Colonial Downs Implements New Safety Protocols For Return To Racing

POSTED ON  |  07-08-2019

Colonial Downs
In restoring Thoroughbred racing in Virginia after a six-year hiatus, Colonial Downs, in conjunction with the Virginia Racing Commission, today announced a comprehensive set of elevated safety and horse welfare procedures and protocols for its upcoming race meeting, which opens on August 8.   These broad-based protocols will encompass Pre-Race Examinations, Medication, Test Barn Procedures and Race Time Inspections, among many initiatives to be executed for the meet by the Colonial Downs racing department and the VRC.

“As we approach the opening of our meet, we strongly believe in our foremost responsibility to the ultimate safety and welfare of our equine and human athletes,” said Jill Byrne, Colonial Downs Vice President of Racing Operations.  “It is vital to our horsemen and our fans that we create an environment for racing that is conducted under the highest standards.” “We are pleased with the support and cooperation from the new owners of Colonial Downs,” said Ada Caruthers, DVM, Virginia Racing Commission. “With their support and cooperation, we are able to help ensure the safety and well-being of our equine athletes, as well as maintain the integrity of racing in Virginia.”

Part of those procedures and protocols are as follows:

Racing Integrity & Pre-Race & Race Day Protocols
A team of five in the Colonial Downs Racing Office staff members, led by Allison De Luca, Racing Secretary, have performed in depth research on all stall applicants and allotted stalls to those who fit the level of criteria for racing or stabling at Colonial Downs. The Racing Office will review all entries prior to acceptance and release of official entries for racing. Questionable entrants will be presented to the Stewards as well as the Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) Veterinarians for additional information as needed prior to denial of entry. 

Colonial Downs has instilled a policy of a 72-hour required Health Certificate for entry to the grounds. Security will maintain a detailed manual and digital log of horses shipping in and out. 

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