Today at the Western Conference on Racing, held at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced that California-based equine practitioner Dr. Jack K. Robbins and Thoroughbred owner/breeder Gary Biszantz have been named to the NTRA's Racing Integrity and Drug Testing Task Force. Robbins and Biszantz fill the vacancies left by retiring co-chairman R.D. Hubbard and the late Ken Maddy, a former California state senator. Robbins will replace Hubbard as a Task Force co-chairman, joining Jockey Club Chairman and NTRA Board member Ogden Mills Phipps in that role."We are pleased that such distinguished representatives of California racing have joined the Drug Testing Task Force," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "They are known for their commitment to the Thoroughbred industry and they will bring a strong voice for the Western region to this very important program for the integrity of racing."Biszantz, the former board chairman and major shareholder of Cobra Golf, which he founded and then sold for $700 million in 1995, is the owner of Cobra Farm near Lexington. He has raced Thoroughbreds since the mid-1950s and now has more than 50 horses in training. A member of The Jockey Club, Biszantz is on the Breeders' Cup Board of Directors, is a vice president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and is an independent director of the NTRA Charities Board. A well-known philanthropist, he also supports the United Pegasus Foundation, which offers shelter, retraining and retirement for former racehorses.
Jack K. Robbins, VMD, is president of Oak Tree Racing Association. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine and a longtime equine practitioner at California racetracks, he is a member of The Jockey Club and a director of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, a Distinguished Life Member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and an AAEP past-president. In 1998, he received the Bellwether Medal from the University of Pennsylvania.The Task Force, formed in August 1998, includes equine industry attorney Edward S. "Ned" Bonnie; Thoroughbred owner/breeder Donald Dizney; Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association chairman and NTRA Board member Alan Foreman; retired chairman of the board of Dow Chemical Paul F. Oreffice; Dr. A. Gary Lavin, former president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; and Bill Walmsley, president of the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and also an NTRA Board member. The executive director of the Task Force is Jim Gallagher.The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of Thoroughbred interests, which in addition to racetracks, includes owners, breeders, off-track betting organizations, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and sales companies, among others. Through membership dues and funding from other horse racing interests, like the American Quarter Horse Association, the NTRA markets, advertises, promotes and televises horse racing in North America. It also serves as a catalyst for industry-wide programs benefiting members in group purchasing, telecommunications and technology, consumer research and legislative initiatives. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.