Welfare, Integrity Lead Topics At Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education Conference

by | 03.05.2019 | 2:22pm

The second annual Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education (#RegVetCE19) kicked-off March 4, 2019, at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale, Fla.

The two-day conference for regulatory and official racetrack veterinarians, presented by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety & Integrity Alliance, provides training and implements best practices directly related to the protection of the health and welfare of the racehorse.

Day 1 of this year's conference was attended by more than 60 veterinarians from six countries – including those representing almost 50 North American racetracks across 20 states. Early sessions focused on pharmacology – with a review provided by Dr. Cindy Cole of the University of Florida's Racing Laboratory, and a presentation on regulated substances in the equine environment by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission equine medical director Dr. Mary Scollay.

“As regulators, we are often challenged by the feeling of being out there alone,” stated Shari Silverman, VMD of the New Jersey Racing Commission. “Coming together as a national group helps affirm actions we take, gives us new ideas and direction to move in, and incentivizes us to continue to explore more ways to improve the welfare of these horses and ensure the integrity of racing.”

Later in the day, attendees visited Gulfstream Park's shed rows for simulated pre-race inspection demonstrations on racehorses currently in training. A discussion on pre-race examination decision-making was led afterward by Dr. Barrie Grant of the California Horse Racing Board.

“Regulatory veterinarians are the only ones that advocate strictly for the horse, without having to answer to a trainer or an owner,” pointed out event co-organizer Dr. Dionne Benson, executive director and COO of the RMTC. “We ask veterinarians at this conference to be mindful of to whom they are ultimately accountable.”

Dr. Tara Law, who represented the New York Racing Association, stated, “As a new grad, this was my first CE conference and I cannot say enough good things after just Day 1! The bar has certainly been raised for future conferences.”

#RegVetCE19 continues Tuesday with another full day of presentations and discussion. For more information, including the full agenda, visit ntra.com/reg-vet-ce/.

The Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) program of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) has approved this conference to offer 18.5 veterinarian continuing education credits.

The Regulatory/Official Veterinarian CE is made possible through the generous support of the Stronach Group, Keeneland, Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, New York Racing Association, ALS-Truesdail, Industrial Laboratories, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Quarter Horse Association, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, The Jockey Club, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Oak Tree Racing Association, Ohio HBPA, Remington Park Racing and Casino, and Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

The RMTC consists of 23 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.

The NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance is a standing organization establishing standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Corporate partners of the Alliance include Insurance Office of America and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at NTRAalliance.com.

For additional information, visit the RMTC website at rmtcnet.com or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC communications and development consultant, at (859) 759-4081.

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