ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2015) – The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, January 15, at Santa Anita Park. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. 1st Vice Chair Bo Derek, 2nd Vice Chair Richard Rosenberg and Commissioners Madeline Auerbach, Steve Beneto, Jesse Choper and George Krikorian were in attendance.
The audio of this entire Board meeting is available on the CHRB Website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the Webcast link. In brief:
- The Board approved a request from Galway Downs Training Center in Temecula to become an authorized training center, subject to conditions that must be satisfied before the facility begins accepting up to 400 horses under the Vanning and Stabling Program. This facility will open for auxiliary training prior to the closure of stabling operations at Fairplex Park, planned for February.
- The California Marketing Committee reported that despite steep reductions in revenue resulting from declines in handle, which have forced reductions in some of its other marketing programs, the CMC will boost funding for “product enhancement,” most significantly in the “Ship and Win” bonus program that offers incentives to owners who bring in horses from other states to race in California.
- Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, provided an update on medication violations. He indicated there were 28 Class 1, 2 and 3 violations more than 45,000 samples during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. He said there were only three such violations from July 1 through December 31, 2014, from approximately 20,000 samples.
- Based on testimony from racing officials. California stewards, and Dr. Arthur, the Board determined that safeguards already in place are sufficient in dealing with horses that perform poorly from a non-competitive standpoint, as distinct from horses with health and soundness issues, which are protected in other ways.
- The Board put over until February further discussion of a proposal to scratch any horse gelded since its last start when that information has not been communicated to the public in a timely manner. In the meantime, the Board will be working with a national fans group to poll its members on the desirability of such a rule.
- Vice Chair Bo Derek reported on the January 14 meeting of the Medication and Track Safety Committee, which she chairs. She identified steps being taken to protect pony horses, restrict or eliminate anti-coagulant rodenticides from stable areas, and strengthen regulations and procedures covering certain medications, penalties, and practices.
- CHRB Executive Director Rick Baedeker noted that the state budget proposed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. includes increased funding for equine drug testing at the Maddy Laboratory at UC Davis, utilizing revenue from the horse racing industry, not from taxpayers. He also reported that a voluntary microchip program is scheduled to begin in April with support from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and utilizing other resources and the expertise of the British Horseracing Authority, which already has a microchip program in place.