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June 2019: California Horse Racing Board Recent Decisions

The California Horse Racing Board conducted its regular meeting Thursday, June 20, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Chairman Chuck Winner presided. Vice Chair Madeline Auerbach and Commissioners Dennis Alfieri and Fred Maas also were in attendance. The audio of this entire Board meeting is available on the CHRB Website (www.chrb.ca.gov) under the Webcast link. In brief, The Board approved agreements authorizing Golden Gate Fields, the Sonoma County Fair and Humboldt County Fair to impose two of the same restrictions on medications that are in effect at Santa Anita, specifically a reduction (by half) of authorized Lasix and a prohibition against the administration of corticosteroids within 14 days of a race.
 
• In a series of actions designed to protect horses and riders, the Board also: 
 
1) Began the regulatory process to prohibit horses at CHRB-regulated facilities from racing or training within 30 days of being treated with extracorporeal shock wave therapy. The rule would also prohibit an owner or trainer from bringing any horse that was so treated onto the racetrack without approval from the Official Veterinarian.
2) Approved for public notice a rule prohibiting the administration of bisphosphonates to horses within those same inclosures. The rule also would prohibit a horse from entering the grounds within six months of having been administered bisphosphonates.
3) Approved for 45-day public notice a proposal to make permanent those emergency measures taken in recent months eliminating the previously authorized amounts of steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that can be present in a postrace sample.
4) Moved to require veterinarians to file treatment reports electronically, rather than handwritten, to facilitate computerized recordkeeping and better CHRB monitoring of veterinary treatments and medications. 
5) Approved for 45-day public notice a proposed rule requiring trainers to provide the most recent two weeks of veterinary records for any horses shipped into race from outside a CHRB inclosure.
6) Gave final approval to a rule making certain horses ineligible to race unless they work satisfactorily or otherwise demonstrate their race readiness.
 
• During public comment, the Board heard from a number of people expressing their views on animal rights, the importance of racetrack jobs, and other issues concerning the life of a racehorse. 
• The Board approved the license application for the Pacific Racing Association to operate a race meet at Golden Gate fields that will run from August 15 through September 29, provided they meet certain conditions, including the submission of agreements with all simulcast outlets in Northern California.
• Approved the license application for the Sonoma County Fair to operate a meet in Santa Rosa that will run from August 1 through August 11.
• Approved the license application for the Humboldt County Fair to operate a meet in Ferndale that will run from August 15 through August 21.
• The Board agreed to withdraw from membership in the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
• The Board put over until the July meeting consideration of a proposal by Xpressbet to facilitate wagering by patrons of a Fortuna restaurant, who would place their wagers through the Xpressbet Advance Deposit Wagering platform using their own communications devices. The Board asked for a legal analysis regarding its authority in this matter.
• The Board approved for 45-day public notice proposed regulatory amendments to clarify and improve previously approved rules pertaining to requirements to have microchips implanted for identification purposes before a horse can race in California.
• The Board approved the agreements for funding of CHRB operations by the racetracks.
• The Board authorized Watchandwager.com to distribute $4,000 in race day charity proceeds to five beneficiaries. 

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