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Monday, August 10, 2015

ARCI Responds to the Jockey Club Round Table

 Editor's note:  While primarily thoroughbred racing in context, there are many points which apply to harness racing.  In particular, I suggest you read the section on STATS: The New Vision for Racing.  Here is a video of the aforementioned Roundtable (2hrs).  For those who lack two hours to watch the video, here is an article which highlights the roundtable regarding medication, including the potential for eliminating Salix.  Other related articles may be found here.

Also, note the Jockey Club is mandating the microchipping of all foaled race horses starting with the 2017 season (voluntary in 2016).  This is something we have been arguing for a long time but has been rejected by standardbred interests.  The time has come to begin microchipping of horses.

MEDIA ADVISORY: ARCI President Comments to Jockey Club Roundtable Presentations

For those reporters seeking a comment from the ARCI concerning things said at the Roundtable conference, please refer to the statements indicated below on topics raised during today’s presentations.

Statements of Ed Martin, President, ARCI

“While The Jockey Club is to be commended for its commitment to the sport and its efforts at promotion and marketing, its departure on some significant issues from a cooperative effort with industry regulators as to how to address equine welfare and integrity challenges is most unfortunate.

Professional horse racing is not limited to Thoroughbred racing.   Equine welfare and integrity challenges should be addressed holistically, working with the entire community of regulators.  The Jockey Club possesses no regulatory authority other than as a breed registry.   The collection of data in Jockey Club computers that is not seamlessly integrated with regulatory data systems potentially undermines the benefits to be achieved from these efforts.”

Equine Injury Database:

“The Equine Injury Database has been an important reform and tool.   It was developed by regulatory personnel working with The Jockey Club’s technical staff.  It is not, however, made available to the regulatory commissions who require track-specific information in order to address track-specific problems which may contribute to equine injury.  It is time for this database to be shifted to direct regulatory control.”   

STATS: The New Vision for Racing:

“While technology affords exciting opportunities for fans to analyze performance data, we question the extent to which fans will be being charged for data and whether this may depress the growth of the sport.   The management of racing data is currently a monopoly and it is a legitimate question to ask whether monopolies are the most effective way to service the sport and its fans.”  

AAEP Recommendations:

“Veterinarians have expansive authority under various laws and federal regulations to utilize legal substances they deem appropriate for the treatment of horses.  The proposals Dr. Anderson articulated can be implemented immediately by veterinarians through the treatment decisions they make.  The regulation of legal medications used in training may require additional authority for state commissions over the practice of veterinary medicine on race horses.   We are already exploring this and are in the process of taking steps to require the regulatory registration of all racehorses.

“The remarks concerning time-based restrictions on drugs emulates a long standing policy in New York and is one that, in my opinion, makes sense.   The ARCI had initially included such restrictions in our Model Rules but removed them at the request of industry representatives.   Regulators are open to revisiting this matter.

“We welcome AAEP’s desire to develop a non-raceday solution to treat EIPH and end the long standing and divisive issue surrounding a thirty year equine welfare policy.    Those responsible for the medical care of horses have urged us not to change the furosemide policy.  Given the 2015 consensus statement from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine concerning the seriousness of EIPH, the time has come for this issue to be de-politicized.” 

Governor Beshear:

“We appreciate Governor Beshear’s comments and praise his action in Kentucky by signing the Interstate Racing Regulatory Compact legislation which state regulators across the country have endorsed as a way to achieve the goals the Governor articulated.    It is unfortunate those who helped develop this concept have not followed through on their support in order to implement this.

“We also agree with the Governor that there are issues with the proposed federal legislative approach.    The ARCI, as it has historically, will continue to work with all interested parties to enhance the integrity of racing.   We note that no federal bills being proposed were written with the consultation of those involved on the front lines of policing this sport.”

Comments of Edwin Moses:

“To date, USADA has not accepted the ARCI invitation to collaborate with the existing network of racing regulators, lab directors, and research scientists who currently operate a program that meets the metrics Mr. Moses indicated were necessary for an effective anti-doping program.   The lack of USADA collaboration directly with its counterparts in racing may explain his unfamiliarity of the similarities that exist between the two efforts.

“If USADA wants to help horse racing, we can figure that out now absent the years it will take for a federal bill.   There are no impediments to achieving common goals.”

“It is unfortunate the “Roundtable” is not a roundtable discussion where the audience could benefit from an interaction between USADA and ARCI regulators on how to have the most effective ant-doping program for racing.”   

Barr/Tonko Bill:

“Despite being well intentioned, this legislation is not workable.   Racing’s equine welfare and anti-doping policies should not be placed in the hands of a private organization with no experience with horses that operates a program that is one thirty-seventh the size of what is done in racing.

“The legislation provides no federal help and may complicate an already difficult job.”

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