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BC-RAC--Santa Anita-Fatalities

March 28, 2019
The California Horse Racing Board has begun discussing new safety and medication rules in the wake of 22 horse deaths at Santa Anita Park. Board Chairman Chuck Winner said at Thursday’s meeting that the board is “very concerned about the health and safety of the horses.” He also says it’s important to remember the thousands of people are employed by California horse-racing, saying “they feed their families based on this industry.”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a California Horse Racing Board meeting about new safety and medication rules following 22 horse deaths at Santa Anita Park (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

The California Horse Racing Board has begun discussing new safety and medication rules in the wake of 22 horse deaths at Santa Anita Park.

Board Chairman Chuck Winner said at Thursday’s meeting that the board is “very concerned about the health and safety of the horses.”

He also says it’s important to remember the thousands of people are employed by California horse-racing, saying “they feed their families based on this industry.”

Santa Anita agreed to make the changes after the horses suffered fatal injuries at the track in less than three months, angering animal rights groups and prompting protests.

Racing has been suspended since March 5.

Boone McCanna, co-founder of a ranch that uses retired thoroughbreds for equine therapy for veterans and needy children, said during a public comment period that the horses are “bred to race and they love to race” and the industry should be allowed to flourish.

No one spoke in favor of not allowing Santa Anita to resume racing on Friday.

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12:15 a.m.

The California Horse Racing Board is weighing new safety and medication rules in the wake of 22 horse deaths at Santa Anita.

The board is meeting Thursday at the track northeast of Los Angeles to consider whether to ban medication and whips on racing days, among other changes. If approved, Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields in Northern California would become the first racetracks in the nation to impose such restrictions.

Santa Anita agreed to make the changes after 22 horses suffered fatal injuries at the track in less than three months, angering animal rights groups and prompting protests.

Racing has been suspended since March 5 but is expected to resume Friday, pending the board’s votes.

Track owner Belinda Stronach says “the current system is broken” and that standards must be raised to modernize horse racing.

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