Breeders' Cup Announces Safety, Security Initiatives

Breeders' Cup Announces Safety, Security Initiatives

The Breeders' Cup announced a series of safety and security initiatives extending through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on June 1.

A prominent element of the program, developed in consultation with tracks participating in the challenge series, will focus on extending the Breeders’ Cup out-of-competition drug testing program. Working in tandem with Mary Scollay, DVM, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, as well as racing commissions in host jurisdictions, horses nominated to challenge races will be subject to random out of competition testing while winners will be subject to such testing at any time prior to the Breeders’ Cup Championships, taking place at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, Oct. 30-31.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge program in North America consists of 50 graded stakes events hosted in seven jurisdictions and 10 racetracks. Winners of challenge races earn automatic starting positions into a corresponding race of the World Championships.

In addition, tracks throughout North America who will host challenge races in 2015 agreed to implement the following security and testing measures for those races:

  • Participating racetracks will provide enhanced security on the horses competing, including a security officer or video surveillance for a minimum of eight hours before post time.
  • Participating racetracks must be fully accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.
  • Racing jurisdictions will have adopted or be in the process of adopting the Controlled Therapeutic Medications and Prohibited Substances provisions of the National Uniform Medication Program as promulgated by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
  • Participating racetracks will require total carbon dioxide (TC02) testing on all participating horses.
  • Participating racetracks will require that any permitted race-day medication be administered only by regulatory or official veterinarians. In jurisdictions where regulations are pending but not presently effective any such administration shall be supervised and syringes collected for testing.
  • All testing on horses participating in challenge races will be conducted by laboratories accredited by or pending accreditation by the RMTC.

“Breeders’ Cup Limited is recognized as a leader in racing security, safety and testing at the World Championships and we are pleased to extend these measures to the challenge series and we thank the participating tracks for their cooperation and assistance” said Craig Fravel, president and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Ltd.

Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, added, “We share a commitment to integrity, safety and security with the Breeders’ Cup and these steps are an excellent way to ensure the safety and security measures for the challenge series and for the World Championships at Keeneland will be an example to the industry.”

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held for the first time at Keeneland Race Course later this year. In anticipation of the 2015 event, Keeneland and the Breeders’ Cup have developed a comprehensive video surveillance program. Participants in the championships will all be stabled together in a segregated complex and the barns utilized for these runners will be outfitted with 72 high-definition security cameras and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment.

Other Breeders’ Cup security measures in place for the championships include equine security officers stationed in every barn to log information regarding veterinary or other actions taking place in the runner’s stall, a team of Breeders’ Cup equine investigators that will be working with the investigators from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and the requirement that all runners be on the grounds of the racetrack 72 hours before first post on the day they race.

Safety measures include pre-race inspections from the Breeders’ Cup veterinary team working in conjunction with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission veterinarians. These inspections begin as soon as the horse arrives on the grounds and continue until race day. The veterinary teams will be making sure that these animals are in the best condition to race against the top equine athletes in the world.

In addition, noted track specialist Mick Peterson, MS, PhD, will continue his work with Keeneland, evaluating and testing the racing surfaces through the Breeders’ Cup event.

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