Kentucky Panel Adopts Policy on Horse Identification

Horses racing in Kentucky will now be identified the morning of their respective races and before leaving the paddock following a directive from Jim Gallagher, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority (KHRA).

Gallagher, during an Oct. 18 KHRA meeting at Churchill Downs, told authority members the state veterinarian would now check the lip tattoo of all horses entered on the day's card, and the tattoos would be checked again and verified in the afternoon by the horse identifier prior to leaving the paddock for the track.

Gallagher said if the state veterinarian couldn't verify the lip tattoo--if the horse is unruly or if the tattoo is faded or difficult to read--the horse identifier would be notified and required to do a full inspection of the horse.

The new directive follows an incident at Ellis Park (a track near Henderson, Ky., and Evansville, Ind.) this summer in which the horse Boggy Creek wasn't properly identified and ran under the name Parker Valley in a maiden race. Boggy Creek finished fifth.

"There were a series of missteps that happened at Ellis Park during the summer," Gallagher said. "If these procedures are followed, these mix-ups will not occur in the future. This new directive is meant to be a duplication of work."

In another directive, Kentucky will now require trainers or owners of horses that test positive for a prohibited substance to sign a release form if they waive their right to appeal the drug positive and choose not to have the split sample tested at an independent laboratory.

About the Author

Leslie Deckard

Leslie Deckard is a former staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine.

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