The Association of Racing Commissioners International met in Tucson last week to discuss possible changes to the Model Rules that they hope will provide more uniform rules of racing across the country. Input can come from anywhere, but the National HBPA has been particularly active in providing a voice for the horsemen in the rules drafting process.
Recently elected Minnesota HBPA board member Dr. Scott Rake was tabbed to sit on the National HBPA’s Committee on Model Rules. The Committee’s function is to provide input to the ARCI on racing’s rules from the horsemen’s perspective.
“I am humbled and incredibly grateful,” said Rake. “Canterbury is a great track and we need to have a voice and input in these important discussions.”
While the HBPA’s recommendations to the ARCI are just that, it is important that horsemen have input into the rules that will govern the sport.
“We’re going to have to have uniformity as an industry,” said Rake. “There has to be a set of rules that put the horse first, promote ownership and fairness.”
Last week ARCI discussed model rules to require the disclosure of certain corticosteroid joint injections in claimed horses, rules governing the voiding of claims in cases of death or injuries as well as other rules as far ranging as fantasy tournament wagers to vet reporting practices.
Minnesota members of the ARCI include Minnesota’s state veterinarian Dr. Lyn Hovda as well as Minnesota Racing Commission’s Executive Director Tom DiPasquale, Deputy Director Joe Scurto, MRC staffer Colleen Hurlbert and Patricia Sifferle.
Rake also sits on the Medication Committee, another issue important to horsemen.
“We have to begin to embrace technology,” opined Rake. “Identify horses that can be at risk for breakdowns and be able to treat them accordingly.
“Everyone wants to make sure that there is an even playing field,” he continued. “We really need to be attentive to owners, bettors and other industry participants and develop guidelines that make it safer for both the horses and the jockeys.”
Minnesota stakeholders can be assured that the state is well positioned to influence racing policy into the future.