Stemming from the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the reduction of live racing, and California's statewide increases in workers compensation costs, Post Time Self Insurance will institute a 10% increase, paid by both owners and trainers, to offset the shortages of the horse industry's workers compensation program covering jockeys and backstretch workers. Owners and trainers fund the majority of program costs via per-stall charges from trainers and race per-start fees from owners. The owners' per-start fee will be raised from $149 to $162, effective Jan. 1, 2021. The per-start fee will continue to be automatically deducted from the owner's paymaster account every time they start a horse.
To help offset increased workers' compensation per-start increases and provide additional financial support to California owners, the Thoroughbred Owners of California authorized an increase in the Guaranteed Participation Purses earlier this year from $351 to $500 per start in Southern California and from $300 to $450 in Northern California. Guaranteed participation purses are paid to owners of horses that fail to finish in the top five spots. Horses finishing sixth and beyond (and to fifth place finishers when their share of purse money is less than the corresponding Guaranteed Participation Purse) are paid $500 per start in Southern California and $450 per start Northern California.