AAEP, NTRA, RMTC Organizing Upcoming Summit to Address Race-Day Medication

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors announced April 21 that it will join the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in organizing an international summit this summer to address race-day medication. The exact date and location of the summit will be announced in the very near future. The announcement came following a day-long meeting of the RMTC on April 19 in Dallas, Texas.

"With our scientific research and our Drug Testing Initiative, we have the infrastructure to help the industry administer, in a uniform and effective manner, any medication program it chooses to pursue," said Rick Arthur, DVM, RMTC officer and equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board.

"The NTRA welcomes the opportunity to bring together a broad range of international industry views on race-day medication," said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA. "Our goal is to ensure that all stakeholders are included in the dialog so that the ultimate conclusions are based on an objective evaluation of the facts."

AAEP Executive Director David Foley also responded to RMTC's call for action, saying, "The AAEP is pleased to co-sponsor this meeting and stands ready to assist the industry in any way that we can. Our chief concern is for the health and welfare of the horse, and ensuring the integrity and vitality of the sport."

In other action, the RMTC directors confirmed that Scot Waterman, DVM, has resigned his position as executive director of RMTC, effective April 29. The board acknowledged Waterman's many accomplishments, who has served as executive director of RMTC for 10 years.

"The RMTC is one of the industry's best examples of cooperation and collaboration and Scot deserves credit for much of the progress that was made on various medication and drug testing initiatives over the past decade," said RMTC chairman Robert Lewis, DVM. "We are very grateful to him for his dedication, his integrity and his hard work and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

A search committee has been appointed to identify a replacement for Waterman. In the interim, the RMTC has retained Gregg Scoggins, DVM, JD, as a project manager to oversee its Drug Testing Initiative and therapeutic medication administration and threshold level research.

For nearly 20 years Scoggins has represented numerous participants in both the veterinary profession and the horseracing industry. He is no stranger to the projects that he will be managing, having previously served on the RMTC board as a representative for Magna Entertainment Corporation.

"We felt it was important to have an individual dedicated to overseeing these two initiatives and Greg fits the bill," said Lewis. "He will be a valuable resource as he understands science and industry dynamics, and served an extensive period on the RMTC board."

Business will continue as usual in the RMTC office located in Lexington, Ky., and all inquiries regarding the ongoing work of the RMTC can be addressed to either Director of Communications Hallie Lewis or Executive Assistant for Administration Rebecca Hills.

"Make no mistake about it, RMTC will continue to move forward with our efforts to strengthen the integrity of racing," said Lewis. "We have good momentum in our projects and do not intend to let anything slow us down."

In other RMTC business:

  • Research updates were provided on ongoing RMTC administration studies on a wide array of therapeutic medications, with many nearing completion;
  • A revised penalty structure was approved for the 2 mg/ml threshold limit for phenylbutazone (Bute) and will be sent to the Association of Racing Commissioners International for their review;
  • Mike Ziegler, executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, was unanimously appointed as the racing industry representative on the Horse Testing Laboratory Committee (HTLC); and
  • Mike Tanner, president of the United States Trotting Association, was elected as RMTC Treasurer.

The RMTC consists of 25 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.

For additional information, visit the RMTC website at rmtcnet.com or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC director of communications, at 859/224-2848.

About the Author

American Association of Equine Practitioners

AAEP Mission: To improve the health and welfare of the horse, to further the professional development of its members, and to provide resources and leadership for the benefit of the equine industry. More information: www.aaep.org.

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