Public Input Sought by CHRB on Proposed Rules

Changes would affect certain claims, use of veterinary records, and drug penalties.

Regulatory changes related to voiding claims, providing veterinary records to the postmortem program, and revising the penalties for certain drug overages are under consideration by the California Horse Racing Board, which is seeking comments from the public during a 45-day period currently underway.

Public hearings on the proposed amendments to the CHRB rules are scheduled during the board's regular monthly meeting July 21 at Del Mar. Comments, which should be addressed to Harold Coburn, the CHRB's regulation analyst, are due by 5 p.m. PDT on July 18. The full text of the proposed rule changes can be found on the agency's website,

Under consideration by the board:

· A proposed amendment to CHRB Rule 1658 would void a claim (sale) if a claimed horse suffers a fatality during the running of the race or before it is returned to be unsaddled;

· A proposed amendment to CHRB Rule 1846.5 would require the submission of the previous six months of veterinary records for any horse subject to postmortem examination;

· A proposed amendment to CHRB Rule 1843.3 would change the penalty for violations due to the overage for the non-steroidal inflammatory drug substance (NSAID) phenylbutazone and for drug substances in an official test sample which CHRB categorizes as warranting a Category “D” penalty.

The board has also scheduled a July 21 public hearing for an amendment that would change the allowable levels of phenylbutazone in an official test sample from 5 micrograms to 2 micrograms of the drug per milliliter of blood plasma or serum, and would change the allowable levels of flunixin in the official test sample from 50 nanograms to 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood plasma or serum. The 45-day public comment period for this rule change has expired.

Comments may be sent to the CHRB at 1010 Hurley Way, Sacramento, CA 95825. Coburn can also be reached by phone at (916) 263-6397, by fax at (916) 263-6022, or by email at The July 21 public hearings are to be held at Del Mar's Surfside Race Place simulcast facility.

The CHRB has approved five other regulatory changes recently that either have been or soon will be sent to the Office of Administrative Law for final review. Those changes will become part of horse racing law if approved by the OAL.

· Repealing the requirement in Rule 1606 for the coupling of horses with common ownership. That regulatory change was submitted May 31 to OAL.

· Adding an amendment to Rule 1876 to add complaints from equine medical hospitals, services by horse farms as specified, horse auction sales, and wage disputes between licensees to the list of matters the stewards are authorized to adjudicate in determining financial responsibility. That regulatory change was submitted May 31 to OAL.       

· Adding amendments to CHRB Rules 1500.1 and 1498 to require random drug testing of jockeys, apprentice jockeys and drivers and to require drug testing during the annual jockey/driver physicals. Those regulatory changes are yet to be submitted to OAL.

· Adding an amendment to Rule 1844.1 to allow the board to suspend an authorized medication under Rule 1844 after a notification at a properly noticed public hearing. That regulatory change is yet to be submitted to OAL.