MRC safety and welfare directives effective April 1

The Maryland Commission through discussion with the Maryland Thoroughbred Horseman's Association and the Maryland Jockey Club developed the following best practices and regulation changes for the safety and welfare of the horse. The updated protcols are effective April 1.

The implementation and monitoring of these directives shall be the primary responsibility of the Equine Medical Director and their staff. The Stewards may impose disciplinary action when necessary.

  • Any horse required to work in order to be removed from the "vet's" or "poor performance" lists shall work at least one half mile in 52.00 or better.

  • If a horse has not run in 45 days, it must have at least one (1) published work within 30 days.

  • First-time starters shall need three (3) published works within 60 days to be eligible to start in a race. One (1) work from the gate, and one (1) work at least a half-mile within 30 days of the race date. All first-time starters shall have a gate card on file with the racing office at the time of entry.

  • A horse that has not started in 90 days shall have at least two (2) published works within 60 days. One (1) of at least one-half-mile, and another within 30 days of starting.

  • A horse that has been off for more than 150 days shall be required to work three (3) times within 60 days. One (1) within 30 days of the race date, and one (1) work of at least one-half-mile. In addition, the horse shall not be allowed to start until the attending practicing veterinarian signs off that the horse is sound for racing and approval is obtained from the Equine Medical Director.

  • A horse that has been off for more than 180 days will need a six (6)-month card from the starter.

  • Trainers shall contact the clocker and provide the name of their horse that is going to work and the distance prior to the horse working. Failure to report to the clocker may result in disciplinary action. Requests for workout corrections can only be made within 48 hours. Check the work tab and contact the clockers if changes are necessary.

  • A horse scratched for a medical reason shall not work within 48 hours of being scratched.

  • Any horse vanned off or put on the vet's list during training or racing may not return to training or racing unless the attending practicing veterinarian consults with the Equine Medical Director to discuss the diagnosis of why the horse needed to be vanned off and signs off that the horse is sound enough to return to racing. The horse must also work for the State Veterinarian and have blood specimens analyzed.

  • All horses that have been off for more than a year must work for a State Veterinarian and have blood specimens analyzed.

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