This month, the California Horse Racing Board approved a new Inclement Weather Policy, which will be implemented at Santa Anita beginning on opening day, December 26th. The new policy is a formulated plan put in place to determine if the track is deemed safe for racing and training during or just after a weather event – such as the heavy rains that plagued Southern California last January. As with all of its policies, Santa Anita developed these protocols to promote the health and safety of all participants, including equine athletes and riders, keeping in mind that it is always best to err on the side of caution.
Some of the policy’s main points are:
- It addresses severe or harsh weather conditions including extreme temperatures, high winds, lightning, and precipitation.
- Decisions to alter racing or training will be made in coordination with the track superintendent, racetrack management, the Jockeys Guild, and the CHRB safety steward, with notification to the TOC and CTT.
- Horses will not be permitted to train on sealed tracks.
- Any decision to race on a sealed or floated track will be based on certification by the track superintendent and unanimous consent of the track general manager, Jockeys Guild representative, and Safety Steward that the track surface is safe and racing will not jeopardize the safe conduct of racing or training on subsequent days.
To read the complete Inclement Weather Protocol, click here.
Best wishes from TOC for Happy Holidays and a safe, healthy, and lucky New Year!