A general meeting of the National Association of Two-Year-Old Consignors in Ocala, Fla., Tuesday evening focused on a number of concerns, including medication, perception problems in the media, and buyer confidence.
The various subcommittee chairmen and board of directors presented the audience, which numbered more than 200, with an in-depth overview and analysis of the organization's progress during its first 4 1/2 months. Much of the meeting focused on industry unity and introduction of a slogan that promotes horses coming out of the 2-year-old sales: bid, buy, and race with confidence.
"The meeting served as a powerful statement for the solidarity of 2-year-old consignors," said subcommittee chairman Nick de Meric, who serves as liaison with sale companies. "We've played an instrumental role in the drafting and refining of the new initiatives for drug testing, which will eventually benefit the consignors, their charges, and the buyers."
The association continues to attract new members, including the addition of weanling and yearling consignors.
State laws dictate the terms for medication use, and each sale company will have a different approach in determining how their drug testing will be conducted.
"We'll have a sample of horses selected for testing," said Boyd Browning, executive vice president of Fasig-Tipton. "After the horse has finished breezing in the under-tack show, the horse will be followed back to the barn by the collection team for a urine sample. If a urine sample cannot be collected in the prescribed period of time, a blood sample will be taken."
Beginning with the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. February 2-year-old select sale, all horses will sell with a bone warranty. "The OBS Calder sale will be the first sale to adopt the bone warranty, which will benefit the buyers," NATC chairman Dean De Renzo said.
The medication reports, radiographs, and scope reports will be found in the information center.
"Consignors will have to keep meticulous records in regard to their horse's medication history," NATC board member Dr. Jeffrey Berk said.
The organization has placed an emphasis on maintaining a strong voice and having its members take an active role in the decision-making. An advertising campaign began Breeders' Cup day in 2000, and NATC advertisements will appear in many of the industry's trade publications. In addition, the organization has developed a health insurance plan for its members.