News Releases

Sunday, August 22, 2010Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
Thoroughbred Safety Committee Announces
New Recommendations at Round Table Conference

The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee, formed in May 2008 to review every facet of equine health and to formulate recommended actions to be taken by the industry to improve health and safety in Thoroughbred racing, issued four new recommendations Sunday at the 58th annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The new recommendations, announced by Stuart S. Janney III, the chairman of the Thoroughbred Safety Committee, pertain to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), drug testing and laboratory standards, pre-race inspections and the Rider Accident Database.

Copies of the entire text of the four new recommendations are available at, but following are some of the highlights.

In regard to NSAIDs, the committee calls for:

  • The immediate adoption by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and all United States racing authorities of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) recommendation revising the recommended threshold for the NSAID phenylbutazone from 5 micrograms per milliliter to 2 micrograms per milliliter of plasma or serum when administered not less than 24 hours prior to post time.

In regard to drug testing and laboratory standards, the committee calls for:

  • The adoption of the RMTC Equine Drug Testing Standards into the RCI Model Rule book and the participation and adoption of the standards by all United States racing authorities and their associated testing laboratories.

In regard to pre-race inspections, the committee calls for:

  • The immediate use of the pre-race veterinary examination module (developed by InCompass Solutions Inc.) and the sharing of inspection information by all racing jurisdictions, regulatory veterinarians and racetracks performing pre-race inspections.
  • The transparency and reciprocity of all associated “lists” kept by various racing officials.

In regard to the Rider Accident Database, which was a primary objective identified at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in June, the committee calls for:

  • The standing commitment by all racetracks, state racing authorities, horsemen, exercise riders, jockeys and the Jockeys’ Guild to participate in the Rider Accident Database.

The objectives of the Rider Accident Database will be to identify the frequency, types and outcome of rider injuries using a standardized format that will generate valid statistics; identify circumstances of increased risk of injury; and serve as a data source for research directed at improving safety and preventing injuries. As with the Equine Injury Database, The Jockey Club Technology Services and InCompass Solutions will assist in the development of the Rider Accident Database.

“We have been encouraged by the response and actions of various commissions, racetracks and organizations that have adopted some or all of the seven Thoroughbred Safety Committee recommendations that have been made to date,” said Janney. “We believe these four recommendations we are announcing today are just as important and we would once again urge those organizations to act as soon as possible, for the benefit of our athletes and our industry.”

The new recommendations were announced in a segment entitled, “Medication and Safety: A Report of Collaborative Progress.”

Prior to the announcement of the new recommendations, Alan Foreman, president of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Inc., announced that five laboratories that perform drug testing services for horse racing have signed letters of intent to complete the RMTC accreditation process no later than Dec. 31, 2011. Accreditation is a key component of the RMTC’s five-part Drug Testing Initiative.

The laboratories are Dalare Associates in Philadelphia, Penn., HFL Sports Science in Lexington, Ky., Morrisville State College in Morrisville, N.Y., the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California-Davis in Davis, Calif., and the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory in West Chester, Penn.

In addition to meeting the equine drug testing code of standards, laboratory accreditation also requires development of a uniform request for proposal from state racing commissions for drug testing services that requires adherence to defined standards and compliance with international drug testing accreditation specifications (ISO/IEC 17025); participation in a frozen sample program for a minimum of five years for future analysis as new drug tests are developed; and ongoing participation in a blind quality assurance program.

In a presentation highlighting the activities of The Jockey Club, Matt Iuliano, the organization’s executive vice president and executive director, announced the creation and availability of individual state Fact Books on This new resource provides more state and provincial detail than is available in the Online Fact Book and is designed to assist state and provincial Thoroughbred industries with education and lobbying efforts.

This morning’s Round Table Conference was devoted almost exclusively to the current state of the Thoroughbred industry and its collaborative progress on issues of welfare, safety and integrity.

The Jockey Club Round Table Conference was first held on July 1, 1953, in The Jockey Club office in New York City. The following year, it was moved to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where it has been held every August since.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms, among others.