It's been pretty quiet since the Sales Integrity Task Force released its code of ethics for public Thoroughbred auctions late last year. But that will change beginning with the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training on Tuesday, according to WinStar Farm co-owner Bill Casner, who heads a committee formed to publicize the code of ethics.
Casner said there will be a couple of placards at the Fasig-Tipton auction with a condensed form of the code of ethics printed on them. In addition, copies of the entire code ethics as well as copies of a sample legal agreement for buyers and their agents will be available at the sale.
In the next few months, the committee plans to increase its efforts to educate buyers and consignors. Signs displaying information about the code of ethics will be posted in the sale barns at various auctions. Working with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), the committee also is planning another educational program about the code of ethics for new owners that will include mailings. In addition, Casner said, the committee is working with the American Association of Equine Practitioners and one of the organization's past presidents, Dr. Larry Bramlage, to put together statistics and other information about sale horses that undergo surgeries to improve their conformation. The committee is exploring the possibility of a Web site devoted to the code of ethics.
"By April we'll have a lot of things in place," Casner said. "We'll be stepping it up."
The members of the Casner's committee are bloodstock agents Headley Bell and Lincoln Collins, Fasig-Tipton executive vice president and chief operating officer Boyd Browning, Keeneland president Nick Nicholson, and consignor Duncan Taylor.
The committee, which has met three times, also has other plans for promoting the code of ethics that will be released at a later date, Casner said.
TOBA organized the Sales Integrity Task Force last summer in response to complaints about the auction business from the Alliance for Industry Reform and its founder, Satish Sanan. Following the release of the code of ethics, it was announced that TOBA would be in charge of buyer education along with the distribution of forms and other materials. The major auction firms – Barretts, Fasig-Tipton, Keeneland, and the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. – all had representatives that served on the Sales Integrity Task Force and all said they would cooperate in the effort to publicize the code of ethics.
In addition to Casner's committee, there is a monitoring committee that will evaluate the code of ethics and review its progress. That group's members are bloodstock agent Reynolds Bell, consignor and Brookdale Farm owner Fred Seitz, and Sanan..