TOC News and Announcements

The latest news, updates and announcements from TOC

Workers’ Comp rates to receive a modest increase in 2024

Arcadia, Calif. – Post Time Self Insurance has advised that due to a likely reduction in the horse population and the number of starts in 2024, there will be a slight increase in the horse industry’s workers’ compensation program covering backstretch workers and jockeys. The workers’ compensation program is operated by Post Time Self Insurance and most of the program funding is derived by per-stall charges to trainers and race per-start fees to owners.

The owners’ per-start fee will increase from $146 to $158, effective January 1, 2024, and will continue to be automatically deducted from the owner’s paymaster account when a horse competes in a race in California. Owners have the right to opt out of the Post Time Self Insurance program, provided they secure workers’ compensation coverage to comply with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) requirement.

The base rate for the per-stall fee will increase from $4.60 per day to $5.00, also effective January 1, 2024. Over the past several years, dating back to July 2020, workers’ compensation rates have held relatively steady with a slight decline during that period in the per-stall rate and a slight increase in the per-start rate of only six percent from $149 in 2020 to $158 in 2024. The table below provides the history.

There is no change in the guaranteed participation purse money provided, which serves as an offset to these costs for owners of horses that do not finish first through fifth and are not included in the official purse distribution. The guaranteed participation purse money is designed to help owners cover core costs such as the mandatory vet exam fee required by the CHRB as well as workers’ compensation insurance. Guaranteed participation purse money is paid at a rate of $500 in Southern California and $450 in Northern California for horses which finish sixth and beyond. In some cases, there is also a top-up payment to meet this level when the purse money share for a fifth-place finish is less than the guaranteed amount.

Recent History (2020-2024) Southern California Rates

YearOwner Per StartTrainer Base
Rate Per-Stall
Guaranteed Participation
Purse Money