(Statement from The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee issued 22 July 2009)
"After discussions with industry participants and a review of all scientific research available on the use of toe grabs on the front shoes of Thoroughbreds, The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee recommends adjusting the current RCI Model Rule on horse shoes to allow toe grabs up to 4 mm in height on front shoes on dirt racing surfaces only.
"The Thoroughbred Safety Committee believes the current elimination of traction devices on front shoes should be maintained and only the height of the toe grab should be adjusted in the Model Rule.
"In no case does the Thoroughbred Safety Committee recommend the use of toe grabs of greater than 4 mm on front shoes of Thoroughbreds.
"The Thoroughbred Safety Committee continues to believe that the recommendation limiting traction devices on front shoes of Thoroughbreds to toe grabs no greater than 2 mm is in the best interests of the welfare and safety of the horse.
"However, the Thoroughbred Safety Committee is sensitive to the concerns of the horsemen and recognizes that local circumstances such as dirt track composition and/or weather conditions might justify the racing commission and/or the racetrack to allow horsemen the discretion to utilize short toe grabs no greater than 4 mm on the front shoes of Thoroughbreds on dirt racing surfaces only."
The Hoof Blog will continue to keep readers updated on shoeing rule recommendations and changes as well as research that may affect decision-making about horse equipment.
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