The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted to limit the length of toe grabs on a horse's front hooves Monday, a move experts say could save countless horses from injury.
The toe grabs, which have been used on tracks for decades to
help horses gain traction on the dirt, have come under fire recently after experts found the equipment put too much pressure on the bones in a horse's front legs while running. The new limit
would not allow horses to race on toe grabs measuring more than 2
millimeters long. The approval is subject to legislative review.
The KHRC also reported that deaths of horses on Kentucky tracks
are down slightly so far this year compared with last year. There
were seven fatal breakdowns at Churchill Downs during its recently
completed spring meet, including the death of filly Eight Belles
immediately following the Kentucky Derby. That's down from 10 at
the 2007 spring meet.
Overall, there has been one less death at state tracks in 2008
compared with this time last year. There have been 17 catastrophic
injuries at the track this year, compared with 18 during the first
half of 2007.