RCI Rule Toughens Trainer Suspensions

RCI has approved various model rules, including one governing trainer suspensions.

from the Association of Racing Commissioners International

The Association of Racing Commissioners International has approved changes to existing model rules that crack down on suspended trainers transferring horses to family members or close associates during their time of suspension, and require trainers to request split samples of TCO2 testing at the original time of testing.

The rules were approved by the full RCI membership during an April 23 meeting in Lexington.

Under the model rule, trainers suspended more than 30 days are required to notify their owners of the suspension and can’t have any contact with their horses or office personnel during the suspension.

The RCI Model Rules Committee recommended a uniform TCO2—“milkshake”—testing rule and split-sample procedure to set the regulatory threshold at 37.0 millimoles per liter of plasma/serum. Blood samples must be tested within 120 hours and tested using standardized, reproducible, validated procedures.

The membership also approved rules related to the veterinarian’s list; official veterinarian duties; traction device definition; microchips and freeze brands; horseshoe inspector duties; transfer of ownership; horse registration certificates; transfer of claimed horses; and weight penalties.

The membership deferred action on the approved type and rating of safety vests worn by any person mounted on a horse or stable pony and anyone handling a horse in the starting gate until its July 31 meeting. A committee was formed to further research the ratings of safety vests in order to approve the safest vests possible for all riders.