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Saturday, April 12, 2014

RCI Issues New Standardbred Rules; Cracks Down on T-bred Ownership Beards

Though on the outs with the standardbred industry over the use of clenbuterol, the ARCI announced new changes to the model rules, some which impact the standardbred industry.  These are rules which were adopted for the thoroughbred industry but delayed for the standardbred industry to allow a comment period from stabdardbred interests.   No comments were  received.  Here is the relevant portion:

  • Specifically, RCI approved additional restrictions on shock wave therapy to Standardbred races, requiring that machines in use be registered and approved by the racing commission and all treatments must be reported within 24-hours prior to treatment. The location of any such machine would also need to be disclosed. Previously RCI adopted rules that prohibit treatments within ten days of racing, affecting all breeds.
  • A modification previously made affecting certain thresholds for the androgenic-anabolic steroids in flat racing were formally adopted for Standardbred racing as was a technical change to eliminate redundant language pertaining to anti-ulcer medications.

A change which applies to the thoroughbred rule which was adopted is any horse owned by a person or a spouse, wholly or partially, of a person who is ineligible to participate in racing is ineligible to race.  The reasoning behind this is the assumption a couple has a single financial interest in the horse.

It's about time the thoroughbred industry adopts such a rule.  The fact is spouses have a joint interest in their finances; ask the IRS about this.  For a suspended or banned person to be able to race horses in a spouses name makes a mockery of a suspension.

What about the standardbred industry?  Do they have a similar standard?  In some ways it is even tighter under the model rules:

The Commission or its designee may refuse, deny, suspend or revoke an owner's license for the spouse or member of the immediate family or household of a person ineligible to be licensed as an owner, unless there is a showing on the part of the applicant or licensed owner, and the Commission determines that participation in racing will not permit a person to serve as a substitute for an ineligible person. The transfer of a horse to circumvent the intent of a Commission rule or ruling is prohibited.

Of course, this is a model rule and it is possible not all commissions have adopted the rule.  I am not sure when the rule was adopted but it makes sense.  While the thoroughbred rule applies only to the spouse, the standardbred rule goes further by including the immediate family, which includes children, yet it tempers the rule by giving a family member the opportunity to show they have completely separate financial interests from the ineligible person. 

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