Horses are led to paddocks past the Seabiscuit statue during workouts at Santa Anita Park, as members of the California Horse Racing Board weigh new safety and medication rules in the wake of 22 horse deaths during a meeting at the track in Arcadia, Calif., Thursday, March 28, 2019. (Photo: AP)
The California Horse Raising Board has voted to severely limit the use of whips on horses in racing statewide following the deaths of 22 horses at Santa Anita Park.
The board reached that decision Thursday at a passionate meeting in which representatives of jockeys argued that the whips were not connected to the horse deaths and that such a drastic change should be delayed for more study.
Board members soundly rejected that idea, saying they personally witnessed whips being overused on some of the horses that died at Santa Anita and that if horse racing is to survive, changes are necessary.
The board also is considering new medication rules.
The vote to limit whips now goes to a regulatory agency for a public comment period and will have to go before the board again before it can become state law.