The NMHA is seeking information to determine the feasibility of supplementing the purchase of Worker's Compensation Insurance by Trainers and Owners who are required under New Mexico law to have it.   Presently, New Mexico law requires that  all agricultural employers including NMRC licensed race horse Trainers  have worker's compensation insurance protection in place for their workers, including grooms, gallop personnel and themselves so long as they are in operation.

Briefly, the law requires that a trainer have worker's comp insurance in place  if he or she is in business and  has 3 employees or more including themselves.  If the Trainer has only 1 employee and  themselves working at the barn,  no insurance is required.   The premiums for workers comp insurance are set at a certain rate per $100 of payroll.    The rate is determined by the loss experience of the covered group.   Our industry's premium rate per $100 of payroll is quite high due to the fact that the number of eligible Trainers who carry workers comp insurance on their employees including themselves is very low and the fact that working with horses is a dangerous occupation. 

The goal of the initiative is to have all eligible employees covered.    The proposal is to take a modest amount from the purse account at each race track per each horse start and use this money as a partial offset to the worker's comp insurance premium.  The amount of credit per start would be set by a person who is an expert in setting rates for insurance in our industry.   The money would be paid along with individual premiums from the "owner" (usually the Trainer)  of the barn which employs the workers.   Workers paid on w-2 wages or 1099 wages are employees and therefore  covered.  This would include grooms, gallop personnel, pony personnel and possibly others who do labor at the barn.   Vets, farriers and other occupations would not be included in the coverage as they are  running there own business of providing services to the industry. 

To come up with the amount of purse money of the proposed horse start subsidy the following information is needed.

1. Number of persons employed by the barn including the Trainer, Grooms, Gallop Personnel and Pony Personnel. This information would cover a full year, from January to December. 

2. The average pay of each person including the Trainer,  who is employed over the year..  If the employee has been replaced, the pay over the remainder of the year for the replacement employee.  Please provide the average weekly wage for each employee.

3. The number of horses in your racing stable.

4.  The average number of starts for each horse in your stable over the full  year. 

5.  This information will be kept confidential and will be used solely to determine the cost of insurance and to get a good number on the amount that would be subsidized through overnight purse money. 

Please e mail your information to   You may fax the information requested to 505.266.0643.    If you have any questions or comments, please call Pat Bingham at the NMHA office at 505.266.7056.