Joint inflammation and osteoarthritis (OA) are common issues in competition horses. These conditions often lead to decreased performance and lameness.
Veterinarians can treat OA via joint injections, which involve placing drugs directly into the joint capsule. Some drugs commonly used include corticosteroids, polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid. Biologic therapies like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells can also be used.
Vets determine which drugs to use and how often to administer them based on their clinical experience; this is often guided by anecdotal evidence rather than scientific findings. This lack of direct comparisons between treatment options means there are no guidelines for how often a joint should be injected – or for which treatment is best.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is pleased that the House Appropriations Committee adopted critical H-2B relief language in fiscal year ‘23 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Bill. The language would provide cap relief at a reasonable time during peak season, which would greatly help business related to the Thoroughbred industry.H-2B workers fill many backside positions that are vital to the day-to-day operations of racing stables across the country.
“Everywhere I go I hear how labor is nearly impossible to find,” said NTRA President & CEO Tom Rooney. “It is so important for the Thoroughbred industry to get backside positions through the H-2B visa program. I am encouraged by the committee’s inclusion of the H-2B relief language and NTRA will continue to engage with lawmakers to find a permanent solution.”
On Friday, June 24, 2022, the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment that would extend the current discretionary language that allows for an extension of the cap for FY ‘23 on H-2B visas. If it becomes law, the Secretary of Homeland Security will be required to issue guidance implementing this section no later than 60 days after enactment and will be immediately effective upon its publication. House leaders hope to have a full vote on this spending bill in July and if passed it would then move to the Senate for consideration. In addition, following the relief language adoption, unions expressed a commitment to work with lawmakers as well as industry to try and negotiate a permanent cap solution beginning in July.
The H-2B visa guest worker program is a nonimmigrant visa program used by many industries that need temporary non-agricultural help when domestic workers are unavailable. For the horse racing industry, trainers rely heavily on the H-2B program to fill various backside positions.
A study spearheaded by Dr. Sarah Freeman, of the University of Nottingham, found that large intestinal impactions, those of the cecum or large or small colon, are easier to resolve than blockages of the small intestine, though they can be difficult to diagnose, reports EQUUS magazine.
Large intestine impactions are often less painful and not as complex as small-intestine impactions, as there is more room for intestine distention. The mild, subtle pain a horse experiences can be difficult to discern, however, and might delay the procurance of a veterinarian.
Freeman and graduate student Kyra Jennings reviewed the records of 120 horses with large intestine impactions seen by vets in the field. They found that most cases (42.1 percent) occurred in the winter or after a management change (59 percent).
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority released the following list of clarifications on Thursday, regarding the relevant enforcement dates for its racetrack safety regulations.
Rule 2276. HORSESHOES
New horseshoe requirements will not be enforced until August 1, 2022 to ensure adequate inventory of HISA compliant horseshoes.
Rule 2281. RIDING CROP SPECIFICATIONS
The riding crop specification rule will not be enforced until August 1, 2022 to enable adequate inventory of HISA compliant crops.
Note: Rule 2280. USE OF THE RIDING CROP will be enforced July 1, 2022.
Rule 2143. RACEHORSE MONITORING (Vaccinations)
Enforcement of the HISA vaccination requirements is delayed until January 1, 2023 to allow horses to be vaccinated with previously unrequired vaccines at times that do not interfere with training and racing schedules. HISA vaccines must be administered by January 1, 2023.
Note: HISA vaccination requirements are in addition to all state and racetrack vaccine requirements; therefore, all state and racetrack requirements still apply.
Rule 2261. TRANSFER OF CLAIMED HORSE RECORDS
When a Horse is successfully claimed by a new Trainer, the previous Trainer must transfer Trainer records … to the new Trainer within three (3) days of transfer of the Horse to the new Trainer.
Note: ‘Trainer records’ include only records of medical, therapeutic, and surgical treatments and procedures. Required records do NOT include other materials related to training techniques or protocols.
