Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 56
1 2 3 4 Next »

LEXINGTON, KY  (Wednesday, February 22, 2017) — Rhea P. Loney, who led the successful “frog juice” prosecution of Quarter Horse trainers in Louisiana, has been appointed chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s regulatory attorneys committee, ARCI chair Judy Wagner announced. Loney is a state assistant attorney general who has been a member of the regulatory attorneys committee since she began representing the Louisiana State Racing Commission in June, 2011. She was the first attorney in the country to successfully administratively prosecute Quarter Horse trainers whose horses tested positive for the powerful painkiller Dermorphin, known as frog juice because the banned substance is derived from secretions of a South American tree frog, through the Court of Appeal and the State Supreme Court in Louisiana. Loney previously chaired the Young Lawyers Section of the 22nd Judicial District Court. She earned her law degree from Tulane University, has a certificate in environmental law and earned a B.S. in environmental biology from Southeastern Louisiana University. From the media department of ARCI

Lexington, KY -   The 2017 ARCI Conference on Racing Integrity and Equine Welfare will focus on a blunt discussion about what is working and what is not in harness racing regulation in an ongoing effort to continually strengthen current policing efforts. Although the annual ARCI conference is the only gathering of racing industry regulators, it is open to anyone involved with the industry in any capacity.   The conference will be held in Charleston, South Carolina from April 18 thru April 20, 2017 at the Charleston Marriott.     Those interested in attending may register online at this LINK.     Racing’s drug testing program will undergo an aggressive review by a panel of experts who will address the topic “Drug Testing: Are We Getting it Right and Catching the Cheaters?”.   Expect discussions focusing on emerging doping threats and possible ways to monitor horses through development of an equine biological passport.   There will also be a discussion of strategies as to how select horses for out-of-competition tests. The use of the riding crop will be discussed and debated at the conference, as will current policies which may be an impediment to emerging technologies intended to grow the sport.    There will also be a discussion about creative ways to adjudicate racing rule violations differently than what is now being done. The Horseplayers Association of North America and others have been invited to participate on a panel entitled:  “Do Our Stewards Know What They Are Doing?”. The ARCI (Association of Racing Commissioners International) is the only organization in racing whose members are the officially sanctioned racing authorities empowered by law to enact and enforce the rules of racing as well as adjudicate violations and disputes.    The April meeting will also host meetings of: the National Racing Compact; Association of Official Racing Chemists (AORC - US Section); the Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee; and the Model Rules Committee. Hotel reservations at the Charleston Marriott at the ARCI conference rate of $179 plus tax. Links; RCI Conference Registration Charleston Marriott    

Lexington, KY -  Three highly respected former racing regulators - Steve Barham (OR), Bennett Liebman (NY), and Allan Monat (IL) - will comprise the independent panel the ARCI has formed to certify compliance with key integrity standards each year. Association of Racing Commissioners International Chair Judy Wagner made the appointments this week, noting that each of the appointees is totally independent of any racing interest or regulatory agency.   Barham once served as Executive Director of the Oregon Racing Commission prior to joining the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program in 2002 where he taught animal science and racing law and enforcement.  He helped manage the ARCI model rules process and often assigned his student's academic projects measuring adoption of the best regulatory practices contained in the ARCI Model Rules. Liebman is no stranger to racing, having served as a racing advisor to two NY Governors, a longtime member of the New York Racing and Wagering Board (now the Gaming Commission), and as coordinator of the Equine Law Project of Albany Law School’s Government Law Center.   Monet is a former jockey who served as a Member of the Illinois Racing Commission, where he earned a reputation for independence. Under the program, the panel will report each year at the annual ARCI meeting whether jurisdictions are “Compliant”, “Substantially Compliant” or “Non Compliant” with select integrity standards embodied in the Model Rules.   The standards may be expanded for subsequent years based upon recommendation of the panel to the ARCI Board each December. For 2017, the standards are linked to four ARCI Model Rules that are often referred to as the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP).   These include implementation  of the ARCI/RMTC Controlled Therapeutic Schedule; use of an RMTC accredited testing laboratory; adoption of the Multi-Medication Rule Violation point system; and the independent administration of race day furosemide for those trainers/owners opting to use it. ARCI President Ed Martin indicated that some individual regulators and industry entities have expressed a desire to have a formal certification program to help guide them in assessing whether races imported to their track or jurisdiction operate under key integrity regulatory standards.     Racetracks, ADW’s and off track betting companies choose which tracks they will offer their customers.  Usually these offerings require the consent of the appropriate horsemen’s organization and approval of the regulatory entity.   Martin was adamant that the ARCI will not be involved in recommending or deciding which simulcast signals should be approved or not.   “That is up to the tracks, ADWs, OTBs, the local horseman’s group, and the appropriate regulator, to make such decisions individually.   All the ARCI will do is provide information for others to assess what weight to give it in making decisions affecting their customers or constituents,” he said. The concept of a compliance certification program emerged from the Compliance Committee created by past ARCI Chair Mark Lamberth of Arkansas.  It was included in the 2016 Stakeholder Input Project, where it received considerable support - 57% - from those participating. Some in the thoroughbred industry have an interest in limiting the import of simulcast signals in some markets to those races operating under minimum integrity standards.   This concept has been embodied in the federal legislative proposals that have been put forward, but not passed, since 2005. Ed Martin 

