Keeneland Re-accredited by NTRA Safety Alliance

Keeneland Re-accredited by NTRA Safety Alliance

Alliance officials said Keeneland should be recognized for numerous best practices, including several impacting racehorse health and safety.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Keeneland Race Course has earned re-accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance, officials said May 28. Alliance officials said Keeneland should be recognized for numerous best practices, including several impacting racehorse health and safety.

The re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the Lexington, Ky., facility, which received its initial alliance accreditation in April 2009. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years.

Alliance officials said Keeneland should be recognized for best practices, including participation in the Equine Injury Database; pre- and post-race veterinary examination protocols of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) regulatory veterinarians; veterinarians' list protocols; toe grab regulation and enforcement; cushion crop regulation and enforcement; safety vest regulation and enforcement; starting gate padding and protocols for its manning and removal; equine ambulance equipment and protocols; and participation in research programs geared toward the betterment of racing.

Other noted best practices are racing surface maintenance and data collection protocols; protocols in place in case of catastrophic injury; infectious disease management and prevention protocols; fire safety preparedness; paddock safety policies; ensuring practicing veterinarians are on the grounds when horses are present; total carbon dioxide regulation and testing procedures; out-of-competition testing under the KHRC; barn area security plan; procedures in place to enact gate scratches of horses; rider medical care and ambulance support; mandatory participation in the Jockey Health Information System; fund-raising for disabled riders and retired racehorses; and wagering security programs.

Members of the alliance inspection team at Keeneland were veterinarians Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing official Richard Lewis; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators; and Mike Ziegler, alliance executive director.

"It's abundantly clear that Keeneland is committed to the health and safety of the human and equine athlete," Ziegler said. "I truly believe that safety is a top priority in this organization, as demonstrated by its efforts in all areas of the alliance standards."

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

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The Blood-Horse is the leading weekly publication devoted to international Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Since 1916, the staff of The Blood-Horse has served the Thoroughbred community with the highest standards of journalistic excellence to provide comprehensive and timely editorial coverage and analysis.

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