The veterinary treatment records submitted to HISA by the Attending Veterinarian are associated with the Horse’s data record and as such, they travel with the Horse. As soon as the Designated Owner and/or Responsible Person (usually the Trainer) are changed in the HISA System, the new Designated Owner and Responsible Person will have access to the veterinary treatment records of the claimed horse.
However, the Trainer treatment records, which are only required to be maintained by the trainer (and not submitted by the trainer unless specifically requested by HISA), would be transferred according to the following process:
a. The Claiming Clerk will process the claim, changing the Responsible Person and/or Designated Owner to the new Designated Owner and/or Responsible Person (in the HISA System).
b. A message will be sent to both the Current Responsible Person and the new Designated Owner and/or Responsible Person (using HISA Messaging System) directing the process for transfer of trainer treatment records.
c. The Current Responsible Person will be directed to a Claim Form on the HISA website for listing all treatments performed on the horse within the last 60 days, including medical, therapeutic, and surgical treatments.
d. The Current Responsible Person will send the completed Claim Form to the new Designated Owner and/or Responsible Person outside of the HISA System. For example, the Current Responsible Person obtains the contact information of the new Designated Owner/Responsible Person from the Claiming Clerk so they can email the form.
e. A message will be sent to the new Designated Owner and/or Responsible Person asking them to confirm receipt of the Horse records. Additional technological innovations may further facilitate the process.
Note: Trainers are not required to maintain nor transfer Horse training records, nor are they required to transfer records created prior to July 1. Therefore, if a Horse is claimed on July 15, trainers are only expected to transfer 15 days of records.
Rule 2271. PROHIBITED PRACTICES
The following are prohibited practices:
(d) Thermocautery including but not limited to pin firing and freeze firing, or application of any substance to cause vesiculation or blistering of the skin, or a counter-irritant effect.
• The prohibition on pin firing and freeze firing applies only to the dorsal surface of the third metacarpal/metatarsal bones (“shins”). This prohibition will apply beginning with the foal crop of 2022; it will not apply to horses foaled prior to 2022.
• Pin firing and freeze firing of other structures is not prohibited.
• Application of any substance to cause vesiculation or blistering of the skin or a counter irritant effect is prohibited on all structures.
(f) Use of electrical medical therapeutic devices including magnetic wave therapy, laser, electro-magnetic blankets, boots, electro-shock, or any other electrical devices that may produce an analgesic effect within forty-eight (48) hours of a training activity or of the start of the published post time for which a Horse is scheduled to race.
• ‘Analgesic effect’ means a pain-masking effect that would compromise the ability to determine a Horse’s soundness. Therefore, those modalities may be used for other purposes.
• ‘Training activity’ means a published high-speed work.
Rule 9000. REGISTRATION OF COVERED PERSONS AND COVERED HORSES
Registration Requirement for Covered Persons. A Covered Person as defined by 15 USC § 3051(6) shall register with the Authority in accordance with this rule on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority website at https://portal.hisausapps.org/registration.
• Enforcement of the requirement to register under Rule 9000(a) will begin on July 2, 2022, the day after the program effective date of July 1, 2022.
• Any person who has registered with HISA may request to be unregistered by sending an email with the request to HISA at firstname.lastname@example.org. A person shall be deemed unregistered immediately upon HISA’s receipt of the email according to the date stamp on the email.
Additional resources and information may be found on the HISA website at https://www.hisaus.org/. Implementation resources are located on the Resources page of the website at https://www.hisaus.org/home#resources.
Due to Excessive Heat, Post Time for Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 Has Been Moved to 4:15 pm (Central)
Bossier City, LA – The 2022 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet enters its ninth week this Saturday. It has been an excellent start of the live racing season for jockey Jose Guerrero who has been on top of the standings since the meet began on May 7.
