Finger Lakes Receives Safety Re-Accreditation

Finger Lakes has received re-accreditation from the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced April 18 that Finger Lakes in Farmington, N.Y., has earned re-accreditation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.

The re-accreditation follows a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Finger Lakes received its initial accreditation in April 2011. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years. 

Finger Lakes is the 19th accredited racetrack to earn re-accreditation. The re-accreditation of Finger Lakes was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track's completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Finger Lakes hosted several meetings with alliance officials, according to an NTRA release.

The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, with special attention paid to areas that were newly added to the alliance's code of standards in 2011 and 2012. Areas containing new or more stringent requirements include wagering security, race day security, model rules pertaining to Furosemide administration and Phenylbutazone threshold levels, injury reporting, post-mortem veterinary inspections, jockey health and safety, paddock safety, aftercare/transitioning of retired racehorses, and cross-jurisdictional sharing of vet's list data.

Interviews were also conducted with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards, and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing official Richard Lewis; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; and Mike Ziegler, executive director of the Safety and Integrity Alliance.

During the latest Alliance inspection of Finger Lakes, best practices were identified in areas including security plan; security training; jockey health insurance plan; aftercare and transitioning of retired racehorses; and wagering security protocols, including simulcast sales contract language, and wagering pool due diligence.

"Finger Lakes was reviewed late last year near the conclusion of its 2012 meet," said Ziegler. "The facility continues to demonstrate a solid commitment to the health and safety of its human and equine athletes.  Worthy of special note is the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program, which continues to serve as a model for the entire industry."

"Everyone at Finger Lakes is gratified that we have received this affirmation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance," said Chris Riegle, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack president and general manager. "I salute all those here who worked so hard to achieve this re-accreditation. Meanwhile, we remain eager to share our thoughts with other racing facilities about our Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program. It is our goal to secure the long term welfare of all Thoroughbreds as they transition off the track."