After noticing an unusually high number of horses stumbling at the start during the first month of the Delaware Park meet, the Delaware Racing Commission adopted an emergency regulation that allows toe grabs with a height of up to four millimeters to be permitted for racing on dirt.
Veterinarians with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and management at Turfway Park are looking into reasons why the number of catastrophic injuries over the Polytrack surface spiked.
Churchill Downs Inc., has implemented a new horseshoe policy at its four racetracks that bans the use of toe grabs greater than two millimeters. The new policy is effective immediately.
Some leading New York trainers said a ban on toe grabs will help level the playing field, but they're not all convinced the shoes are responsible for catastrophic breakdowns.
The Thoroughbred Racing Associations board of directors Aug. 15 endorsed the recommendations of The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee regarding the elimination of androgenic anabolic steroids in Thoroughbreds in racing and training, as well as other equine safety measures.
- By Tom LaMarra
Support for a proposed national strategic plan for equine welfare and safety and other reforms will be sought Sept. 12 when the National Thoroughbred Racing Association brings together industry representatives for discussion and -- it hopes -- commitment to action.
Following the recommendation of The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, toe grabs with a height greater than two millimeters (.07874 inches) on front horseshoes will be banned from all horses racing at Saratoga, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct effecctive Oct. 29, opening day of the Aqueduct fall meet.
Eligibility to host graded stakes is now tied to adoption of regulations for anabolic steroids and toe grabs, the American Graded Stakes Committee announced Aug. 8.
The Model Rules Committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International approved several recommendations, including restrictions on the use of toe grabs and annual continuing education for trainers, during an Aug. 1 meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is formulating a "strategic plan" for equine health and safety and will seek support from various industry organizations when the document is released, probably in early fall.
Penn National Gaming Inc., second only to Magna Entertainment Corp. in terms of number of racetrack holdings in North America, said July 15 it has developed equine health and safety initiatives it hopes implement at all of its properties in six jurisdictions.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission July 14 unanimously approved regulations that would prohibit the use of horseshoes with toe grabs on front feet of horses racing in the state.
The Model Rules Committee of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) will consider recommendations from The Jockey Club's Welfare and Safety Committee during its next meeting, which is scheduled for Aug. 1.
- By Esther Marr
Following the recommendations The Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee made regarding the elimination of steroids, ban of toe grabs, and changes in whip usage, chairman Stuart Janney, along with American Association of Equine Practitioners veterinarian Larry Bramlage, addressed numerous inquiries from the media during a June 17 conference call.
The Thoroughbred Safety Committee announced June 17 that it is recommending the elimination of steroids in race training and racing, a ban on toe grabs, and a series of whip-related reforms, all aimed at improving safety and integrity in Thoroughbred racing.
Organizers of the 2006 "Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit" have released an update outlining the work of various committees. A second summit could be held in early 2008.
Emphatic calls for change in dealing with horse racing injuries and related prevention methods were made April 24 during a panel discussion at the annual Association of Racing Commissioners International Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
- By Jack Shinar
The California Horse Racing Board will begin enforcing a regulation prohibiting the use of front toe grabs exceeding four millimeters in length after commissioners voted Feb. 22 to reverse their decision last month to ignore the rule.
A commmittee that sprung from last year's Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit is calling for a ban of toe grabs with a height greater than four millimeters.
- By Jack Shinar
California Horse Racing Board commissioner Richard Shapiro plans to testify about the Jockeys' Guild before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Nov. 17.
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