The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has created an alliance of racetracks, horsemen’s groups and other entities to try to get a better handle on safety issues in the industry. The organizations have volunteered to place themselves under a certification process.
Reforms like steroid bans and safety rail requirements have been hard to mandate in the racing industry, because each track is governed by its own board and the laws in that particular state. There is no national governing body. NTRA President Alex Waldrop says it wasn’t hard getting tracks to join the new alliance.
“I sense a will to change in this industry that I have never seen,” says Waldrop. “The sheer numbers of people that we included speak volumes about how strongly this industry feels about the need for change and real reform.”
Eight goals have been crafted for the group, ranging from uniform medication rules to a placement program for retired thoroughbreds. Churchill Downs and Keeneland are both part of the alliance, as are Ellis and Turfway Parks.