Rule changes under HISA Racetrack Safety Program to take effect July 8

By: Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association

Posted: June 19, 2024

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority has announced that several proposed rule changes to its Racetrack Safety Program have been approved by the Federal Trade Commission and will go into effect July 8.

Chief among the changes is the increased stand-down time for fetlock corticosteroid injections, which will be 14 days before a workout and 30 days before a race. The stand-down time is doubled from the previous rules.

Updates to current prohibited practices include that foals of 2023 or later—beginning with 2-year-olds of 2025—which have had their shins pin-fired or freeze-fired will not be able to participate in a covered horse race or workout.

The new rules will provide a second waiver-claiming option in which a horse returning from a layoff may make two starts with the claiming price waived, provided that the waiver was in place in the horse’s first start back and the horse did not win that race; there was no change in majority ownership; and the horse is entered for a claiming price equal to or greater than the tag for which it last started.

The void claim rule has also been updated. HISA will now be required to inform a claimant if the horse returns a positive test from the race in which it was claimed. Claimants will have 48 hours to decide whether to void the claim or keep the horse. However, if the horse has already started under new ownership, it will not be possible to void the claim.

A post-workout blood test will be required for horses coming off the vet’s list for unsoundness, epistaxis (bleeding), those that have not raced in more than 365 days, or un-raced 4-year-olds.

The new rules published in the FTC Register can be viewed here.

The FTC also approved changes to HISA’s registration rules, which will take effect on July 1, 2024, and include the following updates: Any entity that owns a Covered Horse must register with HISA; any veterinarian who provides veterinary services to covered horses must register with HISA; and responsible persons must update a covered horse’s location within 24 hours and report equine fatalities within 72 hours.

HISA will be hosting a webinar for trainers on Monday, July 1, at 2 p.m. The webinar will cover the impact of the modified rules and will include a question-and-answer session on the changes. Registration for the webinar is available here. Questions can be submitted upon registration.