HISA scheduled to take effect July 1, 2022
A portion of the regulations promulgated by the newly created Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2022. Regulations approved by the Federal Trade Commission currently are the 2000 Series, Racetrack Safety, 8000 Series, Violations, Sanctions, Hearing Procedures, and Investigatory Powers, and 8500 Series, Methodology for Determining Assessments. Sections of the Series 2000, specifically the 2100 series regarding racetrack accreditation, will be phased in over the next year allowing racetracks the opportunity to create the numerous committees and locate personnel needed to perform the duties associated with the safety requirements. All series 2200 rules are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2022, with notable exceptions of the horseshoe requirement and safety crop specifications extended to August 1, 2022 due to supply issues. Additionally, all "covered persons" are required to register with the Authority, which includes anyone with access to the restricted area of a racetrack. More details and how to register can be found by clicking here. Also, the WHRC has created a short memo with short explanations of those rules scheduled to go into effect. Click here for the memo.
Angel of the Winds OTB Location Now Open
The Emerald Downs OTB location at Angel of the Winds Casino is open, just in time for the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7th. The OTB is located in the Angel of the Winds Casino at 3438 Stoluckquamish Ln., Arlington, WA 98223.
Shoreline OTB Location Now Open
The Emerald Downs OTB location at Shoreline is open. The OTB is located at 16716 Aurora Ave N., Shoreline, WA 98133 and will be open every Wednesday through Sunday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
WHRC Declines HISA fee assessment
At a special meeting of the Washington Horse Racing Commission on April 22, 2022 the WHRC commissioners unanimously voted to decline to collect and submit fees to the newly created Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, (HISA). The Authority was created by the U.S. Congress in December of 2020 and was given the task of creating safety and medication standards for all pari-mutuel jurisdictions participating in inter-state simulcasting. While a well-intentioned goal, the Authority declined industry insights and assistance in creating both the medication and safety regulations and the fee structure, creating possible statutory issues for the WHRC regarding its ability to collect and submit the fees issued. Other topics that were considered by the commission was the lack of transparency and inability of the WHRC to ask for an audit of the Authority's budget, the use of public funds and the WHRC's statutory authority to both assess and collect fees for a non-governmental agency, along with the undetermined fees associated with the yet to be determined medication program. The WHRC is in the process of reviewing a voluntary agreement provided by the Authority in which the State regulatory officials would enforce the regulations approved by the FTC beginning on July 1, 2022.
Who is Horse racing?
The Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association has created a video showing the diversity and economic impact it has on those participating in horse racing, from the breeders to the employees that care for the horses on a day to day basis. Click here to see the video or it can be viewed below.
Sun Downs race meet canceled
At the March 11, 2022 regularly scheduled meeting the commission approved Sun Downs request to cancel their scheduled race meet. The request was made due to unforeseen circumstances and challenges that left them unable to guarantee the insurance coverage required to host a race meet.
Senator Derek Stanford appointed to commission as Ex-Officio
On January 18, 2022, Senator Derek Stanford was appointed as the newest Ex-Officio for the WHRC. Senator Stanford replaces Steve Hobbs, who was earlier appointed as Secretary of State.
Senator Stanford serves the 1st Legislative District which encompasses Bothell and areas north. He previously served as a Representative where he was the Chair of the Commerce and Gaming Committee. Currently in his role as Senator he is the Vice Chair for the Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee as well as serving on other committees. The WHRC welcomes Senator Stanford to the industry and looks forward to working with him on all issues surrounding horse racing.
