Anne M. Eberhardt

Keeneland Re-Accredited on Safety, Integrity

Lexington track first to be re-accredited by Safety and Integrity Alliance.

Keeneland Race Course in Lexington has become the first racing facility to earn re-accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance. The re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Keeneland received its initial Alliance accreditation, which are in effect for two-year intervals, in April 2009.

Under the accreditation process, Keeneland completed a 48-page written application and hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. 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 2010 and 2011, according to an announcement from the Safety and Integrity Alliance.

Among the certification areas containing new or more stringent requirements include wagering security, 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 Dr. Ronald Jensen; racing official Richard Lewis; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; and Mike Ziegler, executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.

“Keeneland was an exemplary facility during its initial inspection in 2009, and its most recent inspection during its current spring meet clearly displayed Keeneland’s ongoing, across-the-board commitment to safety and integrity in all of its operations,” Ziegler said in a statement.

“Keeneland is proud to be the first track in the country to be re-accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance,” said Keeneland president and CEO Nick Nicholson. “We continue to strive to ensure the safety and well-being of the human and equine athlete and preserve the integrity of the sport.  The accreditation program covers a broad spectrum with high standards. This is an important program for the industry. I would also like to thank all of the team members at Keeneland who worked on the re-accreditation process.”

Keeneland is one of 20 racing facilities to receive full accreditation. Others are Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, Arlington Park, Saratoga Race Course, Calder Race Course, Turfway Park, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Oak Tree at Santa Anita/Santa Anita Park, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Pimlico, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park and, most recently, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack.