Live Racing Returns
January 6th, 2022

Sam Houston Race Park
RACING OPERATIONS
COVID- 19 Protocols, Policies and Recommendations
(As of June 16 2021)

Sam Houston Race Park management reserves the right to modify this document at any time.

To ensure the safety of all stakeholders, Sam Houston Race Park (“SHRP”) has identified specific risks to our stabling and racing facilities as it relates to COVID‐19. To reduce the potential exposure of COVID‐19, the following will be in place until further notice.

The following protocols, policies and recommendations are based on current CDC guidelines (www.cdc.gov).

This document covers the following topics:

  •   Entrance Policy
  •   Stable Area Access
  •   Sam Houston Race Park Dorms
  •   Trainers
  •   Veterinarians, Farriers and Vendors
  •   Administration Building‐ Racing Area
    • Entries
    • Race Day Draw
  •   Jockey’s Quarters Building
  •   Jockey Protocols
  •   Saddling Paddock Area
  •   Live Racing Staff
  •   Training Hours
  •   Live Racing
  •   Emergency Contact Info

SHRP Entrance Policy and Face Covering Policy

Sam Houston Race Park will no longer perform temperature checks upon arrival. All licensees, employees and customers will have the option of wearing a face covering while on property, with the following exception:

  •   The Texas Racing Commission may require face coverings to be worn by anyone in 
      any TxRC office, including the Licensing or Stewards offices

Face coverings are optional in the following areas:

  •   Stable Gate
  •   Walk‐In Gate
  •   Racing Office
  •   Jockey’s Quarters
  •   Entrance Gates
  •   Employee and Horsemen’s Entrance

Exposure to Covid -19

Definition of Exposure

  • Being within six (6) feet of someone who has COVID‐19 for a total of fifteen (15) minutes or more
  • Providing care to someone who has COVID‐19 or someone in your household has COVID‐19 or showing symptoms
  • Having direct physical contact with someone with COVID‐19
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils with someone with COVID‐19
  • Someone with COVID‐19 sneezed, coughed, or somehow spread respiratory droplets onto you

Social distancing (a separation of six (6) feet or greater) is recommended throughout Sam Houston Race

Park.

Stable Area Access

Stable Area access will only be available to the following TxRC licensees and necessary personnel:

  • Trainers/ Assistant Trainers
  • Grooms/Hotwalkers
  • Exercise Riders
  • Jockeys
  • Private Veterinarians‐ Must obtain vendor approval from SHRP
  • Farriers‐ Must obtain vendor approval from SHRP
  • Outriders/ Pony People
  • Medical Personnel
  • Authorized Sam Houston Race Park Employees
  • Texas Racing Commission Staff
  • Haddad Tack Shop Personnel
  • Truck Haulers and Van Drivers
  • Any other individuals approved by Sam Houston Race Park management or the
    Texas Racing
  • Commission
  • Owners will be permitted Stable Area access starting March 15, 2021.
  • Visitors will not be permitted Stable Area access.

Sam Houston Race Park Dorms

Sam Houston Race Park Security will monitor the Stable Area activity on a daily basis (reminder that visitors will not be allowed at any time).

A maximum of two (2) person may be in Dorm Rooms. This rule will be strictly enforced.

If a licensee living within Sam Houston Race Park’s dorm area begins to feel ill or shows possible symptoms of COVID‐19, then the licensee or Trainer must notify SHRP Security immediately.

Sam Houston Race Park Security or EMT staff will perform a temperature check with a non‐contact thermometer and ask basic health questions relating to COVID‐19 symptoms. SHRP’s Entrance Policy will be applied. Anyone showing COVID‐19 symptoms will be required to leave SHRP property immediately.

Cleaning and Hygiene

  • Dorm occupants must practice proper hygiene and conduct regular cleaning of their allotted dorm area(s)
  • Sam Houston Race Park will provide additional soap dispensers in all bathrooms. Everyone should wash their hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Additional sanitizing and cleaning of the bathrooms will be performed

Trainers

Trainers or their responsible personnel are accountable for their employees to ensure all safety protocols and procedures are being followed.

