Anne M. Eberhardt

NTRA Safety Alliance Re-Accredits Turfway

Inspection identified best practices in virtually every primary area of focus.

Turfway Park has earned re-accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, the organization announced March 21.   

Located in Northern Kentucky near Cincinnati, the track hosts its biggest annual racing program March 22, highlighted by the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail. 
Turfway's re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. The track received its initial Alliance accreditation in 2009, the Alliance's first year. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years. 
During the latest Alliance inspection of Turfway, best practices were identified in virtually every primary area of focus for the Alliance. 
"In its review, Turfway Park exceeded established benchmarks in the majority of areas," said Mike Ziegler, executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. "This re-accreditation reflects positively on the longstanding commitment to safety by Turfway management, as well as the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission." 
In the area of injury reporting and prevention, best practices identified included the reporting of injuries and fatalities, pre- and post-race veterinary examinations, and the maintenance of a veterinarians' list adhering to the Association of Racing Commissioners International model rules.
In areas intended to create a safer racing environment, best practices cited at Turfway included regulation and enforcement for riding crops and safety vests; substance abuse and addiction treatment; adoption of the Uniform National Trainers Test; catastrophic injury planning and procedures; fire safety planning and procedures; and appropriate oversight of the official veterinarian.
Regarding the health and safety of jockeys, best practices recognized included protocols for post parade or starting gate scratches; use of the recommended scale of weights; minimum accident medical expense coverage ($1 million) for all jockeys; and posting of jockey insurance coverage in the jockeys' quarters.
In the area of equine drug testing and penalties, best practices identified included alkalinizing agent regulation; exogenous anabolic steroids regulation; and frozen sample testing.