Contact: Eric Wing (212) 521-5316
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that an updated set of racetrack safety and integrity standards has been circulated to members of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, and that it is now available for public comment. After finalization, the compliance standards will serve as the basis for future racetrack Alliance accreditation, including the re-accreditation of tracks previously accredited by the Alliance. 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. Twenty-two racetracks have been accredited to date by Alliance safety teams.
Each year, the Alliance’s Code of Standards incorporates new or more stringent standards. The Code for 2012 can be reviewed here, and comments on the revised Code may be submitted via email to Respondents are asked to provide their feedback by Thursday, March 22.
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 2012 Code of Standards has been made more rigorous in several areas, including the adoption of substantive changes to the medication Model Rules involving Furosemide administration and the threshold level for Phenylbutazone, as well as new recommended guidelines for race day security,” said Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.  “Public feedback has always been an important part of this annual process. We hope that everyone in the industry will review the 2012 Code online and send us their thoughts.”
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
Racetracks accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance include Aqueduct Racetrack, Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Calder Casino and Race Course, Canterbury Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Hollywood Park, Keeneland, Monmouth Park, Pimlico Race Course, Santa Anita Park, Saratoga Racecourse, Suffolk Downs, Sunland Park, Turfway Park and Woodbine. The accreditation of Kentucky Downs is currently pending.