Contact: Eric Wing (914) 434-3529

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance announced today that the 2012 updates to the Alliance’s Code of Standards have been approved by the NTRA Board of Directors. 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 2009 and 2010. The 2012 Code includes a number of revisions recommended by the Alliance Advisory Committee, including stronger advocacy requirements; elimination of adjunct bleeder medications; regulatory administration of furosemide, a lowering of permitted threshold levels for phenylbutazone; and new guidelines for increased race day security procedures. 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.

With respect to advocacy requirements, the 2012 Code no longer considers advocacy, alone, sufficient for those in jurisdictions where state laws preclude full compliance with the Alliance’s Code of Standards.  If, after a reasonable period of time, a racetrack’s advocacy fails to result in passage of an amendment necessary to bring the track into conformity with the Code, such failure will result in revocation of accreditation, awarding of provisional accreditation or denial of future accreditation.   The complete 2012 Code of Standards for the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance can be found at: http://www.ntra.com/images/2012-Code-of-Standards-Final.pdf

“The Alliance’s Code of Standards is clearly more rigorous than ever,” said Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. “Alliance-accredited tracks now account for approximately 70% of North America’s total betting handle, and new accredited tracks are anticipated very soon. But much work remains, and too many tracks still have not availed themselves of the accreditation process, We thank the members of the Alliance Advisory Committee for their hard work and sincere commitment to reform as reflected in the 2012 Code, and we also appreciate fans and others who provided input during the Code’s recent public-comment period.”

The Alliance’s 11-member Advisory Committee is comprised of: Michael Amo of Thorofan, Reynolds Bell of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Robert Elliston of Turfway Park; Alan Foreman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; Phil Hanrahan of the National HBPA,; Jamie Haydon of The Jockey Club; Charles Hayward of the New York Racing Association; Former regulator Frank Lamb of the Alliance inspection team; Terry Meyocks of the Jockeys’ Guild; Scott Palmer of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; and Alex Waldrop of the NTRA.

Compliance standards cover six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; safety equipment and a safer racing environment; medication and testing; health and safety of jockeys; aftercare of equine athletes; and wagering security. Within those six categories, specific standards focus on many areas including:
· Systematic reporting of equine injuries
· Aftercare of retired racehorses
· Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
· Post-mortem exams
· Health and safety of jockeys
· Riding crops and their use
· Horse shoes and hoof care
· Safety research, including racing surfaces
· Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
· Safety training
· 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
· 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. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at www.NTRAalliance.com.