As part of the review process, the Authority’s Racetrack Safety Standing Committee is accepting comments and suggestions from racing participants and other stakeholders, according to a HISA spokesperson.
It will establish a public comment period after the committee drafts revisions of the rules. Public comments will be considered before submitting the rules to the Federal Trade Commission. Another round of public comments will follow before the rules are finalized. Comments and suggestions can be submitted to HISA by emailing email@example.com.
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 it would delay the rules 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.