The Board of Directors of the Association of Racing Commissioners International has voted to create a regulatory compliance program, setting minimum integrity standards based on the RCI Model Rules its members are encouraged to implement. Under the program, an independent three person panel of former regulators no longer associated with any particular commission will determine whether jurisdictions are “Compliant”, “Substantially Compliant” or “Non-Compliant” with select integrity standards embodied in the Model Rules.  The initial standards will be based on adoption of the four Model Rules, commonly described as the “National Uniform Medication Program” (NUMP).  “This a logical extension of ARCI’s role as a regulatory standard maker for racing and will signal to the public, racetracks, horsemen, and other commissions if races are being conducted consistent with those standards,” said RCI Chair Judy Wagner.  RCI will certify compliance with those standards on an annual basis and the standards may be expanded upon recommendation of the Compliance Panel. The concept of a compliance certification program received considerable support - 57% - from those participating in the 2016 Stakeholder Input Project. It also received general support from major leaders of thoroughbred racing organizations at a recent meeting held in Tucson. Thoroughbred leaders remain divided on whether or how to create a centralized entity to promulgate common rules.  RCI President Ed Martin indicated that some in the thoroughbred industry have an interest in limiting the import of simulcast signals in some markets to those races operating under minimum integrity standards. This concept has been embodied in some of the proposed federal legislation that has not passed.  “Existing state laws allow commissions to approve the import of signals and federal law grants similar authority to the horsemen,” Martin said.  “What people do with the information generated by the Compliance Program is up to them. ARCI will have no role in that unless otherwise empowered by statute,” he said.  Audits of Stewards. The ARCI Board also voted to create a performance audit of penalties assessed by individual Steward stands for general consistency with the recommended penalty matrix contained in the Model Rules. This information will be presented to racing commissions in a confidential manner as it will be considered as part of an employee’s personnel review and may become part of someone’s private personnel file. In those cases where an official is not an employee of the commission, the commission may utilize it as a factor in determining suitability for approval as a racing official.  “The ARCI Board recognizes that facts in individual cases may necessitate a departure from the recommended guidelines. These audits are designed to alert employers if there is a pattern on the part of individual Steward stands to ignore the recommended guidelines. Again, we will present this information and it will be totally up to the individual commissions how to utilize it,” Martin said.  RACING COMMISSIONERS INTERNATIONAL

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2016) -- The agencies regulating American horse racing (harness racing) want to know what issues the sport's participants and patrons believe most urgently need addressing and the best way to do so. The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), a not-for-profit trade association representing the regulatory bodies for horse and greyhound racing in North America and parts of the Caribbean, has crafted an online survey to solicit input from the industry's varied stakes-holders, including the bettors who make the horse racing possible. The goal is to find consensus that will allow the industry to take constructive measures to improve the sport. Here's the link "Racing is a great sport - perhaps the greatest," said ARCI president Ed Martin. "It's the thinking person's sport. But because there are literally thousands of owners, hundreds of tracks and countless participants, there has been no consensus as to what our biggest problems and challenges are and how to address them." In that effort, the ARCI on Wednesday at Los Alamitos will conduct the last of 28 focus groups at tracks across the country, with participants including horse owners, trainers, jockeys, fans, veterinarians, track management, breeders, racing officials and regulators. "We appreciate that issues can only be addressed if people work together," Martin said. "We seek to assess what problems people need to have addressed, the options to do that, and the path that a consensus can be built around." The online survey is designed to augment the focus groups. Martin encourages industry organizations, including those for fans and handicappers, to circulate the survey among their memberships and beyond. "The questions are deliberately designed to probe where people are at on ideas currently being proposed, as well as giving respondents the opportunity to tell us what they think the major changes should be," Martin said. "The more responses the better. "The racing industry is currently divided, and those divisions are generating negative publicity and ill will. Unless we get everyone on a common path, these divisions will continue to the detriment of the sport. Nobody can solve all of racing's problems overnight, but we are going to try to get people on a path that will result in positive change." About ARCI: The Association of Racing Commissioners International is the umbrella organization of the official rule-making bodies for professional horse and greyhound racing in North America and parts of the Caribbean. The ARCI sets standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug-testing laboratories, totalizator systems, racetrack operation and security, including for off-track wagering entities. ARCI's members are the only independent entities recognized to license, enforce and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing. While the ARCI, a not-for-profit trade association, has no regulatory authority, its members individually possess regulatory authority within their jurisdictions and solely determine whether or not to adopt ARCI recommendations and policies and rules. Ed Martin | | Ed Martin | 1510 Newtown Pike | Lexington, KY 40511  

