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Arlington Park Promotes ‘Safety from Start to Finish'

| Churchill Downs Communications | 04/24/2010 #

In advance of its 2010 season opening on April 29, Arlington Park announced its safety initiatives in place for the 2010 season.  These safety initiatives are part of Churchill Downs Incorporated's Safety from Start to Finish program - a comprehensive, ongoing initiative to improve the safety of both horses and people at CDI's four racetracks including Arlington Park.

The key Safety from Start to Finish initiatives that are in place for the 2010 meet are as follows:

  • Independent, standardized third-party testing and monitoring of track surfaces;
  • "Supertesting" of all winning horses for more than 100 performance-enhancing drugs for every race;
  • Age restrictions requiring Thoroughbreds to be at least 24 calendar months of age before becoming eligible to race;
  • The banning of steroids;
  • The prohibition of "milkshaking", which results in excessive levels of total carbon dioxide in Thoroughbred racehorses;
  • Prohibiting the transport of horses from CDI facilities for slaughter;
  • Permanent revocation of stall privileges for any owner or trainer who sells a horse for slaughter that was previously stabled at a CDI track;
  • The banning of unsafe horseshoes, including front shoe toe grabs longer than two millimeters;
  • The use of low-impact riding whips with limited usage rules;
  • The presence of on-site medical personnel, equipment, and state-of-the-art equine ambulances;
  • Immediate online access to jockey medical histories for emergency medical personnel;
  • $1 million in catastrophic injury insurance coverage for jockeys;
  • Mandatory and uniform reporting of equine injuries to the Equine Injury Database System, thereby assisting in the compilation of statistics and trends to improve safety conditions around the country;
  • Professionally designed and installed safety rails on the inside of the main course;
  • Mandatory usage by all jockeys, exercise riders and other on-track personnel of safety vests and safety helmets that meet internationally acknowledged quality standards;
  • 3/8-inch foam padding on all parts of the starting gates;
  • Inspection of all horses by regulatory veterinarians prior to and following all races;
  • Review of security procedures around the barns and other racetrack backstretch areas; and
  • Continued maintenance of protocols for the treatment of horses that have been injured during racing or training, to ensure the most humane treatment possible.

Arlington Park Fully Accredited by NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance
During 2009, Arlington Park was accredited for a two year period by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association ("NTRA") Safety & Integrity Alliance program as were all CDI properties.  Arlington Park was the fourth track in the United States to receive such accreditation and all four CDI racetracks were noted by the Safety & Integrity Alliance for safety measures that were considered ‘best-practices' in the industry.