RCI Conference to Discuss Equine Health

The conference will take place in Lexington April 20-24.

(Edited press release)

The Association of Racing Commissioners International will celebrate its 75th anniversary when its four-day conference on racing and wagering integrity kicks off April 20 at the Lexington Hilton Downtown Hotel and Conference Center.

The 2009 gathering of racing regulators occurs at a time of tremendous economic challenge not only for the entities and individuals the association regulates, but for the governments they serve.

One of the highlights of the conference will be an extensive discussion of equine health and welfare issues. Topics include equine injury prevention research, equine injury reporting systems, pre-race veterinary examinations, and a discussion of various track surfaces.

Scheduled to speak on the topics of equine health and welfare April 23 are Dr. Sue Stover of the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director at the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; Dr. Tom David, equine medical director of the Louisiana State Racing Commission; and John Bridge, technical leader of the Racetrack Surfaces Testing Laboratory.

“Racing commissions represent the conscience of racing and are the only true independent voice advocating for integrity programs,” RCI president Ed Martin said. “This year we continue to explore ways to safeguard the health and welfare of our equine and greyhound athletes, as well as how to effectively police this sport to earn the confidence of racing fans.”

Keeneland Association president and chief executive officer Nick Nicholson will present the keynote address April 21.

Among other topics to be discussed during the four days include: the creation of a new national racing compact; wagering systems and tote standards with topics of discussion to include monitoring updates, monitoring systems, and certification; and a demonstration of new ways to present pari-mutuel wagering opportunities, among others. Representative of New York, California, Indiana, and Minnesota will present reports on monitoring wagers.