  • Limit human to human contact
  • Limit to one person in the tack room at any time
    • Six feet is the minimum recommended distance
  • Limit the number of staff in the barn to essential staff or stagger shifts to limit number of staff in the barn
  • Designate one or two employees to work with:
    • Veterinarians
    • Farriers
    • Vendors
  •   Assign equipment to specific employees
    • This limits the amount of touching by employees
  •   Take your employees’ temperatures every day.
  •   If you or any of your staff feel ill, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO WORK!

Regardless how inconvenient this may be to your operation, decreasing the number of people in an area is crucial to decreasing the spread of this virus.

The following items and areas should be disinfected on a daily basis:

  •   Halters
  •   Wheelbarrow/shovels/rakes/brooms
  •   Doorknobs
  •   Stall clips/gates
  •   Barn door handles
  •   Light switches
  •   Counters/desks
  •   Each horse’s water and feed buckets
  •   Cross ties/stall ties
  •   Grooming supplies
  •   Tack (before and after being used)

COVID‐19 is easily killed in the environment with most disinfectants. Consider using the following:

  • Lysol spray (or similar)
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Diluted nolvasan, povidone‐iodine, bleach, or chlorhexidine
  • Soap and water (a bucket of soap and water continuously available for hand washing or rinsing is convenient and effective – but it must be changed regularly if dirt or manure gets into it).
  • Set up one or more sanitizing stations for your barn. The easier it is for people to keep things clean and disinfected, the more likely they are to do so.

Veterinarians, Farriers and Vendors

  • SHRP asks that trainers designate only one person from your barn to interact with veterinarians and farriers to limit the human to human exposure
  • Maintain social distancing (separation of six (6) feet or greater) as much as possible
  • SHRP recommends that all private veterinarians, farriers and vendors consider enforcing similar measures as they move from barn to barn during this time

Administration Building- Racing Area

All individuals entering this area will have the option of wearing an approved face covering and follow social distancing as needed.

Sam Houston Race Park will provide additional sanitization stations within these areas.

Entries

  • SHRP recommends that entries be made via telephone or through RTO’s online entry system (See Racing Office for additional details)

Draw

  • SHRP will also provide live streaming video via Zoom of the draw for those who are unable to attend

Jockey’s Quarters Building

The Jockey’s Quarters will be limited to the following TxRC licensees:

  •   Clerk of Scales
  •   Paddock Judge
  •   Jockeys (Only those designated to ride on that race day)
  •   Valets
  •   Silks Coordinator
  •   SHRP Security
  •   Track Chaplain
  •   EMT staff (when necessary)
  •   TxRC Staff
  •   Sam Houston Race Park Management

Sam Houston Race Park’s goal is to limit the number of people in the Jockey’s Quarters at one time.

  • All licensees (listed above) will have the option to wear an approved face covering and follow social distancing as needed.
  • Owner silks may be used for races to be run at Sam Houston Race Park. Silks MUST be delivered to the Racing Office only.
  • The sauna, hotbox or whirlpool will not be available
  • Jockeys will be allowed three (3) pounds weight allowance
  • Food service will be eliminated and those licensees (listed above) will be allowed to bring in their own food
  • The Jockey’s Quarters will be tobacco free during the racing season
  • Walking through the grandstand will be allowed during racing hours. Those licensees with Jockey’s Quarters access will have the option to wear a face covering and walk through the MASK OPTIONAL section of the paddock level (south of food court).
  • The Clerk of Scales will monitor and ensure all protocols and procedures are followed

Jockey Protocols

Jockeys who have fulfilled all COVID‐19 vaccination requirements based on current CDC Guidelines, will not be required to provide a negative CDC gold standard PCR Covid‐19 nasopharyngeal test* upon arrival.

