THA to Host Online CE Seminar on Racetrack Maintenance and Safety

The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association will host the first in a series of online Continuing Education seminars starting in January. It will provide Maryland horsemen with an opportunity to earn credit toward a CE program that will take effect when a Maryland Racing Commission regulation receives final approval.

Mick Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, will kick off the series with a presentation on Racetrack Safety and RSTL’s Maintenance Quality System, which is a research-based electronic data collection service that provides racetracks an efficient method for assessing and maintaining the track surface.

Peterson also serves as director of the Racetrack Safety Program, and is a professor in the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of Kentucky.

The presentation will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 11 a.m.-noon.

Trainers and assistant trainers who attend will earn one hour of CE credit for participating in the seminar. New York has a regulation requiring four hours of CE annually for trainers and assistant trainers, and Maryland and West Virginia have started the process to adopt the rule. The other states in the Mid-Atlantic region are expected to implement the CE regulation in 2021, and compliance will be a condition of licensing in 2022.

The MQS is currently in use at 14 racetracks to help enhance the safety and consistency of racetrack surfaces. Data including biomechanical response, base consistency, weather, track composition, cushion depth, moisture content, banking, track geometry and racing and training times are collected and analyzed using the system. Current maintenance protocols and equipment are also compared to similar tracks and lessons are shared between different tracks and jurisdictions with similar usage and climate.

Regular track inspections are provided when seasons change and prior to each race meet. The data is used in real time by track superintendents as they plan each day’s track maintenance schedule. Cumulative data can be used to improve surfaces in the long term. A demonstration site is available here.

You must register in advance for this meeting. To register, visit this link.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity to comment and ask questions.

More information on Continuing Education, and links to online courses available, is available at the THA website.

The following advisory for trainers and assistant trainers was issued by MRC Executive Director Mike Hopkins:

Through the development of the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan with other racing jurisdictions in the region to enhance the safety and welfare of the horses competing in races, the Maryland Racing Commission has adopted the recommended requirement that all trainers and assistant trainers must complete a minimum of four (4) hours of continuing education each calendar year to remain eligible to renew their license. Presently there are a number of approved continuing education courses available at the THA website.

These courses are also in the process of being translated into Spanish as well. The curriculum will be updated from time to time. Additionally, we anticipate the offering of webinars and or live seminars on equine health, safety and welfare matters and trainer education that will qualify for CE hours.

You are required complete four (4) hours of continuing education during calendar year 2021 to be eligible to renew your license for 2022. You are also required to retain and document the continuing education courses you have taken or participated in for four (4) years.

Below is the regulation adopted by the commission for your reference:

COMAR B-1. Continuing Education.

(1) Effective January 1, 2022, and each year thereafter, a trainer or an assistant trainer may not be eligible to renew their license unless they have completed 4 hours of continuing education during the previous calendar year.

(2) The stewards may waive this requirement for good cause or provide the applicant 30 days to complete the continuing education requirement.

(3) At least 2 hours of continuing education shall include curriculum of equine health, safety, and welfare.

(4) Continuing education requirements may be earned online or by attending live courses that are approved by the commission.

(5) Continuing education credits earned in other jurisdictions may be used to satisfy this regulation.

(6) Trainers and assistant trainers shall retain their continuing education documentation for 4 years.

(7) The commission or its designee may request documentation from a licensee at any time to ensure compliance with this regulation.

(8) Trainers and assistant trainers shall certify on their license applications that they have satisfied the requirements of this regulation.

(9) Failure to comply with this regulation may result in disciplinary action.





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