This press release was issued today and is printed below verbatim, so that I don't possibly misquote the fine print of what is and is not allowed. I know that this verbiage is still a little confusing, but eventually the what-is-legal-and-what-is-not parameters will sort themselves. The bold terms are mine, to help keep the main points straight.
Brief explanation of terms: Toe grabs refer to traction cleats in the toe bend of the shoe (front of foot). Currently shoes are sold with toe grabs of different heights. Turndowns refer to mechanically bending the heels of the shoe in the back part of the foot. Shoes are sold with flat heels. Turndowns usually refers to a steeper alternation of the heel and a "bend" is a minor turndown.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2008) - Churchill Downs Incorporated has implemented a new horseshoe policy at its four racetracks that bans the use of toe grabs greater than two millimeters. The new policy is effective immediately.
The policy, which will apply to all horses racing and training at Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, Calder Race Course and Fair Grounds Race Course, states:
"Front horse shoes which have toe grabs greater than two millimeters shall be prohibited from racing or training on all racing surfaces at all Churchill Downs Incorporated racetracks. This includes but is not limited to the following: toe grabs, bends, jar calks, stickers and any other traction device worn on the front shoes of Thoroughbred horses.
"Any hind shoe with a turndown of more than one-quarter inch will not be allowed on the dirt courses.
"Hind shoes with calks, stickers, blocks, raised toes or turndowns will not be allowed on the turf courses. This includes quarter horse shoes or any shoe with a toe grab of more than one-quarter inch."
"Our change in policy is another positive step toward improving the welfare and safety of our equine and human athletes, and it's consistent with the recommendations of The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, TOBA's Thoroughbred Action Committee and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to address safety in horse racing," said Donnie Richardson, senior vice president of racing for Churchill Downs Incorporated.
(end press release)
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