Problems associated with having the necessary paperwork transferred in an efficient and timely matter for horses that move from state to state to compete were the focal point of discussion at the Dec. 15 meeting of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Chief state steward John Veitch noted that one trainer had been cited for a third offense for not having foal papers on hand for a horse entered in a race, necessitating a late scratch. He said two of the incidents were not the trainer's fault, but that officials had no choice but to scratch the horses involved.
Veitch said late scratches are costly to the state racing industry and owners, and asked whether the commission could pursue alternatives to having registration and health records physically on hand before a horse could race.
Veitch said the paperwork is important for horses racing in the claiming ranks, because ownership could be transferred following the race if the horse is claimed. Otherwise, there is no reason to have the papers on hand. He said a preferable alternative would be the electronic transmission of information contained on the papers that normally accompany a horse as it moves from one locale to another.
The commission agreed that executive director Lisa Underwood should contact The Jockey Club, the official breed registry for Thoroughbred racing and breeding, to explore alternatives.
Also during the meeting, the commission finalized its new standards for riding crops (formerly whips) that are considered more humane. Commission member and trainer John Ward requested that lists of jockeys who are found not in compliance with the rules be posted in prominent locations at the racetrack.