On Jan. 23 the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) published new racing regulatory standards as part of its continuing process to adapt standards to current integrity threats as well as new technologies and innovation.

The standards are included in the ARCI’s Model Rules of Racing and can be downloaded at arci.com.

In addition, the group added more than 70 previously unclassified substances to its Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances, the guiding document for horse racing’s anti-doping and drug testing program, providing guidance to regulatory authorities and labs as to the potential threat posed by the substance if found. Unclassified substances, if found in a drug test, remain a violation and are treated severely if found absent mitigating circumstances.

The ARCI also increased recommended penalties for clenbuterol and albuterol violations in Quarter Horse racing, recommending a one-year and $10,000 fine for a first violation involving either drug if found at any level. This change, requested by the American Quarter Horse Association, is designed to combat the abuse and misuse of these otherwise legal medications in Quarter Horse contests, the ARCI said.

In an effort to protect horsemen, the ARCI also adopted new screening limits developed by the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities for testosterone in fillies, mares, and geldings, as well as morphine (as a potential contaminant).

“The ARCI is appreciative for the work of those organizations that participate in the Model Rules process and propose changes to what has been an effective and universally accepted foundation for racing regulation,” said ARCI President Ed Martin. “We are particularly grateful for the contributions made by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the Racing Officials Accreditation Program, the Stronach Group, and the American Quarter Horse Association for their work on many of the standards that have been adopted.”

The updated standards also include:

  • A change in the condition eligibility determination for horses which are placed first due to an adverse laboratory finding against the winning horse (ARCI-006-020);
  • Modifications to the coupled entries rule (ARCI-010-010);
  • A description of the duties and authorities of outriders (ARCI-006-077);
  • An addition to the recently adopted concussion protocol which requires jockeys to provide the results of an annual baseline concussion assessment test as a condition of licensure (ARCI-008-030), and;
  • A set of guidelines for single pool (also known as merged pool) pari-mutuel calculations. The guidelines will be published as an industry advisory on the ARCI website.

Updates to the regulatory standards are considered three times each year and pending matters are posted at arcimodelrules.online. In some jurisdictions, portions of the ARCI standards are incorporated by reference in rule or statute, affording them the force of law in that jurisdiction and advancing regulatory uniformity.

The ARCI is the only umbrella organization of the official governing rule making authorities for professional horse and greyhound racing in North America and parts of the Caribbean. The ARCI sets standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug testing laboratories, totalizator systems, and racetrack operation and security, as well as for off-track wagering entities.



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