The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority is adding a second farrier industry representative as it navigates its racetrack shoeing regulations.
The HISA Board of Directors has appointed Patrick Reilly to its Racetrack Safety Standing Committee. Reilly, the chief of Farrier Services at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Clinical Studies — New Bolton Center, succeeds Dr. Peter Hester, who left the committee to become HISA’s national medical director.
“Patrick’s background and expertise as a farrier will be invaluable to our committee and will help us guide the implementation and evolution of HISA’s shoeing regulations and other racetrack safety rules moving forward,” says Susan Stover, chair of the committee. “We are proud of the progress we’ve made across the industry in the initial months of the Racetrack Safety Program and look forward to working with Patrick to continue to improve upon the program’s effectiveness to date.”
Before joining New Bolton Center in 2006, Reilly owned and operated Reilly Farrier Services and served as the resident farrier at Rochester Equine Clinic in Rochester, N.H. A graduate of Midwest Farrier School, Reilly has co-authored several works published in Equine Veterinary Journal, the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science and American Farriers Journal. He is a recent graduate of the Equine Locomotor Research program from the Royal Veterinary College in London, England.
“I am very happy that HISA has considered a farrier for the Racetrack Safety Committee,” Reilly says. “Farriers play an important role in the welfare of horses and I am excited that HISA has included the farrier industry in supporting its mission. Our goal is to shoe horses as safely as possible and have the rules evenly enforced.”
Reilly joins Oklahoma City, Okla., farrier Thomas Trosin as a farrier industry voice within HISA. Trosin was appointed as the lone farrier to HISA’s 19-member Horseman’s Advisory Group in mid-October. The appointments of Reilly and Trosin follow vocal criticism of HISA’s development and implementation of its racetrack shoeing regulations.
In June 2022, a bipartisan quartet of United States senators questioned the “chaotic implementation and poor communication” of the Authority, as well as whether the FTC has the “ability to effectively provide oversight of the Authority and ensure it complies with HISA.”
The mandated implementation of HISA was July 1, 2022; however, the Authority did not meet the deadline for the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, horseshoes and riding crop regulations. The horseshoeing rules took effect Aug. 1.
“This deadline is statutorily required and neither the FTC nor the Authority have the authority to extend this deadline,” according to a letter addressed to Lina Khan, chair of the FTC and Lisa Lazarus, president and CEO of the Authority. The letter is signed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; and Sen. John Kennedy, R-La.
American Farriers Journal was the first to report May 12 that the Authority would delay the implementation of the shoeing rules until Aug. 1.
“This is also concerning because we understand the initial rules were functionally impossible for industry participants to implement due to limited supply chain availability of horseshoes and riding crops,” according to the senators’ letter. “This raises questions about what industry representatives were consulted in the drafting of the rule.”
American Farriers Journal contacted the four main manufacturers and suppliers of Thoroughbred racing plates to determine whether they had been consulted during the initial drafting of the shoeing rules. Victory Racing Plate Co., Thoro’Bred Inc., Mustad Hoofcare and Farrier Product Distribution, which supplies Kerckhaert racing plates, said they were not consulted.
Although Dr. Susan Stover, chair of HISA’s Racetrack Safety Committee, confirmed the delay with American Farriers Journal on May 12, it officially was confirmed June 28 on the Authority’s website. HISA published a downloadable fact sheet on shoeing requirements before June 17 that stated the rules would be delayed until Aug. 1. Citing American Farrier Journal’s May 12 report, the senators chastised the Authority for how it has implemented HISA and its effect on the farrier industry.
“And now, only one week before the rule was set to take effect, the Authority published a notice announcing a one-month delay in enforcement of these rules,” according to the letter. “This chaotic implementation process and poor communication by the Authority makes it difficult for industry participants to comply with the new rules and regulations. Additionally, continuously changing implementation dates for new rules and regulations, and last-minute delays, cause more confusion and difficulty with implementation.”
In response to the senator’s letter, HISA announced in late July that it would not enforce traction rules for dirt racetracks. Horses may be shod on the hinds with either a full outer rim shoe up to 4 mm in height or a toe grab up to 4 mm in height. The full ban on toe grabs remains in place on front shoes.
HISA has said it will review the shoeing rules for 2023.