The Pennsylvania State Equestrian Commission reported Monday on the progress of the Horse Welfare and Safety Plan, a list of tangible steps to increase protection for horse races at Pennsylvania’s six racetracks. Measures the commission began taking on March 1, 2022, include an Integrity Hotline for reporting suspected illegal or unethical behavior.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, who chaired the committee, said: “Initial results from the hotline and other measures have been promising and reinforce the careful consideration when developing the action plan. “Executing the strategy will be a long-term endeavor. The Commission is committed to the long haul to protecting the integrity of the sport as well as the safety and welfare of the horses and the participants. “
Developing a database of equine mortality is one of 10 measures of the plan. Purebred deaths from April 1 to June 30 are 30 cases in 2021 and 17 deaths in 2022. The deaths so far in 2022 include 10 cases. There were deaths at Parx Racing in Philadelphia, five at Penn National in Dauphin County and two at Presque Isle Downs in Erie County. Racing fatality exploits include three deaths in 2021 and two during the same period in 2022 – one at The Meadows in Washington County and one at Pocono Downs in Luzerne County.
Other new measures include independent third-party analysis of the track surface at each track. No track surface issues were flagged as a result of the analysis.
As a result of the committee’s increased veterinary oversight of morning exercise sessions, eight horses were placed on the vet’s list and deemed ineligible for the race. . As a result of enhanced post-race monitoring and stricter criteria, 17 horses were placed on the vet’s list and 6 horses were removed from the race.
Five horses were deemed ineligible for racing in Pennsylvania based on a new rule that ruled out disqualification of any horse 12 or more distances after the winner in five consecutive starts.
The Integrity Hotline received 51 calls between March 1 and June 30. All calls are investigated and action taken when warranted. Ten calls are pending investigation and 41 alleged issues have been closed. No fines or penalties were issued due to the alleged problems in the calls.
The charges at Thoroughbred tracks include 32 calls, including unethical conduct by race officials and riders, use of illegal equipment by jockeys, unethical treatment of horses. , unauthorized entry or exit by horses, unusual bets and currency disputes.
Among the 17 charges brought in connection with the standard races were incorrect decisions by judges, unethical behavior by riders and training center officials, unethical treatment of horses, concerns about licensing and administration of performance-enhancing drugs.
Two unspecified calls included allegations of unethical treatment of horses and a question about standard stallion racing.
Tips can be reported anonymously to the hotline at any time by leaving a detailed message at (717) 787-1942. You can find more information about the Pennsylvania State Equestrian Commission at Agricultural.pa.gov.