2022 WHRC Approved thresholds for therapeutic medication and withdrawal guidelines
The WHRC and the Equine Medical Director have published a listing for 2022 of all approved therapeutic medications thresholds, and withdrawal guidelines. Additionally, information regarding compounded medication, nutraceuticals, and the use of CBD oils are provided by clicking on the links below:
Cannabidiol Bulletin Feb. 2019 - click here
CBD Update - click here
RMTC Nutraceuticals 101 A Trainer's Guide - click here
WHRC Thresholds 2022 - click here
WHRC Withdrawal Time Recommendations 2022 - click here
Labor and Industries Rates for 2022
The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has published its proposed 2022 industrial insurance rates for the Horse Industry Account. Rates are determined by data from the previous five years, July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020 of exposure and claim experience. Rates will increase for Risk Classes 6625, 6626, and 6627. Grooms and assistant trainers are up $4.62 per month, exercise and pony riders at the track, 6 cents per day per horse, and exercise and pony riders at the farms $1.11 per day.
Good safety procedures in the stable area and ensuring that no fraudulent claims are filed are the best ways to stabilize or reduce premiums in the future.
The following are the proposed industrial insurance rates for 2022:
WHRC Owners License Applications and Labor and Industries Premiums
All owners applying for a WHRC license are required to pay a subsidy to the Horsemen's Labor and Industries Account. The amount is based on the percentage of horses owned. The maximum amount to be paid is $150.00. The WHRC calculates the premium at a minimum of 10% ownership and then rounded up in increments of 5% after. Percentage of multiple horses are added together for calculations. For example, if an individual owns 11% of one horse and 12.5% of a second horse for a total of 23.5%, the percentage is rounded up to 25% and the L & I premium would be $37.50. Once an owner has paid $150.00, no additional premium is required. Below is a chart for premiums due:
1% to 10% ownership = $15.00
11% to 15% ownership = $22.50
16% to 20% ownership = $30.00
21% to 25% ownership = $37.50
26% to 30% ownership = $45.00
31% to 35% ownership = $52.50
36% to 40% ownership = $60.00
41% to 45% ownership = $67.50
46% to 50% ownership = $75.00
51% to 55% ownership = $82.50
56% to 60% ownership = $90.00
61% to 65% ownership = $97.50
66% to 70% ownership = $105.00
71% to 75% ownership = $112.50
76% to 80% ownership = $120.00
81% to 85% ownership = $127.50
86% to 90% ownership = $135.00
91% to 95% ownership = $142.50
96% to 100% ownership = $150.00
This premium is addition to the actual license fees of $96.00 plus $10.00 fingerprint fee, ($106.00), for all applicants over the age of 17 and under the age of 70. For those under 18 or over 69 the license fee is $96.00.
If you are unsure of how to calculate the ownership percentages or have any questions please call the WHRC offices at 360-459-6462 in Olympia or 253-931-6372 at Emerald Downs.
Washington State’s Down the Stretch Ranch Garners National Attention
Down The Stretch Ranch co-founded in 2015 by Hall of Fame Trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, his wife Janet, and Boone McCanna in Creston, Washington has gotten national attention recently. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit thoroughbred race horse retirement facility which connects injured or retired racehorses with United States Veterans and through the use of equine therapy helps bring comfort and companionship to veterans.
Down The Stretch ranch was recently placed in national spotlight by trainer Doug O’Neill whose support of the foundation was on display during Breeders Cup week when his horses wore coolers featuring Down The Stretch Ranch. The Paulick Report also recently featured an article written by Hank Wesch of Del Mar about Down The Stretch Ranch and the work it is doing with retired thoroughbred racehorses and veterans that can be viewed by clicking here.
For more information on Down The Stretch Ranch and what can be done to support their cause please visit their website http://www.downthestretch.org/ or their Facebook page by clicking here.
Now Accepting Credit & Debit Cards
The Washington Horse Racing Commission is now accepting Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit and debit cards for the payment of WHRC license fees, Labor & Industries Industrial Insurance premiums and other fines/fees collected. A service fee of 3% will be added to all credit or debit transactions.
Rulemaking Notification List
Any person who wishes to receive notification about WHRC rulemaking activities can be added to the stakeholder list. Requests to be added to the stakeholder list may be made by email at email@example.com, by telephone at 360-459-6462, by fax at 360-459-6461, or by mail at 6326 Martin Way, Suite 209, Olympia, WA 98516-5578.
