The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Fairplex Park in Pomona, Calif., has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility.
The accreditation of Fairplex Park was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Fairplex hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Ronald Jensen, DVM; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators (ORI); racing official Richard Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
“Fairplex Park was reviewed earlier this month during its current live meeting,” said Ziegler. “The facility’s dedication to safety was impressive, as indicated by ‘Best Practice’ ratings it earned in areas including the CHRB’s post-mortem veterinary examination program; maintenance and sharing of the veterinarians’ list; fire safety planning and procedures; establishment of a safety committee; testing for alkalinizing substances; shock wave therapy protocols; medication and testing communication procedures; ambulance support and medical care; and a variety of wagering security procedures including elimination of cancel delays, exclusion of pools when non-verifiable, timing display and synchronization on video broadcast and totalisator; and wagering incident investigation protocols.”
“Fairplex Park is very pleased to be an accredited member of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance,” said Jim Henwood, President and CEO of the Los Angeles County Fair Association/Fairplex. “We are a believer in, and endorser of, the NTRA, and we have valued our long standing relationship with the organization since its inception.”
Fairplex Park is now the 25th racing facility to receive full accreditation, joining Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Belmont Park, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, Arlington Park, Saratoga Race Course, Calder Race Course, Turfway Park, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Oak Tree at Santa Anita, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Pimlico, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack, Suffolk Downs, Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park and Kentucky Downs.
The Alliance, formed in October 2008 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 six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; safety research; and wagering security. Within those six categories, specific standards 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
- Totalisator technology and “stop wagering” protocols
- Wagering incident investigation
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 www.NTRAalliance.com.