to ensure that our horses are protected, our horsemen are treated fairly and responsibly, and that the integrity of racing is preserved.

The fact that horsemen are not represented on any HISA Committee is a missed opportunity that we believe needs to be corrected. In the meantime, we will continue to vigorously advocate for the best interests of the safety and welfare of the horse and the best interests of our horsemen. We continue to engage with HISA as the best way to serve our membership and the industry at large and this decision underscores their willingness to engage with us and make changes as necessary.

We thank the HISA Safety Committee for its willingness to consider and act on thoughtful input from those who can best provide it.”

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