HISA Can Restore its Credibility with Farriers by Communicating

A name is powerful. It defines one’s character and ethics. For the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, its name defines a noble and significant mission. Yet, its credibility within the farrier industry is eroding the most important word in its name — integrity

The first 8 months of HISA’s existence have been witness to a dizzying array of shoeing rule clarifications, delays, changes and selective enforcement. Its “chaotic implementation” has drawn scrutiny from four United States senators. (See “HISA Considering More Shoeing Rule Changes” on Page 41.) The good news is there’s a simple solution — communicate with farriers.

Lack of Communication

The farrier industry has been relegated to the proverbial kiddie table at Thanksgiving dinner from the beginning. It has been told what it’s going to do without consultation regarding the simplest of questions.

The Federal Register published the HISA Racetrack Safety Program on Jan. 5, 2022. Rule 2276 states, in part, “(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.”

The rule created confusion among racetrack farriers and manufacturers. Why? A 2 mm or less full-rim shoe does not exist. Furthermore, there’s a reason 2 mm outer rim shoes aren’t manufactured. When they were available, they were difficult to level and clinch.

Manufacturers were not consulted on whether the shoe existed, nor were they asked how the prohibition of an…

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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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