The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has scheduled an Oct. 15 press conference in New York to announce a comprehensive set of safety and integrity reforms as well as the appointment of a “nationally prominent independent monitor, to be introduced on Wednesday, (who) will conduct an ongoing, transparent review of the industry's implementation of the reforms and provide public, independent assessments.”
Attending the press conference at the Marriott Marquis Hotel will be NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop, NTRA executive chairman Robert Elliston, Executive Chairman, and Alan Foreman, chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Associations.
A release from NTRA said the announcement also includes an NTRA “safety and integrity initiative involving a broad spectrum of industry entities that are committed to implementing the reforms, which cover everything from medication rules to placement programs for retired Thoroughbred race horses.”
A nationally prominent independent monitor, to be introduced on Wednesday, will conduct an ongoing, transparent review of the industry's implementation of the reforms and provide public, independent assessments.
As announced earlier, industry reforms will focus on equine medication and drug testing, injury reporting and prevention, safety research, fostering a safer racing environment, and aftercare for retired racehorses. The NTRA will bear the operational costs and hire an individual to head the initiative. The biggest chunk of funding for implementation of recommendations will be paid by beneficiaries of reforms or the element that’s creating the cost, Waldrop said.
“The NTRA is going to step up with significant funding,” Waldrop said during the recent International Simulcast Conference. “Costs will share equitably (within the racing industry).”
The Safety and Integrity Initiative was formed to implement—not recommend or mandate—reforms identified as necessary in the aftermath of the breakdown of the filly Eight Belles as she galloped out after the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The Jockey Club, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, and others have called for changes, many of which already are being implemented.