Veterinary Rules and Policy Updates in California Horse Racing

Practices and Methods

Following the frustrations expressed by some horse trainers in California over the changes in horse racing rules, officials from the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) and horsemen groups met in a teleconference on March 3 to clarify the rules and procedures for the treatment of entered racehorses. Here are the main highlights of the changes in these rules and regulations. 
 
Elimination of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatories 
According to Rick Baedeker, the changes that saw the elimination of the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories after a horse has been entered remain in effect. The CHRB will no longer allow horse racers to administer any nonsteroidal or other specific treatments to their horse after being registered for a race.  
 
However, the CHRB determined that horse owners could include vitamin shoots and the widely accepted methods of feeding horses before races. Baedeker adds that no illicit substances should be included in the diet of the horse after it has been entered for a race.  
 
No Injections 
Further changes, according to Baedeker, ban injections or any other administrations from the midnight after the horse has been registered for the race to 24 hours before post time of the race. However, the governing body gives exceptions to this rule, allowing the administration of vitamins or tetanus shot to the horse if it has sustained a wound.  
 
If a horse happens to be on the Bleeder’s List, the law allows it to receive furosemide (Lasix) within 24 hours of the race. Any other treatment remains on the prohibition list. 
 
Entered to Race 
According to the new regulations, a horse is “entered to race” at the midnight of the day the organizers close the entries. After midnight this day, the horse becomes ineligible for certain treatments. The day entries close varies from one track to another. Santa Anita Park, for example, takes entries 72 hour prior to the race to comply with the new regulations from CHRB. 
 
The new changes in the rules and regulations of horse races regard to the administration of treatment of racehorses before races. Though some horse trainers may find them contradictory, the rules may be CHRB way of ensuring fair play in horse racing so that trainers don’t take advantage of the gaps to give their horses undue advantage over the others in a race. 

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