Global horseman Frank Stronach, leading Thoroughbred owner, breeder and proprietor of three of the industry's most famous racing venues, has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) as a supporter of federal legislation to rid North American racing of race day medications.
In a letter last week to WHOA, Mr. Stronach, founder of Adena Springs and one of the sports most successful horse owners and breeders, said “racing can not only survive the elimination of race day medications, but it will flourish and invigorate itself while cultivating new fans from around the world”.
The Canadian-based entrepreneur, whose company The Stronach Group owns six major race tracks, including Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, and Pimlico Race Course, becomes the first major track owner to join the group of influential owners and breeders pushing for the United States and Canada to join the rest of the world's major jurisdictions in banning all medications, including anti-bleeder medicines and painkillers, on race day.
“We as track operators, horsemen and regulators must do everything we can to eliminate race day medications and consider the support of federal legislation to create a more uniform set of rules and regulations,” Stronach wrote. “The integrity of our sport and safety of our athletes, both human and equine, should and must always be of paramount concern. I hope you join me in promoting the elimination of race day medications.”
The movement has gradually garnered support by some of the industry's most influential owners and breeders, including many members of the Jockey Club. None bring wider influence to the reform effort than Stronach. Before purchasing several of the sport's leading tracks, he forged glittering owner and breeder credentials as founder of Adena Springs which he started in Kentucky in 1989. Since then Stronach/Adena Springs has won twelve Eclipse Awards, including eight as leading breeder and four as leading owner. In Canada, Stronach has been honored with Sovereign Awards nine times as leading owner and nine times as leading breeder.
His premier racing facility, Santa Anita Park, has been selected as site of the Breeders' Cup for three consecutive years, 2012 through 2014. In addition, The Stronach Group owns Laurel Park, Portland Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, a 2,000 acre stallion complex in Bourbon County and Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach Florida.
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