In the horse racing industry there are a few power houses that are known to all, and being the second biggest racetrack holdings company, Penn National Gaming Inc. packs a mighty punch when it makes decisions in regard to racing. Their new health and safety initiatives, released on 15 July 2008, will hopefully encourage other holdings companies and privately owned racecourses to follow suit, as Penn National Gaming Inc. are determined to improve the safety of horses and ensure that their welfare is taken seriously.
Without horses, there would be no horse racing, and Penn National Gaming Inc. are very much aware of this fact. Therefore, they pay particular attention to the recommendations made by The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee and have released their new regulations for all the racecourses in their six jurisdictions. These regulations will start to be implemented immediately over the coming months. The first of these initiatives is ensuring that all the new rules and regulations are abided by, by appointing a regulatory body in each jurisdiction to assist in the implementation of the new rules and ensuring that all parties act in accordance to the regulations.
In regard to toe grabs, which has been a subject of debate, the Penn National Gaming Inc. have decided to implement the recommendation by The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Commission, by ruling that the maximum length for toe grabs to be two millimeters. This will be effective from 1 October 2008. Also, no other traction assistance tools, including stickers, jar caulks, bends or similar devices will be allowed. They have also put together regulations in regard to extremely limited usage of medications, testing thresholds, and procedures, believing that controlling steroid use and medications should be the main focus of all racing facilities. Penn National Gaming Inc. has also endorsed the use and rules of the new riding crops. The company is also very supportive in the reporting of any injury or fatality suffered by horses while on the track, to compile a data base of these incidents, and find solutions to the problems. Monitoring synthetic racing surfaces and the comparing the injuries will also assist the horse racing community in establishing which surfaces are the safest for the horses.
The revised rules and regulations that have been released by Penn National Gaming Inc. have been compiled to ensure the health and safety of these magnificent athletes. They have also suggested that everyone in the racing industry should revise their rules, co-ordinate with each other, carefully look at racing dates, look into wagering and begin to crack down on individuals who are a part or assist in the slaughtering of racehorses. With so much attention being cast on the racing industry, positive changes, such as those that have been implemented by Penn National Gaming Inc., are welcomed by everyone and is a big step towards improving the image of horse racing and the entire industry.