equine safety

What Will HISA Look Like?

We recently ran part one of our story on the challenges facing HISA. Today, we deal with lawsuits, adjudication, and more. This time next year, the machinery of horse racing in the U.S. may be almost a month into a radical system overhaul. But with scant few calendar pages between now and then, what do we know about how the cogs, wheels, and pulleys of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will work together? To find out, the TDN reached out to Charles Scheeler, chair of the HISA board...

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Will HISA Be Ready in Time?

Part One of a Two-Part Series If the letter of the law is any reliable prognosticator, this time next year the United States horse racing industry will already be nearly a month into what promises to be a major realignment of the planets. With the official enactment of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) on the first of July, 2022, racing jurisdictions North and South, East and West will be bound by the same medication standards, safety rules, and enforcement mechanisms--a hallelujah for many who have long championed the...

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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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Mid-Atlantic States Move to Restrict Use of Clenbuterol

Continuing a decades-long regional effort to enact uniform medication, safety and welfare reforms, protocols and rules, a coalition of 31 regulatory and stakeholder organizations representing all seven states in the Mid-Atlantic region have unanimously agreed to work together to implement a new rule that will significantly restrict the improper use of the bronchodilator clenbuterol. Under the current regional rule, clenbuterol may not be administered to a horse within 14 days of a race, and the concentration of the drug in a post-race blood sample may not exceed 140 picograms/ml. The...

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Zero Fatalities at Santa Anita's Autumn Meet

Santa Anita, which concluded its 16-day Autumn Meet Oct. 25 with 1,106 horses racing and 51,200 training sessions since Sept. 5., when the Del Mar Summer Meet was winding down, had no racing or training fatalities during that time. The meet was pushed back due to the Bobcat Fire in the neighboring San Gabriel Mountains and the track did not host live racing until Sept. 25. The main dirt track at the Arcadia oval has not had a single racing fatality in 2020, including during the Winter/Spring Meet which began...

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Two New Horse and Jockey Safety Laws Passed in California

According to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), two bills--SB 800 and AB 1974--have been passed and signed into law in the state of California. Both bills are instrumental in strengthening California's commitment to both equine and jockey welfare and safety. Senator Bill Dodd's SB 800 provides greater access to veterinary records for racehorses, requires the reporting and publication of equine fatalities that occur at facilities regulated by the CHRB, and requires the publication of positive post-race test findings within five business days of their confirmation. In anticipation of this...

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Final Grayson Webinar Explores Findings of Equine Injury Database

In the fifth and final installment of a series of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation webinars that took the place of the canceled ninth annual Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, Drs. Tim Parkin and Mary Scollay examined Tuesday The Jockey Club's Equine Injury Database (EID) and its findings since being launched in 2009. "The genesis of the EID goes back to Barbaro," explained Scollay, the executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. "When he was injured in the Preakness, a lot of attention and phone calls were...

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Track Superintendents Field Day Rescheduled for March 2021

The 19th annual Track Superintendents Field Day, originally scheduled for this coming Sept. 14-16, has been rescheduled for March 2021. The event will still be held at Remington Park in Oklahoma City and hosted by that track's superintendent, Bob Blackburn. The Field Day brings together track superintendents and their crews from around North America and beyond to share ideas and information about track maintenance, safety, equipment and more. Last year's event at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia attracted more than 100 track superintendents and staff from...

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CA $2 Million Workers' Comp. Shortfall Plugged, Creation of New Safety Position

Tuesday afternoon, the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) announced that the California Thoroughbred Business League (CTBL) board had "unanimously approved" a $2-million subsidy from its reserves to be paid to Post Time Self Insurance Group--the self-insured workers' compensation program for trainers in the state. As part of the deal--which took some three months to negotiate--the various stakeholders have agreed to the creation of a new position of "Director of Safety," who will help establish and regulate uniform safety standards and implement them across all California training and racing facilities. Th...

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Banning the Crop is Not the Answer–but Riders Need to Open Their Eyes

by Ramon Dominguez and Ryan Moore We have watched, with increasing concern, as momentum to effectively ban the use of the riding crop has built around the world. The negative perception of the crop is real and it matters. You may think it is overblown, the domain of activists, but those among us who dismiss animal welfare concerns will first find ourselves riding without crops, and then not riding at all. We shoulder some blame in this scenario. As riders we have failed--and fail still--to make a persuasive argument about...

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Grayson-Jockey Club Kicks Off Webinar Series

Following the cancellation of the ninth Welfare and Safety of the June 20 Racehorse Summit in Lexington, Kentucky, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation kicked off an educational series of weekly webinars Tuesday afternoon. Presented by Dr. Katherine Garrett, shareholder at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, the initial segment on equine health and safety featured 'Fetlock Injuries: Palmar metacarpal disease and how the various imaging modalities can be used to help diagnose it.' During the course of the 45-minute lecture, which was followed by a short...

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