2010 Safety and Integrity Standards Approved

Wagering security is one of new areas for inspection.

The updated code of standards released last month by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance has been approved by the full NTRA board of directors.

One of the major additions to the code for 2010 is wagering security among the areas for inspection. According to a release from the alliance, the wagering security portion of the code establishes guidelines and protocols in areas including stop wagering devices, time stamping, cancel delays, and wagering incident investigation.

The alliance said the wagering security standards have the support of the Horseplayers Association of North America and Keeneland Racecourse, which implemented them for the current meet. "HANA supports the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance’s new wagering security guidelines," Mike Maloney, HANA’s vice president or regulatory affairs, said in a statement. "We believe the guidelines are a good step toward proper security of the wagering pools.

"We’ve been complying with the Alliance’s wagering security standards since the beginning of our current meeting, and those very protocols were followed during a recent wagering incident," Keeneland president Nick Nicholson said in a statement. "Integrity and transparency go hand in hand, and both are essential to protect and advance the public’s confidence in our wagering product. We urge other tracks to adopt the Alliance wagering standards on behalf of their customers."

According to the alliance, other new standards pertain to continuing education for trainers; adoption of the ARCI model rule on substance abuse; adoption of the ARCI model rule regarding the jockeys’ scale of weights; medical coverage of at least $1 million per accident for all jockeys; implementation of quality assurance programs at testing laboratories; and the establishment of protocols for infectious disease management and fire safety. Standards regarding fundraising to support the placement of retired racehorses, and safety equipment to be worn by all racetrack personnel while on horseback have been strengthened for 2010.

The full code can be reviewed at NTRAalliance.com.

Compliance standards now cover six areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; medication and testing; jockey safety and health; and wagering security. Within those six categories, specific standards will focus on:

• Systematic reporting of equine injuries

• Aftercare of retired racehorses

• Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations

• Post-mortem exams

• Health and safety of jockeys

• Riding crops and their use

• Horse shoes and hoof care

• Safety research, including racing surfaces

• Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers

• Safety training

• Anabolic Steroids

• Alkalinizing agents (TCO2 testing)

• On-track emergency medical care for humans and equines

• Out-of-competition testing

• Freezing and retrospective testing of post-race samples

• Continuing education

• Totalizator technology and "stop-wagering" protocols

• Wagering incident investigation

"The addition of the wagering security and integrity protocols is the single biggest change to the Alliance’s 2010 Code of Standards," Mike Ziegler, executive director of the alliance, said in a statement. "The remainder of the Code reflects our pledge to continuously strengthen all of its standards on behalf of our sport’s human and equine athletes."

The alliance was formed in October 2008, and has accredited 16 racetracks. The alliance includes about 55 tracks and every major horsemen’s organization.