Lexington, KY - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) will commence it's 2017 annual conference on racing integrity, equine welfare and regulatory matters on Tuesday, April 18 thru Thursday, April 20, 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. The annual ARCI conference is the only annual gathering of the official racing regulatory authorities empowered by law to make and enforce the rules of racing and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing in the United States, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean. Matters pertaining to equine and canine health and welfare, anti-doping, wagering security and opportunities, rider and driver safety, compulsive gambling, licensing, investigations, and track operations have highlighted past ARCI conferences. As the agenda for the 2017 meeting has not yet been finalized, proposed topics and speakers may be suggested by emailing Lisa Stahl at Details as to the agenda as well as registration and hotel arrangements will be posted on the ARCI website ( when available. Registration for the conference will not be open until January, 2017. The annual ARCI conference is not limited to regulators and is open to anyone involved in the racing industry as an owner, trainer, veterinarian, rider or driver, racetrack official or operator, fan or any other capacity. A registration fee will be set in January and is charged to defray the cost of the meeting as well as some meals and networking opportunities. The conference will be held at the Marriott Charleston, 170 Lockwood Boulevard Charleston, South Carolina USA. Ed Martin | | Ed Martin | 1510 Newtown Pike | Lexington, KY 40511  

Lexington, KY - The Model Rules Committee of the ARCI has moved closer to a revision of the Model Rules to facilitate an expansion of out-of-competition testing by forming a subgroup of regulators involving several industry organizations to address what have been identified as deficiencies in a proposal submitted by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium that had widespread at their last meeting. The New York Gaming Commission representative on the committee identified a provision that some regulators said would create a "safe harbor" for blood dopers by limiting the hours out-of-competition samples could be taken. Model Rules Chairman Larry Eliason indicated that the proposal "was not yet ready for prime time" while appointing a committee of regulators chaired by New York Gaming Commission Associate Counsel Rick Goodell to perfect language that could be adopted. The group was instructed to involve Dr. Dionne Benson of the RMTC, Dr. Jeff Blea of the AAEP, Dr. Clara Fenger of the NAARV, Dave Basler of the National HBPA and others as deemed appropriate. RCI President Ed Martin indicated that there was universal support for expanded out of competition testing but no proposals have been made as to how this would be paid for. He indicated that the ARCI Town Hall/Focus Group project is testing concepts that might be used to fund such an effort. It was also noted that the existing Model Rule dealing with Out-of-Competition Testing is far reaching and applies to any horse under the care and control of a licensee, regardless of location, and subjects them to testing for blood and/or gene doping agents without advance notice. Horses could be selected at random, with probably cause, or as determined by the commission. The main difference between RMTC proposal and the existing Out of Competition model rule is that it seeks to prohibit the use of anabolic steroids in training except under defined restrictions. Existing regulatory policy currently strictly prohibits steroids in competition. This proposal seeks to expand authority to regulate substances that some claim have therapeutic value to some horses, in specific circumstances. This is done in human sport and the way the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) deals with the legitimate medical needs of human athletes is to permit exemptions for therapeutic use for otherwise prohibited substances ti be used in training and competition. From Ed Martin for ARCI

