The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore has earned re-accreditation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. The re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Pimlico received an initial provisional accreditation from the Alliance in May 2009. The track received full accreditation after a follow-up review in May 2010. Today's full re-accreditation carries an effective period of two years.
Pimlico is the third Alliance-accredited racetrack to earn a re-accreditation. Keeneland Race Course received re-accreditation from the Alliance last month, and Churchill Downs earned re-accreditation earlier this month.
The re-accreditation of Pimlico was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track's completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Pimlico hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, with special attention paid to areas that were newly added to the Alliance's Code of Standards in 2010 and 2011. Such areas containing new or more stringent requirements include wagering security, injury reporting, post-mortem veterinary inspections, jockey health and safety, paddock safety, aftercare/transitioning of retired racehorses and cross-jurisdictional sharing of vet's list data. Interviews were also conducted with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Jennifer Durenberger, DVM, JD; racing official Richard Lewis; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
During the latest Alliance inspection of Pimlico, best practices were identified in areas including infectious disease control protocols; veterinarian's list protocols; substance abuse/addiction program; and wagering security, including stop-wagering protocols.
“It was gratifying during the re-accreditation process to see that Pimlico had not just maintained its benchmarks from our previous inspection, but had made several upgrades and improvements over the past 12 months,” said Ziegler.
“Pimlico is proud to again receive full accreditation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance and to be recognized for several industry-wide best practices,” said Tom Chuckas, President of Pimlico Race Course. “The accreditation process is rigorous, and I salute the Pimlico staff for all it did to earn this important designation.”
Pimlico is one of 20 racing facilities to receive full accreditation. Others are 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, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park and, most recently, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack.
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 www.NTRAalliance.com.
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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