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California Horse Racing Board votes to leave racing organization, ARCI

After hearing from staff who noted California Horse Racing Board policies on medication are moving away from the model rules of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, board members unanimously voted June 20 to leave the racing umbrella regulatory group.
Meeting at the Alameda County Fairgrounds for its regular meeting Thursday, the commissioners unanimously approved leaving the ARCI. Because racing is regulated by individual states, the ARCI works to shape model rules and encourages member jurisdictions to adopt to provide uniformity. But CHRB staff and commissioners suggested Thursday that the ARCI is lagging too far behind its new policies and then voted to leave the organization.
Following a rash of breakdowns at the current Santa Anita Park meeting, the CHRB has put a number of policies in place that are more restrictive than the current model rules. CHRB executive director Rick Baedeker said California's added restrictions on medication this year are now out of step with the ARCI.
"In the last several months, racing in California has changed dramatically," Baedeker said.
Baedeker noted California's updated medication restrictions on anti-inflammatories; corticosteroids, which now call for a 14-day stand-down; and Lasix. Baedeker notes the board appears to be moving even further on these restrictions. For instance, it's considering eliminating race-day Lasix for 2-year-olds next year. He also said the CHRB's limitations on use of the riding crop are more restrictive than the model rule. 


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