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New Federal Horseshoeing Rules Create Controversy

Traction device ban sparks debate over horse health and concerns about race plate supplies

New federal shoeing rules that aim to improve safety for racetracks, jockeys and their mounts are getting mixed reviews from the hoof-care industry

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) 31-page Racetrack Safety Program imposes a bevy of new regulations ranging from surface monitoring and testing, veterinary inspections and treatment, riding crop use and shoeing. The rules will take effect July 1, 2022, on all racetracks in the United States.

“The Racetrack Safety Program’s multi-faceted approach will enable veterinarians, horsemen and all racing participants to optimize the safety of every horse before they set foot on the track while also increasing our understanding of the conditions that contribute to equine injuries,” according to a statement attributed to Lisa Lazarus, HISA chief executive officer. “The importance of this program cannot be overstated as we build on advances the industry has already made by implementing national, uniform rules and regulations, increasing accountability, and using data- and research-driven solutions to enhance the safety of our horses and jockeys.”

Shoeing Rules

The new shoeing rules, which can be found on Page 27, Section 2276 of the HISA Racetrack Safety Program, are brief and focus solely on traction devices.

“(a) Except for full rims 2 mm or less from the ground surface of the horseshoe, traction devices are prohibited on forelimb and hindlimb horseshoes during racing and training on dirt or synthetic racing tracks.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Racetrack farriers express concerns that the traction device ban offers no latitude for variable climates, track surfaces or the…
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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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