The Thoroughbred Safety Committee today announced three new recommendations to the industry to further improve the health, welfare, and safety of its equine athletes.
The recommendations call for:
– Increased self-reporting statistics from the Equine Injury Database
– Mandatory stand-down period for horses in the care of trainers determined to be in possession of or intending to administer illegal substances to racehorses
– Banning the presence of clenbuterol in Thoroughbred racehorses and Thoroughbreds consigned for public auction
The recommendations resulted from a meeting of the Thoroughbred Safety Committee held March 17 in Lexington, Ky., and via teleconference. The full text of the recommendations can be found on The Jockey Club website at jockeyclub.com/default.asp?section=Advocacy&area=14.
“As with most of the world, our industry is facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also facing challenges from within,” said Craig Fravel, chairman of the Thoroughbred Safety Committee and chief executive officer, Racing Operations, The Stronach Group. “At this critical time, it is more important than ever that we ensure our industry is taking the best care of its horses and holding stakeholders accountable for their actions.”
“Two items The Jockey Club has advocated for over the years are increased transparency into the health and safety of horses and that horses should compete only when free from medication,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer, The Jockey Club. “Implementing these recommendations will show that our industry is serious about the future of our sport and the health and welfare of our equine athletes.
“We commend Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton Company and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company for recently announcing restrictions on the use of several medications at sales. We encourage racing regulatory authorities to follow this example and eliminate the use of clenbuterol in racing.”
Gagliano also noted that imposing mandatory stand-down periods for horses determined to be the subjects of illegal substances will assist racetracks and regulatory authorities with decisions regarding horses that are potentially the unwilling subject of illegal activity.
“The recent indictments of 27 individuals with regard to illegal performance-enhancing drugs demonstrate the need to have rules that protect the health and safety of Thoroughbreds from the uncertain and potentially dangerous effects of these substances,” he said.
The Thoroughbred Safety Committee was created in May 2008 to review every facet of equine health and to recommend actions the industry can take to improve the health and safety of Thoroughbreds. The committee convenes to review myriad safety issues with a cross section of industry representatives, including jockeys, trainers, veterinarians, chemists, pedigree experts, handicappers, owners, breeders, blacksmiths, racing commissioners, racetrack executives, and geneticists.
Committee members are Craig R. Fravel (chairman), Dr. Rick Arthur, James G. (Jimmy) Bell, Dr. Larry Bramlage, Dell Hancock, Jim Lawson, Christopher J. McCarron, Dr. Hiram C. Polk Jr., Tom Robbins, Jaime Roth, and D. G. Van Clief Jr. Each is a member of The Jockey Club.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It is the sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best americasbestracing.net. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.
The Jockey Club Press Release