CHRB

Safety Initiatives Paying Off in California

Edited Press Release The state of California has seen a 50% decline in equine fatalities over the last two fiscal years, owing to steps taken by the industry to increase safety at the state's racetracks. In fiscal year 2018-2019, a total of 144 horses died from racing or training injuries or other causes while stabled at CHRB facilities. The number dropped to 72 in fiscal year 2020-2021. According to information provided by the California Horse Racing Board, equine fatalities have been trending downward since 2005, but the last fiscal year...

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Dr. Rick Arthur Q&A: Part Two

After 15 years as California's equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur has stepped away from the post. A vocal proponent of tightened welfare practices in the sport, Arthur has spearheaded during his tenure a slew of equine safety reforms that have made California arguably the most stringent regulatory environment in the States. Arthur's forthrightness, however, has led to him staking out positions that have at times proven polarizing. The day after Arthur officially stepped down, he conducted a Q&A with the TDN, the first part of which can be seen...

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Dr. Rick Arthur Q&A: Part One

After 15 years as California's equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur has stepped away from the post. A long-time vocal champion, both in his home state and at the international level, of tightened welfare practices in the sport, Arthur has spearheaded a slew of precedent-setting medication and equine safety reforms in California. During those 15 years, Arthur has been at the helm of the industry's veterinary ship while California has navigated a series of tumultuous storms, including a benighted venture to switch from dirt to synthetic racetrack surfaces during the...

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Horsemen's Groups Partner On Horsemen U Continuing Education Platform

The California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT), Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA) and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA) have teamed up to provide a Continuing Education platform for Thoroughbred trainers and assistant trainers called Horsemen U, which offers approved online CE webinars and issues CE certificates after a course and a short quiz have been completed. Trainers and assistant trainers can register, free of charge, and maintain their CE records in their account at www.HorsemenU.com. Continuing education has been adopted as one of the core Best Practices developed by the stakeholders...

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Sadler-Trained Flagstaff Disqualified, Purse Monies Redistributed

The John Sadler-trained Flagstaff (Speightstown) has been disqualified from a second-place finish in last September's GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. after testing positive for clodronic acid, a bisphosphonate otherwise known as Osphos, according to a steward's ruling from Saturday. According to the ruling, the $40,000 in prize money earnings awarded to owners Lane's End Racing and Hronis Racing, jockey Victor Espinoza and Sadler will be redistributed. Currently unclassified, clodronic acid is by default deemed a class 1, penalty A drug, and it's currently in the process of being classified...

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CHRB Meeting Highlights NorCal Race Dates

The June California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting put to bed a problem that has been brewing for a few months in the North of California. Due to the fallout from COVID-19, and the ongoing issues surrounding stabling and staff accommodation in the north of California, commissioners voted to switch the three-week State Fair--scheduled to run July 14 to Aug. 3 at Cal Expo--to Pleasanton to be run over a shortened window: July 14 through July 20. Golden Gate Fields has also been allocated an additional two weeks of racing,...

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Minimum Fine for Mandella's 4C Positive in San Simeon

Trainer Richard Mandella has been fined $500 by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) for a Class 4 and Penalty Category C methocarbamol positive that turned up in the post-race test of Jolie Olimpica (Brz) (Drosselmeyer) after the MGSW mare ran third in the GIII San Simeon S. at Santa Anita Mar. 13. The stewards' ruling was issued May 29. According to the original May 7 complaint, split-sample blood testing had confirmed the presence of the skeletal muscle relaxant. Methocarbamol's 4C categorization is on the least-severe side of the scale...

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New CHRB Transparency Issues Arise in McAnally CBD Investigation

Oscar Gonzales, the vice chair of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), wants to know why commissioners weren't informed earlier this year about a pending cannabidiol (CBD) positive complaint against Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, a case that was in the midst of a six-month investigation by CHRB staff even as commissioners were being asked to approve a seemingly routine annual reclassification of drugs that included CBD. "On that list of drugs that were to be reclassified was CBD, the drug that was detected in [the McAnally-trained Roses and...

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4C Methocarbamol Complaint Issued Against Mandella for Graded Stakes Positive

Trainer Richard Mandella has been summoned to a stewards' hearing to answer a California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) complaint of an over-threshold test finding for methocarbamol, a Class 4 and Penalty Category C skeletal muscle relaxant that turned up in the post-race test of Jolie Olimpica (Brz) (Drosselmeyer) after the multiple graded stakes winner ran third in the GIII San Simeon S. at Santa Anita Mar. 13. According to the May 7 complaint, split-sample blood testing confirmed the presence of the drug. Methocarbamol's 4C categorization is on the least-severe side...

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Miller Fined $500 for Class 4 Positive

Trainer Peter Miller, currently third in wins and fourth in earnings at Santa Anita Park, has been fined $500 for a Class 4 finding of isoflupredone that was confirmed via split-sample testing when his trainee, Hembree (Proud Citizen), won the GII Joe Hernandez S. at 5-1 odds Jan. 1. Isoflupredone is an injectable steroid primarily administered for anti-inflammatory effects. The drug's 4C categorization is on the less-severe side of the scale of the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances list published by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. According to...

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Political Climate in California

At the start of last month, a small cadre of animal rights protestors snuck onto the Golden Gate Fields racetrack, lay down with arms interlocked in pipes, and halted live racing--as well as a vaccination drive on facility grounds--until police intervention saw their removal. While the incident had a flash-in-the-pan quality, it had the corollary effect of reminding those within the sport here in the Golden State of the somewhat precarious position in which it still finds itself--an important part of the economic puzzle, employing tens of thousands, but one...

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Golden Gate Fields Files Suit Against Activists

In response to an animal rights-driven disruption to live racing earlier this month at Golden Gate Fields, the company which owns the facility has filed suit against the party responsible, Direct Action Everywhere, a self-described global grassroots animal rights network. On Mar. 4, four animal rights protestors ran on to the track before the first race, lighting flairs and chaining themselves together with inter-locking pipes over their arms. The organization also flew a drone over the action, which was used to broadcast a live feed of events via Facebook. Once...

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