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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Compiled Various Sources — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publishes an air quality index (AQI), which considers the amount of particle pollution, ground-level ozone, and toxic gases (carbon
monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide) in the air. T

he AQI varies from location to
location and changes throughout the day. The AQI is available on both Android and iOS
applications and can be searched by location.

The EPA has established a six color-coded tool for communicating about outdoor air quality
and health. The colors correspond to a range of index values. The higher the AQI value, the
greater the health concern. The chart has been replicated below.

Effective immediately:
While the AQI is under 150:

  • Horsepersons should monitor their horses for signs of respiratory inflammation
    and contact their attending veterinarian to evaluate horses exhibiting coughing,
    respiratory distress, nasal discharge, or fever.
  • It is otherwise safe to exercise or race horses at these AQI levels.
    Once the AQI reaches 150:
  • The chief veterinarian of the racing association at which training or racing is
    conducted shall contact the stewards or presiding judges and track management
    to advise them of the presence of an elevated AQI.
  • The chief veterinarian, stewards or presiding judges, horsepersons, jockeys,
    drivers, outriders, and racetrack management shall collectively determine
    whether to cancel racing.
  • The steward or presiding judge and equine medical director retains authority to
    unilaterally intervene, as they determine circumstances warrant.

Ed Note: Most recent sources this morning rate the AQI in New York at 165

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