Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack receives NTRA Safety and Integrity Accreditation

by | 04.12.2011 | 8:47am

Press Release

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack in Farmington, N.Y., has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility.

The accreditation of Finger Lakes was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track's completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Finger Lakes hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing official Richard Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.

“Finger Lakes was reviewed late last year during the conclusion of its 2010 meet,” said Ziegler. “It received 'Best Practice' ratings in several areas including post-race veterinary examinations; safety vest usage; substance abuse and addiction prevention; catastrophic injury planning and procedure; anabolic steroid testing; jockey disability support; and most notably, aftercare and transition of retired racehorses. The Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program is the top such program we have ever reviewed.”

“All of us here at Finger Lakes are extremely proud that we have received this designation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance,” said Chris Riegle, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack President and General Manager.  “I salute the many staff here who worked so hard to achieve this accreditation, and I'm particularly gratified that the Alliance was so impressed with the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program. We are eager to discuss the Program further with other interested racing facilities in order to secure the long term welfare of all Thoroughbreds as they transition off the track.”

Finger Lakes is now the 20th racing facility to receive full accreditation, joining Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Belmont Park, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, Arlington Park, Saratoga Race Course, Calder Race Course, Turfway Park, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Oak Tree at Santa Anita/Santa Anita Park, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Pimlico, Canterbury Park and, most recently, Sunland Park.

The Alliance, formed in October 2008 with the goal of establishing national uniform standards in the areas of safety and integrity, includes 55 racetracks in North America and every major national horsemen's organization. Alliance certification standards cover six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; safety research; and wagering security. Within those six categories, specific standards focus on areas including:

·  Systematic reporting of equine injuries
·  Aftercare of racehorses
·  Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
·  Post-mortem examinations
·  Health and safety of jockeys
·  Riding crops and their use
·  Horse shoes and hoof care
·  Safety research
·  Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
·  Exogenous Anabolic Steroids
·  Alkalinizing agents (TCO2)
·  On-track emergency medical care for humans and equines
·  Out-of-competition testing
·  Freezing and retrospective testing of post race samples
·  Continuing education
·  Security assessment and training
·  Totalizator technology and “stop wagering” protocols
·  Wagering incident investigation

The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at

The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, former four-term Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, serves as independent monitor of the Alliance and will provide public reports on Alliance progress in instituting safety and integrity standards.

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