One of the primary topics of discussion at the meeting of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Rules Committee in Saratoga Springs, New York, July 24th, was extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT).
ESWT treatment provides not only relief for strained muscles and tendons but also promotes healing and has an analgesic, or pain-killing, effect.
Teresa Genaro reporting for the The Blood-Horse writes:
The petition for the rule change regarding ESWT was brought by the Jockeys’ Guild and based on jockeys’ concerns about the use of the therapy and the potential for horses to break down after being treated with it. An RCI model rule on its use already exists. The Jockeys’ Guild petitioned for the RCI to expand its current rule to match the policies of the California Horse Racing Board as of May 4, 2012.
Specifically, the Guild requested that use of shock wave machines be limited to a designated area and that a log of all treatments be available to the track’s official veterinary, stewards, or commission investigation. It also requested that that log be made available to jockeys or their agents so that they can be aware of what treatments a horse has received before accepting a mount on that horse.
Responding to these requests, the RCI voted to adopt changes to its model rule on ESWT requiring that treated horses are to be placed on an ineligible list instead of a veterinarian’s list for 10 days and not to train or race within that timeframe.
The other modifications petitioned for by the Jockeys’ Guild were not granted.
Genaro also writes:
It also voted to recommend that any violation of the RCI’s model rule on ESWT use be considered a prohibited practice and be subject to a Class A recommended penalty, which entails a one to three year suspension and a minimum fine of $10,000.
Well, we know what that means. Just another violation that will most likely never be enforced.
The use of shock wave therapy treatment and racehorses came to public attention during I’ll Have Another’s race for the Triple Crown. I’ll Have Another received ESWT during that time period and trained during the 10-day period but did not race.
Congressional Committees seek information on drugging and shock waving racehorses; Tuesday’s Horse; June 10, 2012
I’ll Have Another . . . shock wave therapy treatment please; Tuesday’s Horse; May 14, 2012