The unfortunate reduction in live racing together with statewide increases in workers compensation costs have created a funding shortfall for the horse industry’s workers compensation program covering jockeys and backstretch workers that is operated by Post Time Self Insurance. As a result, Post Time has found it necessary to increase the amounts to be paid by both owners and trainers, which fund the majority of program costs via per-stall charges from trainers and race per-start fees from owners, by approximately 10 percent. The owners’ per-start fee will be raised from $149 to $162 effective January 1, 2021. The per-start fee will continue to be automatically deducted from the owner’s paymaster account every time they start a horse.
To offset increased workers’ compensation per-start increases and provide additional financial support to California owners, TOC authorized an increase in the Guaranteed Participation Purses earlier this year from $351 to $500 per start in Southern California and from $300 to $450 in Northern California. Guaranteed participation purses are paid to owners of horses competing in all races in which their horses do not finish first through fifth. They are designed to help owners cover core costs involved in getting their horses to the races – such as the mandatory vet exam fee required by the CHRB. Horses finishing sixth and beyond (and to fifth place finishers when their share of purse money is less than the corresponding Guaranteed Participation Purse) are paid $500 to start in Southern California and $450 to start Northern California.