Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) rules that went into effect July 1, 2022, mandate that all exercise riders wear helmets and safety vests that meet specific safety standards. To help the exercise riders at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows comply with HISA regulations, the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (FTHA) and 1S/T RACING have joined forces to launch the Safety Equipment Voucher Program. The program will provide a $200 voucher toward the purchase of each helmet and a $200 voucher toward the purchase of each vest that is defective or not up to code to offset the cost of replacing equipment.
“Our exercise riders have a tremendously important but also dangerous job,” FTHA President Joe Orseno remarked. “We want to be sure they have the very best protection available. Top of the line equipment that meets the safety standards is expensive, so we have teamed up with 1S/T Racing to make sure that the riders can get the equipment they need.”
1S/T RACING’s Chief Operating Officer Aidan Butler said, “We must have safe racing from the beginning of the morning to the end of the day. Some of the first people on the track each day are these talented exercise riders, and their role is vital to the health and safety of our horses and jockeys. We want to make sure they have the finest and most pioneering protection. We’re pleased to partner with the FTHA to provide this equipment.”
Under HISA regulations, safety equipment is subject to inspection, and all helmets must meet one of the following product safety standards:
- American Society for Testing Materials – ASTM 1163
- European Standards – EN–1384 or PAS–015 or VG1
- Australian and New Zealand Standards – AS/NZ 3838 or ARB HS 2012
- Snell Equestrian Standard 2001
All protective vests must meet one of the following product safety standards:
- ASTM F1937 or F1781–08
- EN 13158:2000 Level 1
- BETA 2000 Level 1
- SATRA Jockey Vest Document M6–3
- ARB Standard 1.1998
The program is open to all exercise riders and pony riders at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows who are currently employed, hold up-to-date credentials and have a valid Florida State racing license.