The 28-year-old has come a long way since he rode his first winner in 2016. With brief stints in Texas and Arkansas, he has found his home in Louisiana. Guerrero was fifth in the standings here in 2020 and finished as the third-leading rider last year. When the Louisiana Downs season wraps, he heads to Delta Downs, where he has finished fourth in the standings for the past two years. The native of Mexico has been in lead at Louisiana Downs throughout the 2022 live racing season, holding off tough competition including former leading riders Emanuel Nieves, Joel Dominguez and Carlos Lozada.
“My luck has changed since I came to Louisiana,” stated Guerrero.
Top ranked trainer Shane Wilson has given Guerrero the first call on the majority of his horses and explained what he saw in the talented rider.
“I took notice of him three years ago and told my owners that Jose was going to be the guy,” stated Wilson. “He was riding these 40 and 50-1 shots and out finishing much better horses. Always a hard worker, Jose was always first to arrive in the morning and would still be around when the track closed.”
Last year, Wilson sat down with Guerrero and asked him if he knew the difference between being a jockey and a skilled race rider.
“Jose wasn’t really sure what I was getting at, but I told him that to win more races, he would have to learn to study, understand his competition and be able to make a plan,” explained Wilson.
Guerrero liked the idea, and got on board, ignoring teasing from plenty of folks on the backside asking him how his “film study” was going.
“Shane has given me so much confidence,” said Guerrero. “He saw something in me, and we have developed a strong working relationship. After I work horses, we watch replays and talk about what each horse does well and what I can do to win more races. Shane has taught me a lot.”
Steve Melancon is Guerrero’s agent and has booked him successfully with a number of trainers, including Patti Turner, Tim Dixon and Bob Schultz. He credits Turner for giving him mounts when he was just starting out.
“Patti is such a nice lady,” said Guerrero. “I began galloping for her when I was an apprentice and will alwaysremember Jack Be Quick when he was a 2-year-old. He was such a beautiful horse and winning on him was so special!”
Turner laughed when told that the Arkansas-bred son of Forefathers was one of Guerrero’s all-time favorite mounts.
“Jose fell in love with that horse,” recalled Turner. He would come to the barn and rub on Jack, who could be a little bit of a pill! It took a while for them to connect, but they ended up getting along well. I am happy for his success; Jose is a really good guy!”
He is a fulfilled young man away from the racetrack in a committed relationship with Jaqueline Edison and their young son, Matteo.
“There is always pressure,” admitted Guerrero. “Everyone wants to win, and someone is always trying to pass you. I’ve been in that position before, so I understand. I am not thinking ahead to the end of the meet. I am proud of how I am doing now and will continue to be positive.”
Louisiana Downs Post Time Adusted this Weekend
Post time on Saturday and Sunday has been moved to 4:15 pm (Central) due to excessive heat and will remain at 3:05 pm on Monday and Tuesday. The 2022 Thoroughbred meet at Louisiana Downs continues each Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday through September 27 For details on simulcasting and special events, visit ladowns.com.
Reels at the Races to Debut on Sunday, June 26
Louisiana Downs will host Reels at the Races on Sunday, June 26. The first live Thoroughbred race will take place at 4:15 pm (Central) and families are invited to enjoy the racing and events on the trackside apron, including music spun by a DJ, food trucks, face painting and more. At dusk, the animated Disney film, “Encanto,” will be played on a big screen and families can bring lawn chairs and enjoy the movie.
About Louisiana Downs
Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is now owned by Rubico Acquisition Corporation. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.
HISA registration webinar now available on OwnerView YouTube page.
Please be advised that OwnerView’s webinar on registration with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), held Thursday, June 16, as part of the virtual Thoroughbred Owner Conference series, is now available for viewing on OwnerView’s YouTube page at bit.ly/ownerviewpage. The webinar was moderated by TVG Analyst Caton Bredar and included Lisa Lazarus, chief executive officer of HISA, and Steve Keech, technology director for HISA.
OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.
The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.