NTRA pushes for quick adoption of racehorse safety plan

Sep 16, 2008
By dvm360.com staff
Lexington, Ky. -- In another move toward reform in the racing industry, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is seeking to have a long-term plan to implement uniform health and safety measures for racehorses in place within 30 days - or by the time the Breeders' Cup World Championships are held Oct. 24-25 at California?s Santa Anita racetrack.

About 70 industry stakeholders, including owners, breeders, veterinarians, jockeys, regulators and racetrack and sale company officials, met in Lexington Sept. 12 to discuss ways to implement reforms quickly in five key areas: drug testing and medication, injury reporting and prevention, safety research, a safer racing environment and care for retired racehorses.

Some of the same issues have been addressed by the Jockey Club's Thoroughbred Safety Committee and various state racing jurisdictions following a June Congressional hearing on racing-industry reforms, and the breakdown the filly Eight Belles in this year's Kentucky Derby. And some reforms, particularly a ban on anabolic steroids in racing, are already adopted and being enforced in some states or in the process of adoption.

The NTRA says its goal is to have a plan in place soon to implement reforms in all five areas in racing jurisdictions across the country.