Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Keeneland To Be Reviewed By NTRA Safety And Integrity Alliance Inspection Team April 9-10

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., will be the next U.S. racetrack reviewed by an inspection team as part of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance accreditation process. The Keeneland inspection visit will take place Thursday and Friday, April 9-10. A review of Churchill Downs was held Monday.

In preparation for the accreditation visit, Keeneland completed a 48-page written application that serves as the first step in the accreditation process. The track also hosted several meetings with Alliance officials and met with the Alliance’s independent monitor, former Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson. The on-site visit will include inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, regulators and customers.

Heading up the Alliance inspection team that will visit Keeneland are Ronald Jensen, DVM, Frank Lamb and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.

Jensen has worked as an equine veterinarian since 1963, and from 1997-2006 he was the Equine Medical Director for the California Horse Racing Board. He has also served as a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Association of Racing Commissioners International, the Racing and Medication Testing Consortium and the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities. Lamb is the former Executive Director of both the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association and the Wyoming Horse Racing Commission.

“The on-site inspection is a key component of Alliance accreditation,” said Ziegler. “It is the best measure of confirming that important health and safety policies are being properly and sufficiently executed.”

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. Alliance certification standards cover five broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; and safety research. Within those five categories, specific standards will focus on areas including:

* Systematic reporting of equine injuries
* Aftercare of racehorses
* Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
* Post-mortem examinations
* Health and safety of jockeys
* Riding crops and their use
* Horse shoes and hoof care
* Safety research
* Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
* 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
* Security assessment and training

Pimlico Race Course, Belmont Park, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Calder Race Course and Arlington Park—all of which have race meetings beginning in the spring—will be among the next tracks to undergo Alliance review.

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, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at

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