Alex Waldrop

RMTC Promotes Hardy to Full-Time Executive Director

The Racing Medication & Testing Consortium (RMTC)'s part-time Executive Director, Dr. Michael Hardy, has been promoted to full-time Executive Director of the RMTC, the organization announced on Monday. In his new position, Hardy will be responsible for the management of the RMTC's Laboratory Accreditation and External Quality Assurance Program in conjunction with the new Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit and will also administer the RMTC's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) process, manage the organization's monitoring of emerging threats to the integrity of racing, and oversee the process of reviewing applications received...

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Ralph Waldrop Sr., Father of Alex, Dies at 100

Ralph Thomas Waldrop, Sr., a life-long resident of Mayfield, Kentucky and the father of former longtime head of the NTRA Alex Waldrop, passed away Friday, Feb. 24, surrounded by family at his home. He was 100 years old. Waldrop was born June 7, 1922, near Mayfield. As a young boy growing up during the Great Depression, he worked many jobs including as a newspaper boy for the Louisville Courier-Journal where he was recognized as a statewide top-seller and as a caddy at Mayfield Golf and Country, where he was a...

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Who Bears Compliance Responsibility if WV Can't Hire HIWU Vets?

Facing a dire shortage of veterinarians at the state's two Thoroughbred tracks and under deadline pressure to decide whether to enter into a voluntary implementation agreement with the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) prior to that entity's Jan. 1 start date, the West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) on Monday pressed a representative of HIWU for clarity on who, exactly, will bear responsibility if the minimum required number of equine drug testing employees can't be hired within the next six weeks. It took some polite but persistent questioning by commissioner...

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Racing Medication and Testing Consortium to Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Racing Medication & Testing Consortium (RMTC) has announced that it will fund the research proposal, "Detection of Bisphosphonates Using Metabolomics," submitted by Dr. Bethany Keen at the University of Pennsylvania's Equine Testing and Research Laboratory. Dr. Keen's research to date has been conducted in Australia and focused on equine anti-doping, analytical chemistry, and statistics. Metabolomics is an emerging field in doping control and represents a novel testing approach that identifies cellular effects unique to a class of drugs rather than identifying the specific molecule responsible for those effects. "The...

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Message from the NTRA's Tom Rooney

Former U.S. congressman Tom Rooney is the new president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). He released a statement Wednesday, which appears below. For more insight into Rooney's plans and priorities for the NTRA, watch or listen to the final 2021 Writers' Room podcast (links appear at the bottom of the story). Following is Rooney's Wednesday statement in its entirety: Horse racing has been in my family since long before I was born, and I've grown up with a passion for the sport. When I retired from...

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Visa Cap Increased for 2022

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) will publish a joint temporary final rule to make available an additional 20,000 H-2B visas for the first half of fiscal year 2022 that ends Mar. 31, 2022, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced in a Monday press release. "Tremendously high demand for H-2B visas has led to this unprecedented move by the DHS and DOL," said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. "Competition for these visas has been fierce for many years, but is particularly so in...

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Waldrop Honored with Clay Puett Award

Alex Waldrop, who will retire at year's end as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), was honored with the 2021 Clay Puett Award for outstanding contributions to the racing industry during last week's University of Arizona Global Symposium on Racing. The award was established in 1994 and is named after Clay Puett, an Arizona resident whose innovations, including the development of the mechanical starting gate, helped to revolutionize racing around the world. Under Waldrop's leadership, the NTRA has focused its lobbying on legislation having...

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Charles Churchill Awarded Joe Hirsch Legacy Award

Charles Churchill, a University of Kentucky senior majoring in Equine Science and Management from Louisville, has been named the recipient of the 2021/2022 Joe Hirsch Legacy Equine Academy Scholarship. Churchill, who completed an internship with the Keeneland track maintenance team during the summer of 2021, is a member of the UK Horse Racing Club, the UK Collegiate Professional Horsemen's Association and a Wildcat Wrangler, the student ambassador team within the equine major. The scholarship was originally established at UK in 2005 but to keep in step with current industry needs,...

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Congressman Rooney Named NTRA President & CEO

Thomas J. (Tom) Rooney, a former U.S. Congressman, has been named to succeed Alex Waldrop as the president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). As has been previously announced, Waldrop will retire at the end of this year. Rooney is an owner and breeder and has been part of his family's Shamrock Farm, a Thoroughbred breeding and lay-up operation in Maryland. The farm was founded by his grandfather, Art Rooney, Sr. He has also served on the board of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association for the past...

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DHS Orders Halt to Mass Worksite Immigration Raids

Edited Press Release Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas directed the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Tuesday to stop mass worksite raids and to take actions to promote a fair labor market by supporting more effective enforcement of wage protections, workplace safety, labor rights and other employment laws and standards. In accordance with a memorandum issued by Secretary Mayorkas, ICE, CBP, and USCIS will develop and update policies to enhance the Department's impact in supporting the...

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COVID-Related Travel Restrictions To Ease

Edited Press Release COVID-19 travel restrictions into the United States by foreign visitors from 33 countries, including the United Kingdom and European Union, will be eased starting in November, according to a White House announcement Monday. The move is expected to clear the way to make it easier for foreign nationals to attend important equine-related events in the United States like the Breeders' Cup World Championships in California and the November breeding stock sales at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland in Kentucky. The new rules will require all foreign nationals from the...

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CTBA To Participate In NTRA Checkoff Program

The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA), which hosts a pair of Thoroughbred sales annually, will participate in the NTRA Legislative Action Campaign's 1/4% Checkoff Program, which supports the NTRA's federal lobbying efforts. Beginning with the Aug. 10 Northern California Sale at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, buyers and consignors/sellers at may elect to have 0.25% of the sale price of each horse donated to the Legislative Action Campaign. This percentage equals $2.50 for every $1,000 in sale price. The CTBA joins Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton, Ocala Breeders' Sales Company and the...

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