May 17, 2013

Contact: Mike Ziegler (859) 230-3533

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance announced today that the 2013 updates to the Alliance’s Code of Standards have been approved by the NTRA Board of Directors. The updated Code was ratified today at the regular meeting of the NTRA Board of Directors, in Baltimore.

The revised compliance standards will serve as the basis for future racetrack Alliance accreditation, including the re-accreditation of tracks originally accredited by the Alliance in 2010 and 2011. The 2013 Code includes a number of revisions recommended by the Alliance Advisory Committee, including the establishment of an injury review committee; starting-gate-removal protocols; recording and storage of racing surface data; regulatory veterinarian protocols and procedures; and post parade/starting gate scratch protocols. These changes will affect tracks and horsemen, alike, and are intended to make accredited tracks and the horsemen who race at these tracks more accountable to racing’s fan base, which demands racing that is both safe for all human and equine participants and fair to the wagering public.

The complete 2013 Code of Standards for the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance can be found at /en/safety-alliance/code-of-standards/.

“The Alliance’s Code of Standards is more rigorous than ever,” said Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. “Alliance-accredited tracks account for approximately 70% of North America’s total betting handle, and it is our sincere hope that tracks that have not yet gone through the accreditation process do so without further delay. We thank the members of the Alliance Advisory Committee for their hard work and sincere commitment to reform as reflected in the 2013 Code.”

The Alliance’s 12-member Advisory Committee is comprised of: Michael Amo of Thorofan; Reynolds Bell of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Dr. Dionne Benson of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium; Alan Foreman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; Craig Fravel of Breeders Cup Limited; Phil Hanrahan of the National HBPA; Jamie Haydon of The Jockey Club; former regulator Frank Lamb of the Alliance inspection team; Terry Meyocks of The Jockeys’ Guild; Scott Palmer of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; Pablo Suarez of the Thoroughbred Owners of California; and Alex Waldrop of the NTRA.

Compliance 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
  • Totalizator 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. Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is a Corporate partner of the Alliance. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at