Day At The Track

International Standards - equine races

08:30 AM 19 Apr 2019 NZST
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Association of Racing Commissioners International
Association of Racing Commissioners International
There are three organizations that set “international standards” concerning equine races:
  • the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI)
  • the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI)
  • the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA)

Recent press releases and political advocacy campaigns in the US have made reference to the need to adopt “international standards”.   The implied standards referenced are those of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities, embodied in 87 pages of an International Agreement.

No racing regulatory authority empowered to make or enforce rules anywhere in North America is allowed to vote on adoption of those standards, although individual members of the European Union may.    

By contrast, the ARCI standards are the result of cooperative discussions between all aspects of the racing industry and are adopted upon the votes of the actual racing regulatory authorities who have been given the statutory ability to adopt and enforce such policies.    The ARCI does not limit those regulatory authorities allowed to vote.

The standards of all three organizations are substantially similar, although the ARCI Model Rules are more exhaustive with regard to many matters.   One major difference deals with whether to permit the controlled and disclosed administration of furosemide on race day, an equine welfare program adopted decades ago designed to mitigate or prevent EIPH, exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage.  

The ARCI has been setting international standards for 85 years.  Those standards are embodied in the ARCI Model Rules of Racing of which all but 53 of its 468 pages apply to equine races and associated wagering.

Rebecca Shoemaker

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