Friday, January 15, 2016

New 48-Hour Inspection Rule Circulating in WV

The West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association (WVTBA) is still awaiting clarification from the WV Racing Commission (WVRC), but news of a new requirement is going around the WV breeder community, particularly in Jefferson County and the surrounding area (Charles Town vicinity) that all breeders must notify the resident mare inspector of new foals and that they must be inspected on the farms within 48 hours of foaling. Several local breeders have received TXT or SMS messages from the mare / foal inspector, but no official notifications have been released from the WVRC.

Concerns being voiced in forums (paraphrased for brevity):
1. There are only two inspectors for the entire state of WV and a lot of foals born.
2. Weather is very unpredictable this time of year and can include tons of snow, causing delays and dangerous commuting / travel conditions.
3. With all the monetary issues in WV racing, where is the money coming from to pay the inspectors?
4. If the foal is in need of emergency vet care, some of the nearest equine veterinary hospitals are in VA, not WV, depending on the farm location. How is this scenario accounted for?

As of the posting of this comment, WVRC has not yet replied to the WVTBA's request for clarification.

My big question is this: with racing dates and purses in such decline in WV and the value of the WV-breds dropping precipitously at public sales, who on earth would want to sneak a foal into WV for WV-bred status? Half of the breeders have moved their stock to MD, especially those that board their stock at other farms. I truly, sincerely feel for those that have invested in farm properties in WV, spent many hours in Charleston fighting to keep the legislature out of the breeding and racing cooking jar that was self-sustaining for many years, only to see it all starting to slip away. These are people I call friends and colleagues in the breeding business.

My advice to the WV breeders: be adaptable, mobile, and agile. Your survival depends on it.

I will update this post as new information is received from the forums or from the WVRC and/or the WVTBA.

UPDATE 4:06pm 1/15/2016 from a WVTBA source:

"The requirement change was made by the Development Fund and had directed the inspectors to inform the farms that foal inspections were to be required. Upon further consideration it was decided that it would be prudent to more fully evaluate the current requirements and make any changes for the 2017 foaling and breeding season. So foal inspections will not be required in 2016. Please be sure to contact the inspector for non-resident mare inspections prior to foaling. Also contact the inspector if you have a resident mare leaving to be bred and when she returns (within 60 days after last date covered). The mare will be reinspected after her return. If a new mare comes into the program pregnant regardless of ownership contact the inspector. If in doubt of a mare's status contact the inspector and they can help determine what is required. The WVTBA office and website has the inspectors' contact information if you need it as does the WV Racing Commission website."

So it looks like rule formally goes into effect in 2017.

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