Horse Racing Industry Told to Drop Hammer to Force Reforms

Horse racing regulators and other industry officials were told April 7 they should use existing tools to push states to adopt the National Uniform Medication Program.
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Horse racing regulators and other industry officials were told April 7 they should use existing tools to push states to adopt the National Uniform Medication Program.

Breeders' Cup president Craig Fravel, in comments made on the first day of the Association of Racing Commissioners International's three-day conference in Lexington, Ky., offered his thoughts on the Thoroughbred industry, particularly in the area of integrity and uniformity. He urged regulators to adopt the uniform model rules for equine medication use, drug testing, and penalties.

"What I need you to worry about is the integrity of the game," Fravel said. "You need to redouble your efforts to implement uniform rules. The work done over the past two years (on medication and safety initiatives) are the building blocks to a better further. What's left is our commitment to do it."

Fravel noted the urgency in the wake of allegations by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) of horse abuse and mistreatment. He said much of the commentary on the PETA allegations and related video from within the industry dismissed industry progress as insignificant

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Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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