Welcome to Participants and GuestsOgden Mills Phipps - Chairman, The Jockey Club
Ogden Mills Phipps: Good morning everyone and thank you for being here this morning.
It is a rare day when the Round Table Conference covers one topic and one topic only, but there is nothing more important for this industry at this time than the health and safety of our athletes.
The tragedy on our sport's biggest day brought us lots of unwanted attention from longtime fans, former fans, sports and general-interest media the world over and, of course, as we all know, members of Congress.
It made the industry wake up and take notice of its problems. It made us realize we have to improve conditions in this sport if we are to have a future.
But one thing should be perfectly clear from the outset, at least from the perspective of The Jockey Club:
We are not recommending changes or reform to appease people; we are making them because they need to be made.
If there has been any silver lining to be found in the problems over the past three months, it may lie in the renewed and better appreciation of the ongoing efforts of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit committees and the efforts of the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium and its committees.
They have done noble work, all of it reflecting good science, sound thinking and solid conclusions.
The industry obviously needed an independent, objective voice to stand up and call for their recommendations to be implemented. That, in a nutshell, is why The Jockey Club formed the Thoroughbred Safety Committee.
Today, you will hear from several individuals who have worked closely with the welfare summits, the RMTC and the Thoroughbred Safety Committee. In fact, the entire second half of the agenda is devoted to the Thoroughbred Safety Committee.
But we'll start off our program today with the Activities of The Jockey Club report from Jim Gagliano.