According to current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days or more after receiving the second dose in a two‐dose series (Pfizer‐BioNTech or Moderna), or 14 days or more after they have received a single‐dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson / Janssen). SHRP will adhere to the current CDC guidance regarding COVID‐19 vaccination standards.

All jockeys who plan to ride at Sam Houston Race Park, who are not fully vaccinated according to CDC Guidelines, will be required to provide a negative CDC gold standard PCR Covid‐19 nasopharyngeal test* within 72 hours of the race day in which they first plan to ride at Sam Houston Race Park.

*REAL‐TIME REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION‐POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION TEST

If a jockey, who has not all fulfilled all COVID‐19 vaccination requirements based on current CDC Guidelines, leaves Sam Houston Race Park and rides at another jurisdiction, they will be required to provide Sam Houston Race Park the protocols listed above prior to returning.

If local COVID‐19 conditions worsen, Sam Houston Race Park may require all jockeys in SHRP’s colony to provide a negative CDC gold standard PCR Covid‐19 nasopharyngeal test* by the first Monday of each month. SHRP recommends that jockeys take this test no less than 96 hours prior to the due date. Jockeys who fail to provide results will not be allowed to participate at SHRP until paperwork is provided.

*REAL‐TIME REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION‐POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION TEST

Sam Houston Race Park at its sole discretion, may expand restrictions to incoming riders arriving from a racing jurisdiction deemed to be a COVID‐19 hotspot.

Live Racing

Jockeys have the option of wearing a face covering during the following:

  •   Communicating with trainers or assistants prior to mounting
  •   Being escorted by a pony horse
  •   Entering the Starting Gate
  •   Unsaddling with Valet and weighing out with the Clerk of Scales
  •   Returning to the Jockey’s Quarters
  •   Jockeys may lower their face covering during the running of the race.
  •   Gloves are recommended to be worn

Sam Houston Race Park Live Racing Staff

The following SHRP Racing Staff will be required to provide a negative CDC gold standard PCR Covid‐19 nasopharyngeal test* upon arrival.

  • Clerk of Scales
  • Paddock Judge
  • Farrier
  • Starting Gate Staff
  • Valets

*REAL‐TIME REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION‐POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION TEST

If local COVID‐19 conditions worsen, Sam Houston Race Park may require all Racing Staff to provide a negative CDC gold standard PCR Covid‐19 nasopharyngeal test* by the first Monday of each month. SHRP recommends that jockeys take this test no less than 96 hours prior to the due date. Jockeys who fail to provide results will not be allowed to participate at SHRP until paperwork is provided.

*REAL‐TIME REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION‐POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION TEST

Saddling Paddock Area

The following licensees will be allowed in the Saddling Paddock.

  • Clerk of Scales
  • Paddock Judge
  • Farrier
  • Trainer of the horse
  • One (1) person per horse (groom or lead)
  • Jockeys
  • Valets/ Assistant Starters
  • SHRP Security
  • EMT Staff (when necessary)
  • TxRC Staff
  • Sam Houston Race Park Management
  • Owners will not be allowed in the saddling paddock for overnight races
  • If a horse needs additional assistance, the Paddock Judge may grant an extra licensee to assist.

All licensees entering the Saddling Paddock will have the optional to properly wear an approved face mask and follow social distancing requirements as needed.

Training Hours

Face covering are optional for all licensees throughout training hours at Sam Houston Race Park. This includes the “In and Out” gap and those on horseback. The starting gate staff will disinfect the starting gate throughout training.

Racing Hours

All TxRC licensees have the option to wear a face covering and follow social distancing requirements as needed. The starting gate staff will disinfect the starting gate throughout the race day.

Emergency Contact Info:

If you are not feeling well, Sam Houston Race Park strongly recommends you seek medical assistance immediately. Please contact the following numbers.

Sam Houston Race Park Security 281‐807‐8790

Harris County Public Health 832‐927‐7575

To locate free COVID‐19 testing sites throughout Harris County, please visit

www.publichealth.harriscountytx.gov

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