Following the Oct. 15 unveiling of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Safety and Integrity Alliance, four of the organization's principle figures were on hand to further explain their roles and the details of the equine health and safety reform plan, which will be implemented gradually over the next two years.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has scheduled an Oct. 15 press conference in New York to announce a comprehensive set of safety and integrity reforms as well as the appointment of a "nationally prominent independent monitor, to be introduced on Wednesday, (who) will conduct an ongoing, transparent review of the industry's implementation of the reforms and provide public, independent assessments."
An 11-member advisory panel has been named by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to help formulate grass roots lobbying and assist the NTRA's Horseplayers' Coalition address issues that affect players at the federal level.
After a three-year hiatus, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Marketing Summit was brought to the forefront of a growing list of necessary steps toward creating a better industry. The three day conference, held Sept. 21-23 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, covered a variety of topics, from reaching new generations of fans, to discussing updates on several NTRA programs and initiatives.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) board of directors met Sept. 11 in Lexington and selected two new board members, Antony Beck of Gainesway Farm and Reynolds Bell Jr., chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Marketing Summit, to be held Sept. 21-23 at Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, will feature a special 90-minute session on Sept. 22 called "Reaching a New Generation".
Support for a proposed national strategic plan for equine welfare and safety and other reforms will be sought Sept. 12 when the National Thoroughbred Racing Association brings together industry representatives for discussion and -- it hopes -- commitment to action.
Legislation that would eliminate the automatic 25% federal withholding on pari-mutuel winnings of $5,000 or more on wagers of at least 300-1 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives July 29.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is formulating a "strategic plan" for equine health and safety and will seek support from various industry organizations when the document is released, probably in early fall.
Pinnacle Race Course, the new Thoroughbred racetrack located near Detroit, Mich., has become a member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association pending final NTRA board approval, it was announced July 15. Pinnacle will open its inaugural meet July 18.
Pari-mutuel handle took a hit but purses gained a bit in the second quarter of 2008, according to the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing.
Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives voted May 22 to override a presidential veto of the 2007 Farm Bill exercised by George W. Bush. As a result, the 2007 Farm Bill is now law and it includes the Equine Equity Act, a provision that amends the depreciation schedule for racehorses to a uniform three years.
Jockeys honored the memory of Eight Belles by wearing stickers on their boots or mud pants May 16 and 17 at Pimlico, which was hosting the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and a variety of other graded races.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is prepared for "every potential outcome" on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day, but no matter the result, developments in the area of equine health and welfare in the coming weeks and months are of the utmost importance, the organization's president and chief executive officer said.
At a news conference held in the press box at Pimlico Race Course May 16, a check for $500,000 was presented by NetJets to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. On hand at the event were jockeys John Velazquez, chairman of the Jockeys' Guild; top rider Edgar Prado; disabled rider Jackie Fires; and Alex Waldrop, president of NTRA Charities.
Since late January, Pfizer Animal Health and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have joined forces to help fund laminitis research through the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund. Pfizer Animal Health displays, featuring "Riding with Barbaro" awareness bracelets, will appear in select veterinary clinics and retail outlets across the country and at major equine events. Due to the strong response thus far, Pfizer Animal Health will be expanding its number of display locations and manufacturing thousands of additional bracelets for public distribution.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association continues to coordinate equine health and safety initiatives in response to the death of the filly Eight Belles, and on May 9 called for "urgency" and an end to the "status quo."
A recent agreement with IEAH Stables and jockey Kent Desormeaux has UPS serving as the exclusive marketing partner for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Big Brown, the delivery company announced in a May 9 press release.
House and Senate conferees for the 2007 farm bill announced May 8 they had approved a final version of the bill, which includes legislative language to amend the depreciation schedule for race horses. The final version of the farm bill is expected to pass both houses and be sent to the president for approval.
Though their views and actions may at times be considered extreme and bizarre by some, animal rights and welfare groups have a large constituency, have proven effective at making their point, and shouldn't be disregarded when they seize on an issue, officials said.
In the wake of the fatal breakdown of the filly Eight Belles in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), The Jockey Club has commissioned a seven-member Thoroughbred Safety Committee, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association board of directors has scheduled a special meeting May 9 to discuss a course of action.
In the wake of the death of the filly Eight Belles as she galloped out after the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), animal-rights organizations are publicly calling for changes -- some of them drastic -- for the horseracing industry.
Trainer Eric Guillot was refreshingly candid during an April 15 teleconference hosted by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, calling his horse "one of the 15 who might not belong," but saying a trip to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is definitely under consideration for Salute the Sarge.
NTRA Advantage and John Deere will sponsor the first annual all breed charity horse show to benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. The show will be held March 29 at Shelbyville Fairgrounds near Shelbyville, Ky.
By Rep. Ed Whitfield - Three years ago, Congress examined the explosion of steroid use plaguing Major League Baseball. The integrity of the game was called into question and a dark cloud was cast over America's favorite pastime.
By Alex Waldrop - On Feb. 27, I appeared before a Congressional Subcommittee for a hearing entitled, "Drugs in Sports: Compromising the Health of Athletes and Undermining the Integrity of Competition."
By Dan Farley - I was intrigued when I read in Daily Racing Form that of the top 30 finishers in a recent million-dollar handicapping contest in Las Vegas sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, six were women.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association president and chief executive officer Alex Waldrop has been asked to testify in Washington, D.C., during a hearing titled "Drugs in Sports: Compromising the Health of Athletes and Undermining the Integrity of Competition."
Richard Goodall, a 64-year-old retired attorney from Las Vegas, defeated 276 Thoroughbred racing handicappers by a record margin to capture the ninth Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas Jan. 26.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Daily Racing Form have announced a National Handicapping Championship Tour that will offer additional prize money and qualifying births to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, and have launched a coalition that will target legislation related to pari-mutuel wagering.