Safety First

The safety of our athletes, equine and human, is our top priority. California racing is among the most regulated sports in the world, for the protection of our participants, and we have numerous safeguards in place to prevent accidents and injuries. 

Accreditation and Regulation

Thoroughbred racing is regulated by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), which oversees all aspects of horse racing, licensing, and wagering. The CHRB protects animal welfare and fosters safety, and CHRB investigators are sworn police officers whose duties include patrolling the stable areas at all California racetracks and authorized training facilities. CHRB regulations include a specific animal welfare provision, and the CHRB will prosecute any case of abuse, cruelty, neglect, and mistreatment.

Injury Prevention

We’re vigilant when it comes to preventing accidents and injuries long before the start of each day’s races.

Rules for Racing

Raceday rules protect our athletes:

To prevent unsound horses from being entered in claiming races (a race in which each starter is available to be “claimed” for a set purchase price), California implemented a rule voiding claims for any horse placed on the Veterinarian’s List following a race.

CHRB rules prohibit pregnant mares from running after 120 days of gestation.

California has the toughest rule in the country governing how jockeys may use their riding crop and the rule is strictly enforced. Only padded riding crops are allowed, and jockeys may only strike a horse three times before giving the horse a chance to respond.

Veterinary Care and Emergency Services

We work hard to make our racing and training environments as safe as possible, but when accidents do happen, we have state-of-the-art veterinary care on-site and ready to respond, including on-track vets, modern equine ambulances, on-site nuclear scintigraphy and other equipment to analyze injuries. Equine hospitals are also within a short drive from each of our racetracks.

Paramedics and an ambulance are on site at each track and at the ready to assist with any human medical emergencies.