Dr. Tom David has been hired as equine medical director for the Louisiana State Racing Commission effective July 9.
David, who has experience in private practice and as association veterinarian at Fair Grounds, will supervise new and previously existing state veterinary positions. In addition, he will oversee medical and testing activities at the state’s four racetracks: Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino, Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, Fair Grounds, and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
“This program will offer Louisiana an opportunity to move forward, to be comparable to other racing jurisdictions,” David said in a release issued July 9 by the racing commission.
California has an equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur, who was named to the position last year. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority also has plans to hire an equine medical director.
In the past five years, the racing commission has adopted a more stringent equine drug-testing regimen, including pre-race and random tests.
“The Louisiana Racing Commission is thrilled that Dr. David has agreed to join the team, and we look forward to adopting the best practices from across the country as we expand our equine medication and testing program,” commission chairman Bob Wright said in a statement. “The new regulations program will add one additional veterinarian at each of the state’s four racetracks and is made possible by increased funding from the state’s portion of slot-machine proceeds generated at Louisiana tracks.”
David will be based at the racing commission office in New Orleans and will regularly visit tracks around the state.