Follow the WHRC Board of Stewards on Twitter
You can now follow the WHRC Board of Stewards on twitter. Get the latest rider changes, scratches, etc. directly from the stewards. Limited explanation of inquires and objections will be posted with a link to the Emerald Downs website for daily stewards report with a more detailed explanation that are up within 72 hours of each race day. Click here to start following at @whrcstewards for all the information.
The WHRC adopted changes to WAC 260-36-100 in 2019 which resulted in changes to the fingerprint requirements for applicants and licensees. Fingerprint based criminal history checks through the FBI are normally required every five years but may be required at any time. Each year every person between the ages of eighteen and sixty-nine must pay a $10 fingerprint processing fee in addition to the license fees. Any applicant or licensee over the age of sixty-nine or under the age of eighteen will not be required to pay the $10 fingerprint fee unless fingerprints are requested by the WHRC and they will be required to pay the entire cost of the submission at time of processing. Additionally, fingerprints may be required in the following circumstances:
2021 WHRC Annual Report
The Washington Horse Racing Commission's 2021 Annual Report to the Governor is available to view by visiting the WHRC Forms and Reports page or clicking here.
ARCI discusses regulation against "doping" and medication violations
The Association of Racing Commissioners International, of which the WHRC is a current member, and the University of Florida Racing Laboratory has released a five minute video in which the history of medication and horse racing is discussed. The video discusses current standards and protections in place to detect and deter intentional administrations. The WHRC has adopted virtually all of the recommended threshold levels currently recommended by the ARCI. Click here or scroll down to view the video.
2021 Owners and Breeders Bonus distributed
The Owners and Breeders bonuses for 2021 were mailed on Friday, November 19, 2021. The bonuses are calculated by using the total handle by Washington State residents during the live race meet at Emerald Downs. The WHRC is still attempting to contact and/or waiting to receive the forms required by the Office of Financial Management prior to them processing those checks. If you do not receive your award by December 15, please call to ensure that it was sent or for instructions on how to submit the form.
The total Owners Bonus is determined by 1% of all handle in the State of Washington during the live Emerald Downs race meet along with 2.5% of the Source Market fees generated from Advance Deposit Wagering. A total of $401,198.91 was generated for all owners of Washington Breds which finished first, second, third, or fourth at Emerald Downs. Washington Breds earned $2,464,623.37 during the 2021 race meet. This lead to a 16.2783% bonus to all owners of Washington Breds that qualified for the awards, an increase of over 3% from 2020. There are 138 different owners or ownership groups that will receive the bonus checks for the 228 different Washington Bred horses that finished first, second, third, or fourth at Emerald Downs. The top three owners were in order: Debbie and Frederick Pabst's Blue Ribbon Farm, John Parker, and Roy Schaefer's REV Racing, LLC.
The Breeders Bonus is determined by 1% of the handle on all exotic wagers on races conducted at Emerald Downs, (all wagers other than win, place, and show), during the live meet as required in RCW 67.16.175, as well as 2.5% of Source Market Fees from Advance Deposit Wagering. For 2021 a total of $212,731.08 was generated from the exotic wagers placed on Emerald Downs live races and from SMF thorough ADW. All breeders of Washington Bred horses which finish first, second, or third receive bonus awards. Of the money generated, 75% is given to the horses for purses earned when finishing first, 15% for purses earned for second, and 10% for purses earned for third place. The percentages for the awards is as follows, 11.3102% for first place purses, 6.3149% for second place purses, and 6.2181% for third place purses. A total of 88 breeders will receive bonus checks for 203 different Washington Bred horses that finished first, second or third at Emerald Downs. The top three breeders were in order: Debbie and Frederick Pabst's Blue Ribbon Farm, El Dorado Farm (Ron & Nina Hagen), and Bar C Racing Stables, Inc. (Pam and Ken Christopherson).
Click here for a breakdown of the payment factors.