08/01/2008 12:00AM

New rule limits toe grabs


The model-rules committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners International on Friday approved a rule that would limit the height of toe grabs on horseshoes to two millimeters, the organization said on Friday after a meeting of the committee in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The approval means that the rule will be sent to the full board of the ARCI for a vote. The board board is scheduled to meet on Saturday.

The ARCI has supported a ban on toe grabs for one year, citing research that has shown that horses wearing front toe grabs are at far greater risk of catastrophic injury than horses wearing shoes without the grabs. A committee recently set up by the Jockey Club to issue recommendations on improving conditions for racehorses also has recommended that shoes with grabs higher than two millimeters be banned.

Many racing states adopt rules based on the ARCI's recommendations. Already, six states have put in place regulations on the use of toe grabs.

Also at the meeting on Friday, the model-rules committee adopted standards for racing whips. Those standards will also go to the full board for approval.