Second Pfizer/NTRA Professional Education Seminar Successful

Pfizer Animal Health veterinarians helped promote health and wellness practices at the second annual National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety and Integrity Alliance Professional Education Seminar, held Oct. 18-19 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. The seminar, presented by Pfizer Animal Health and Keeneland, helps satisfy the continuing education requirements for racetracks mandated by the Alliance's Code of Standards.

The seminar featured speakers from across the country who discussed health and safety topics targets specifically to trainers, aftercare organizations, racing officials and veterinarians. On the first day of the seminar, Pfizer Animal Health's Robert Holland, DVM, PhD, participated in the trainer seminars by discussing general biosecurity protocols and later that day sat on a panel during the veterinarian seminars to discuss advanced biosecurity protocols. On Wednesday, Kenton Morgan, DVM, of Pfizer Animal Health participated in the Aftercare agenda by addressing preventative veterinary care.

"Pfizer Animal Health helped launch the Professional Education Seminar in 2010, so we are thrilled to see it expanded this year," said Morgan, senior area veterinarian at Pfizer Animal Health. "It's imperative for the future of Thoroughbred Racing that people stay educated on the latest issues, developments and techniques pertaining to equine health and safety."

The seminar featured two days of non-stop education. Oct. 18 showcased keynote speaker, Donna Barton Brothers, former jockey, television commenter, and author of Inside Track: Insider's Guide to Horse Racing. The day kicked off with the trainer agenda which addressed topics such as nutrition, loss reduction, recognizing substance abuse problems in employees, and general biosecurity protocols.

The afternoon included the veterinarian agenda which featured glue on shoe techniques, emerging veterinary technology, stem cell technology, and advanced biosecurity protocols. Also discussed were some of the Aftercare Agenda topics, which included spending horse-care dollars wisely, expanding markets for ex-racehorses, liability issues and strategies for mitigating risks, and relevant legal topics for aftercare organizations. The day concluded with a tour and barbecue at Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky.

Wednesday wrapped up the seminar with the rest of the Aftercare Agenda featuring preventative veterinary care, effective fundraising, and social media marketing.

"This year's NTRA Professional Education Seminar, expanded to two days, was an immensely productive gathering of leading experts in human and equine safety in Thoroughbred racing," said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA. "We thank Pfizer Animal Health and Keeneland for their invaluable support, and appreciate the important contributions made by each of the presenters."

The NTRA 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.

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