Keeneland Racing

Keeneland Racing

Mathea Kelley

Keeneland Re-Accredited by Safety Alliance

The Kentucky racetrack was noted by alliance officials for its best practices.

Keeneland has earned re-accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, officials said May 28.

The re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the Lexington facility, which received its initial alliance accreditation in April 2009. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years.

Alliance officials said Keeneland should be recognized for numerous best practices, including participation in the Equine Injury Database; pre- and post-race veterinary examination protocols of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulatory veterinarians; veterinarians' list protocols; toe grab regulation and enforcement; cushion crop regulation and enforcement; safety vest regulation and enforcement; starting gate padding and protocols for its manning and removal; equine ambulance equipment and protocols; and participation in research programs geared toward the betterment of racing.

Other noted best practices are racing surface maintenance and data collection protocols; protocols in place in case of catastrophic injury; infectious disease management and prevention protocols; fire safety preparedness; paddock safety policies; ensuring practicing veterinarians are on the grounds when horses are present; TCO2 regulation and testing procedures; out-of-competition testing under the KHRC; barn area security plan; procedures in place to enact gate scratches of horses; rider medical care and ambulance support; mandatory participation in the Jockey Health Information System; fund-raising for disabled riders and retired racehorses; and wagering security programs.

Members of the alliance inspection team at Keeneland were Dr. Ronald Jensen, racing official Richard Lewis, Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators, and Mike Ziegler, alliance executive director.

"It's abundantly clear that Keeneland is committed to the health and safety of the human and equine athlete," Ziegler said. "I truly believe that safety is a top priority in this organization, as demonstrated by its efforts in all areas of the alliance standards."