As the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium continues its march toward uniformity in Thoroughbred racing, battle lines are being formed by other groups that believe a furosemide-only policy on race days is too extreme.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which has more than 6,000 members, has initiated an investigation that could be connected to a probe under way at the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has appointed a task force that will, among other things, investigate what it believes might be potential conflicts of interest by prior officers and representatives from 1999 to 2001.
In a statement released March 20 in response to an ongoing situation involving Tampa Bay Downs, National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association president John Roark said the relationship between horsemen and racetrack management must be based on "fairness, mutual respect, and a desire to work toward common goals."
In a deal that has put some horsemen's associations on edge, the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has agreed to reinstate signals from Kentucky racetracks to Tampa Bay Downs in exchange for dismissing its complaint for declaratory judgment against the Florida track.
The Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has officially withdrawn from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The horsemen's group intends to stay out of the NTRA as long as Oaklawn Park, the state's only Thoroughbred racetrack, is not a member.
In the wake of a Jan. 28 teleconference to discuss plans for a national medication policy, organizers and the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association continue to negotiate on a representation issue.
Representatives from about 20 industry organizations unanimously endorsed a plan to develop a national medication policy during a teleconference Jan. 28. The action followed the first Racehorse Medication Summit, held Dec. 4, 2001, in Tucson, Ariz.
Horsemen have taken issue with comments made by Tampa Bay Downs general manager Peter Berube as to the role of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association in purse reductions at the Florida racetrack.
The board of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, during its winter convention in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 22-24, passed two motions tied to medication issues: One calls for more representation in follow-up meetings to the Racehorse Medication Summit, while the other seeks official positions from affiliates on use of race-day therapeutic medication.
Pending resolution of final contractual matters, the Claiming Crown will make its Mid-Atlantic debut at Philadelphia Park in August or September this year, event organizers said Thursday. No date has been announced.
California is on board with a nationwide push for a consensus on racehorse medication, the president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California reported to his board the week of Dec. 10. But the TOC does have its own opinions on some of the specifics.
In a proactive measure, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a proposal for national drug-testing and therapeutic medication policies for substances known to affect the performance of racehorses. The organization hopes to generate dialogue in the industry before the American Association of Equine Practitioners' medication summit Dec. 4 in Arizona.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has put together its own guidelines for national drug-testing and will unveil the model Thursday morning during a press conference at Keeneland.
John Roark, chairman of the management committee of the Texas Horsemen's Partnership, and president of the Texas Thoroughbred Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, was elected president of the National HBPA during its convention Aug. 12-14 in Boston, Mass.
Some changes have been made to this year's Claiming Crown, scheduled for Aug. 4 at Canterbury Park. There will be one less race, but the same amount of purse money, and a new eligibility requirement organizers hope will generate more nominations for the event.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association may attempt to form a coalition of all horsemen's groups in the country to work toward common goals, one of is which is protection of the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978. Some horsemen believe racetracks have formed cooperatives not only to secure favorable simulcasting rates, but to undermine the federal law that requires horsemen's consent when signals are transmitted.
The National HBPA tackled medication issues during a meeting Sunday, and representatives believe the Thoroughbred industry can do quite a bit to alter the perception that horse racing is rife with medication abuse and use of performance-enhancing drugs in racehorses.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association expects to move its office from south Florida to Kentucky and have a full-time executive director on board within the next year. Scott Savin, recently named general manager at Gulfstream Park, will remain part-time executive director of the organization through the end of this year.
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