The chairman of the US Jockey Club has reaffirmed his organisation’s commitment to push for medication-free racing in North America.
Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps, delivering the keynote address at the 48th International Conference of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) in Paris, told delegates: “If we don’t have integrity, we don’t have fans.
“And if we don’t have fans, we don’t have an industry.
“A medication-free environment would be good for all of us, whether the consumer is the investor in bloodstock or the gambler.
“In North America, The Jockey Club’s main focus is reforming our medication policies.”
Phipps said The Jockey Club (USA) would continue to work closely with the IFHA and its international colleagues on all matters, including horse welfare, safety, and integrity issues.
Members from 49 racing nations undertook during Monday’s conference to continuously protect horse welfare and further implement strong anti-doping controls
IFHA chairman Louis Romanet said protecting horse welfare remained paramount for the organisation.
“Collectively, we must identify best-practice approaches, develop global standards, and promote education and research initiatives to fulfill this fundamental responsibility as racing authorities.”
He said the IFHA intended to utilise the new International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) between the FEI and IFHA as a primary vehicle for this discussion.”
Romanet also highlighted that the IFHA was directing its Advisory Council on Equine Prohibited Substances to develop a program of certification for racing laboratories in order to make available reference labs in all continents, with an aim that they could eventually test for high level group and graded races.
“The federation’s commitment to a stringent anti-doping policy has been well known since the IFHA’s inception.
“The implementation of international screening limits and the publication of detection times was a key first step.
“The introduction of a lab certification program coupled with strong out of competition testing will go a long way to strengthen and secure fair competition of racing.”
The day-long conference featured two primary sessions.
The first explored racetrack surfaces and safety; the second looked at building a successful social media strategy.