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.
"That may be a symptom of frustration," Fravel said. "But time moves slowly in the Thoroughbred industry, which is not quick to grasp change. I think we can grasp an opportunity here and look at it as a positive (development)."
Though the National Uniform Medication Program is in place in only four states, about 10 others are in the adoption process, and another 10 jurisdictions have laid the groundwork for passage, industry organizations say. Fravel said it's not