Horse racing board votes to ban toe grabs

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously Monday to ban toe grabs on horseshoes of all Thoroughbreds in training or in competition on Kentucky tracks.

A toe grab is a cleat at the front of the horse shoe to improve traction.

The rule was recommended by the health and safety committee of the commission. The committee looked at many years of scientific study showing a significant increase in the risk of front-leg injuries when toe grabs are used. The rule is only for the front legs.

The rule change follows a Jockey Club recommendation to ban toe grabs. Officials said five other state already have adopted such a rule.

”It's a big deal“ said Mitch Taylor, director of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School, who testified Monday at the commission's meeting at the Kentucky Horse Park.

”I expect to see a significant change, and even if this saves one horse, it's worth it,“ Taylor said.

The rule change will need to be confirmed in the state General Assembly before it takes effect.