Toe grabs have been associated with an increased risk of fetlock injury, which is the major cause of racehorse fatalities due to musculoskeletal injury, according to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. Traction devices alter normal limb conformation, which can predispose to injury.

U.S. Delays New Racetrack Horseshoeing Rules

Committee chair confirms ban on all traction devices

Farrier Takeaways

  • Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority delays horseshoeing rule enforcement until Aug. 1, 2022, to help manufacturers meet market demand.
  • Dr. Susan Stover confirms toe grabs and traction or mud nails are still prohibited.
  • If conditions warrant, farriers can apply a 2 mm outside rim (around the entire circumference of the shoe) to provide additional traction. It must not alter the conformation of the hoof relative to the ground surface. The maximum height that the rim can extend from the ground surface of the shoe is 2 mm.

As the calendar flips to July, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Racetrack Safety Program is largely in effect. Implementation of the shoeing rules is the only component that remains.

“The delayed enforcement date is to allow shoe manufacturers to have sufficient time to ensure adequate inventory for compliance,” Dr. Susan Stover, chair of HISA’s Racetrack Safety Committee, told American Farriers Journal. “The horseshoe rule will be enforced starting Aug. 1, 2022.”

Stover, an International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame member from the University of California, Davis, notified horseshoe manufacturers of the extension in mid-May. Manufacturers such as Victory Racing Plate Co. and Thoro’Bred Inc. are certain that they will be ready to meet market demand.

“Victory feels confident when HISA is enacted definitively that we will be prepared to supply race plates that meet the regulation,” says Mark Hickcox, sales manager at the Rosedale, Md.-based Victory. “We are 100% behind improving the welfare of the horse and Thoroughbred…

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Jeff cota 2023

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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