Kentucky thoroughbred groups join racing integrity coalition


racing-jockeyTwo Kentucky-based thoroughbred organisations have joined the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, adding to the wave of support for national oversight of uniform medication standards in the sport.

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders (KTOB) have both joined the coalition, which also includes The Jockey Club, the Water Hay Oats Alliance, Breeders’ Cup, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Humane Society Veterinary Medicine Association.

KTA executive director Chauncey Morris said the association believed consistent medication administration and enforcement regulations are necessary to preserve Kentucky’s breeding and training tradition.

Kentucky is the biggest producer of Thoroughbred foals in the world, responsible for 34 percent of the US foal crop, the largest concentration of stallions, veterinary practices and breeding farms, and is home to the leading yearling and breeding stock sales, premier race meetings at Keeneland and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and year-round racing at Turfway Park, Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs.

“Our directors appreciate the fact that the Coalition and its legislative partners have considered our input and will ensure that industry oversight is tough, fair, and accountable for implementing an effective and efficient anti-doping program, and they voted unanimously on June 17 to support the legislation,” he said.

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) has also joined the coalition,  affirming its support for national oversight of uniform medication standards.

“It is time to rein in the excessive use of racehorse medication and finally modernize the state-by-state patchwork regulatory system in place today,” said Barry Kellogg, VMD, senior veterinary advisor for HSVMA.

“With a uniform standards, testing and oversight, veterinarians who devote their careers to the welfare and humane care of racehorses can be confident that the system will work in the best interest of the animals.”

The Coalition supports legislation that will direct the US Anti-Doping Agency to create an independent, thoroughbred racing-specific organisation to work collaboratively with state racing commissions throughout the country. KTA/KTOB has already played an integral role in advocating for effectiveness and accountability reviews to ensure that these reforms are successfully implemented, as well as in encouraging further industry collaboration on costs, violations, and penalties.

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