ARCI releases latest version of model rules, substance classifications

Posted: June 14, 2017

The Association of Racing Commissioners International has released the latest version of its model rules, including tougher protocol and standards for horses on the official veterinarian’s list at each track.

ARCI President Ed Martin said the model rules provide the template for racing regulatory entities and the framework under which the sport has made significant gains toward uniform regulations among jurisdictions. The standards in the latest version were reviewed and modified at the ARCI’s Equine Welfare and Racing Integrity conference in April.

The model rules strengthen the provision by which horses cannot race anywhere else if on a vet’s list in one jurisdiction until they are released by that state’s official veterinarian, unless there is an unforeseen administrative issue in gaining the release. It also places a minimum of seven days that a horse scratched or excused from a race be on the list.

The updated model rules also specify that horses that haven’t raced in a year or longer, as well horses making their first career start at age 4 or older, must work a half-mile in at least 52 seconds (220 yards in 13.3 seconds for Quarter Horses) and submit blood or another biological sample to test for any drugs or medications that might mask a physical problem before they are allowed to compete.

Out-of-competition testing regulations and protocols were added for Standardbred racing to mirror those for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.

A separate policy governing the use of the bronchodilator clenbuterol was approved for Quarter Horse racing in response to a recommendation by the American Quarter Horse Association. That recommended rule now makes any detection of clenbuterol in a post-race sample taken from a Quarter Horse a violation.

The policy also applies to all horses in a mixed-breed contest if Quarter Horses participate. Any finding of clenbuterol—in competition or out—will trigger six months on the veterinarian’s list under the revised model policy for Quarter Horses.

The ARCI also updated its Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances document based upon a periodic review done by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.