ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2017) – The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, February 23, at Santa Anita Park. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. First Vice Chair George Krikorian, Second Vice Chair Madeline Auerbach and Commissioners Jesse Choper, Araceli Ruano and Alex Solis also were in attendance.
The audio of this entire Board meeting is available on the CHRB Website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the Webcast link. In brief:
- Acting on a recommendation from the Medication, Safety and Welfare Committee, the Board approved for public notice significant proposed regulatory amendments to improve the out-of-competition testing program as part of an aggressive enforcement program that will have the added benefit of protecting horses and riders. The proposals reflect the recommendations of the Racing Medication of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the Model Rules adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The complete texts of these amendments can be found on the CHRB Website within the package for the Board meeting, agenda item 11.
- The Board adopted regulatory amendments allowing racing secretaries to write medication-based eligibility conditions, as agreed to by the horsemen’s organization and approved by the Board before entries are taken for the race. The rules clarify that eligibility conditions lower than that authorized by the Board are not deemed to be in conflict with the Board’s intent and other regulations. These changes must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Administrative Law before they can go into effect.
- Representatives of the California Marketing Committee, citing greatly reduced revenue from its share of wagering at satellite locations, said their objectives have been prioritized and reduced to focus on rebates, horse recruitment, Cal-Bred incentives, and a new marketing program designed to convey a realistic positive image of horse racing to the public. For now, the budget for Calracing.com replays has been greatly reduced and pay-for-view options are in place. Several commissioners said this reduction was inadvisable and questioned the change to pay-for-view. Representatives of the Stronach Group and the CMC will report on this matter at the March and April Board meetings.
- The Board approved a regulatory amendment for public notice to require any horse returning from a layoff of at least 120 days to be examined by the Official Veterinarian and declared eligible to start before the horse can race. Executive Director Rick Baedeker reported at the Medication, Safety and Welfare Committee meeting Wednesday that of 314 equine fatalities reviewed, 86 had significant gaps in their racing and training – 34 for more than 120 days. This rule will give the official vet an opportunity to take a close look at horses coming back.
- The Board approved a regulatory amendment for public notice requiring anyone riding in a jog cart during the training of harness horses to wear a safety helmet and safety vest.