Edited press release
Members of the Hambletonian Society said they've made personal and collective commitments to raise $100,000 for the continued funding of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. The decision was made at the July meeting of the society, which has been involved with the RMTC since last year.
The RMTC, formed in 2000, has sought to implement model rules for medication and drug testing in the United States. The organization, which isn't breed-specific, is continuing to hammer out a way to fund itself permanently through per-start fees.
"On behalf of the RMTC board of directors I would like to thank the Hambletonian Society's board for their generous financial commitment," RMTC executive director Dr. Scot Waterman said. "Their leadership in helping the RMTC establish a permanent funding stream will allow us to continue our progress toward uniform medication rules and to continue funding scientific research that solves the industry's problems."
The contribution was noted by the United States Trotting Association, a regulatory body which also oversees the breed registry and statistical database for Standardbred racing.
"I think the action of the Hambletonian Society is a very positive step in the fight for integrity," USTA president Phil Langley said. "I commend the directors for stepping forward. In the next few weeks, USTA will be meeting with Dan Fick and (Waterman) of RMTC and Frank Fabian of (Standardbred Investigative Services) to discuss funding mechanisms and where such funding could best be used. At our fall executive and finance committee meetings, this will be a priority on the agendas."
"The board was unanimous in their opinion that the issues addressed by the RMTC are of an urgent nature and important to the continued health of horse racing, which relies on the public trust for its growth," said Tom Charters, president and chief executive officer of the Hambletonian Society. "It is vital that the progress made to date by the RMTC continue to benefit both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries."
The Hambletonian Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stakes. Its mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration, and promotion of 129 of harness racing's most important events at 17 North American tracks, including the 46 races which it owns.