NTRA SAFETY AND INTEGRITY ALLIANCE CIRCULATES COMPLIANCE STANDARDS FOR REVIEW; ACCREDITATION SET TO BEGIN IN MARCH
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that a comprehensive set of safety and integrity standards has been circulated to members of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. After a period of comment, the compliance standards will be finalized in early March and serve as the basis for Alliance accreditation, which also will begin in March. The Alliance, formed last October with the goal of establishing national uniform standards in the areas of safety and integrity, includes 55 racetracks in North America and every major national horsemen’s organization.
Compliance will cover five broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; medication and testing; and safety research. Within those five categories, specific standards will focus on many areas including:
· Systematic reporting of equine injuries
· Aftercare of racehorses
· Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
· Post-mortem exams
· Health and safety of jockeys
· Riding crops and their use
· Horse shoes and hoof care
· Safety research, including racing surfaces
· Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
· Safety training
· Exogenous Anabolic Steroids
· Alkalinizing agents (TCO2)
· On-track emergency medical care for humans and equines
· Out-of-competition testing
· Freezing and retrospective testing of post-race samples
· Continuing education
The accreditation program initially will focus on human and equine safety, but will be expanded to cover additional areas, including wagering security.
The accreditation process will include a written application to be submitted by the member and an on-site visit by an Alliance safety team that will perform inspections and conduct interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators and customers, among others. The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, former four-term Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, serves as independent counsel of the Alliance and will provide public reports on Alliance progress in instituting safety and integrity standards.
“The safety and integrity standards issued for review are the most ambitious in the history of the industry. They incorporate recommendations developed by a number of organizations including The Jockey Club, the RMTC (Racing Medication and Testing Consortium), Breeders’ Cup Limited and TOBA (Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association), and racetracks like Churchill Downs and Keeneland, as well as input from customers, horsemen, vets, jockeys and regulators, among others,” said Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA. “Every segment of the industry will be asked to advocate on behalf of the Alliance and to support its initiatives and members. The goal is simple: implementation of uniform safety and integrity standards on a national basis.”
"Much has been accomplished in recent years with respect to safety and integrity in Thoroughbred racing,” said Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. “Our industry is committed like never before to demonstrating through action that the safety of our human and equine athletes, and the overall integrity of our sport, are of paramount importance.”
The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Information on the Alliance can be found at www.NTRAalliance.com