Recommendations from the Committee will be reviewed by individual state racing commissions, who have the authority to adopt, adapt or reject the recommendations.
Specifically, the committee calls for:
- An immediate ban on toe grabs (other than 2-millimeter wear plates), turn downs, jar calks, stickers and any other traction devices worn on the front shoes of Thoroughbred horses while racing or training on all racing surfaces.
- The Association of Racing Commissioners’ International (RCI) and all North American racing authorities to implement this ban by rule as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2008, and for all racetracks to consider immediately implementing this ban by “house rule” in the interim.
The new policy advisory is much stronger, since it lowers the toe grab from 4 millimeters to effectively eliminating it except for the wear plate seen in the toes of most flat shoes and outlaws the use of mud calks, jar calks, and stickers.
Turndowns and bends (angling the heels of the shoe toward the ground) are normally seen on the hind feet, as are most toe grabs and traction devices.
The Jockey Club policy advisory only addresses traction on front shoes.
Additional advisories recommend elimination of steroid anabolic medications in the race training and racing of Thoroughbreds no later than December 31, 2008.
The Thoroughbred Safety Committee includes chairman Stuart S. Janney III, and members John Barr, James G. (Jimmy) Bell, Dr. Larry Bramlage, Donald R. Dizney, Dell Hancock and Dr. Hiram C. Polk Jr. Each is a member of The Jockey Club.
The Welfare and Safety Summit includes a Shoeing and Hoof Care Committee, chaired by Bill Casner of WinStar Farms. The committee has been actively working on creating more information about racehorse shoes and their effects on horses and their interaction with different surfaces.
Read Tuesday's complete press release here.