The National Steeplechase Association’s Board of Directors has adopted and implemented several proposals of its Steeplechase Safety Task Force. The proposals, presented by Task Force Chairman R. Reynolds Cowles, D.V.M., were considered and approved at the NSA’s board meeting in January.
The policies and their implementation were discussed at the NSA’s semi-annual stewards continuing-education seminar on Feb. 20, when they received unanimous support.
The recommendations were the result of extensive research into safety issues and several wide-ranging discussions by the Steeplechase Safety Task Force. The policies are designed to enhance current safety practices in NSA races. Among the Safety Task Force recommendations that were adopted as NSA policy are:
- Creation of a Stewards Watch List of horses that have fallen, lost their riders, jumped poorly, or displayed erratic behavior.
- A prohibition on apprentice jockeys riding horses on the Stewards Watch List.
- Limits of ten starters for all maiden races and three-year-old races.
- Creation of a Mortality Review Committee under the direction of the Stewards Advisory Committee, with enhanced reporting requirements for race-meet stewards.
- Mandatory reporting by attending veterinarians.
The full Steeplechase Safety Task Force report containing the adopted policies is available on the NSA website, in the Safety First section under About NSA.