The Thoroughbred Safety committee announced four new recommendations for 2019 Wednesday:
• Avoidance of bisphosphonates use in a manner inconsistent with indications of use on the label and, further, discontinuance of bisphosphonates use in any horses in training regardless of age
• Every jurisdiction to employ a full-time equine medical director
• All racing associations and regulatory officials to record additional data or make such additional data sources available for analysis in the Equine Injury Database
• Creation of crisis best practices tailored to the industry, including template materials and a list of crisis response resources
The recommendations were the product of a meeting of the committee in Versailles, Kentucky Mar. 19. The full text of those recommendations can be found on The Jockey Club’s website here.
“Recommendations from the Thoroughbred Safety Committee have always been in the best interest of our sport, its integrity, and the welfare and safety of its athletes,” said Craig Fravel, chairman of the Thoroughbred Safety Committee and president and chief executive officer of Breeders’ Cup Limited. “Because of the recent events in California and the response from the industry, we are announcing the recommendations early instead of waiting for The Jockey Club Round Table Conference, which is the traditional channel for our recommendations.”
James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club, added, “The Thoroughbred Safety Committee recommendations complement the positive industry reforms resulting from the recent rash of Thoroughbred injuries in California. The Jockey Club fully supports the industry’s and The Stronach Group’s reforms, and we are prepared to testify to our support at the California Horse Racing Board’s meeting on Thursday, Mar. 28.”
Gagliano also noted that all recommended reforms complement the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, H.R. 1754.
“In point of fact, the recent events that have dominated the news on these subjects are examples of why a unified regulatory structure with high standards is so sorely needed,” he said. “It is reasonable to believe that under the authority established by this bill, matters such as potential abuse of bisphosphonates would be more readily uncovered by a robust, nationwide out-of-competition program. That structure simply does not exist today.”
The Thoroughbred Safety Committee was founded in 2008 to “review every facet of equine health and to recommend actions the industry can take to improve the health and safety of Thoroughbreds.
Committee members are Craig R. Fravel (chairman), John Barr, James G. (Jimmy) Bell, Dr. Larry Bramlage, Dell Hancock, Christopher J. McCarron and Dr. Hiram C. Polk Jr. Each is a member of The Jockey Club.