The ARCI will be holding it’s eleventh “Town Hall” meeting this Friday, June 17th, at Belmont Park at 10:30am in the Belmont Room on the second floor of the facility. Those interested in participating should pre-register using this LINK .   There is no cost. Following the meeting at Belmont, one will be held for standardbred racing participants at the Meadowlands on Saturday, June 18th at 1:00pm in The Gallery on the second floor.     (Registration link for the Meadowlands meeting: ) The Meadowlands meeting will be coming on the heels of the first standardbred only Town Hall meeting being held Tuesday at Harrington Raceway and Casino in Harrington, Delaware. Last week a meeting was held at Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Colorado.  A cross section of owners, trainers, breeders, track management, veterinarians and regulators participated.   Concern was expressed about the image of horse racing and the need to differentiate between overages of therapeutic medications and actual instances of doping. Common to all meetings is a discussion about current options being discussed and put forward by various groups to strengthen the policing of the sport.   Assessing the need for and various proposed options for a centralized rule making entity or process is a major discussion point. ARCI “Town Hall/Focus Group” meetings have already been held at: Santa Anita, Gulfstream, the Organization of Racing Investigators spring meeting, the Mid-Atlantic Group’s March regional meeting, Keeneland, Lone Star Park, Remington Park, Ocala, and Arapahoe Park. Input received at the meetings and through an online survey will be presented to major racing industry leaders as part of an attempt by the ARCI to unify the racing industry in a common path to ensure a strong and effective integrity effort for racing. Ed Martin | | Ed Martin | 1510 Newtown Pike | Lexington, KY 40511

Lexington, KY - The revisions to its racing regulatory standards that were adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) at its meeting last month in New Orleans were formally posted today. Among them, sections pertaining to Medical Labeling were strengthened to ensure that improper medications are not being used in racing and to strengthen racing commission jurisdiction in this area. ARCI Chair Judy Wagner praised several racing industry organizations that provided invaluable input to assist the development of the final medical labeling version that was adopted. She noted specific contributions by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the National HBPA, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians. The Model Rules of Racing were amended as follows: ARCI-004-105 Calculation Of Payouts And Distribution Of Pools ARCI-008-030 Jockey Suspensions and Designated Races ARCI-011-010 Treatment Restrictions ARCI-011-020 Medical Labeling ARCI-011-025 Trainer Responsibility ARCI-025-010 Treatment Restrictions ARCI-025-020 Medical Labeling ARCI-025-025 Trainer Responsibility The ARCI also expanded its Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule to include and set regulatory thresholds for the following four medications: Cimetidine, Ranitidine, Cetirizine and Guaifenesin. Additionally, regulatory thresholds for Xylazine and Omeprazole were modified based on new information and research not available when the schedule was initially adopted. The Xylazine and the Omeprazole thresholds were adjusted based upon studies conducted at the University of California at Davis, funded by the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, and coordinated through the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. The ARCI also amended the Uniform Classification Guidelines of (Prohibited) Foreign Substances, as follows: Methamphetamine: Added footnote language recommending Penalty B if testing can prove presence of only levo-methamphetamine is present in sample. Tramadol: Penalty recommendation changed from Penalty A to Penalty B. Cetirizine: Penalty recommendation changed from Penalty B to Penalty C after inclusion into ARCI Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule. Morphine: Footnote language added recommending Penalty A if intentional administration can be proven by regulators. Cocaine : Footnote language added recommending Penalty A if intentional administration can be proven by regulators. All ARCI regulatory standards are published on the association's website: Model Rules can also be accessed through the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) at: . ARCI Model Rules serve as a guide to jurisdictions in the making of racing regulatory policy. In some instances, portions of the ARCI Model Rules have the force of law by virtue of statutes or rules incorporating them "by reference". This means that when the ARCI adopts a rule, it automatically becomes the applicable policy in jurisdictions that have done that. Link to Version 6.2 of the ARCI Model Rules: Link to Versions 12.00 of the Uniform Classification Document: Link to Version 3.0 of the Controlled Therapeutic Schedule: by Ed Martin, for the ARCI

LEXINGTON, KY - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) will hold the second in a series of “Town Hall” meetings at Gulfstream Park on Monday, February 22, 2016. The purpose of the meeting is to gather input and have a frank conversation with racing industry stakeholders, participants, and fans in an attempt to find common ground and workable solutions to the problems the industry faces. Individual regulatory agencies have often relied upon this approach to create policies in their jurisdictions.   The ARCI effort is the first time this approach will be done on a national basis in regions across the country.   Throughout the year, input is being sought from racetracks, breeders, horsemen, stakeholder entities, legislators and fans.   Those unable to participate in person will be able to provide input through an online survey currently being developed. The February 22 meeting will take place at 10:30 a.m. EST in the second floor “Sport of Kings Room” at Gulfstream Park, 901 S Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, Florida. Those interested in attending are requested to pre-register by visiting .   There is no charge to register. The first meeting took place at Santa Anita Racetrack on January 21, 2016.    ARCI President Ed Martin indicated that the discussion was “very productive” and was a working session that explored options to strengthen integrity efforts.   Participating in that meeting included representatives and members of the California Association of Racing Fans, the California Horse Racing Board, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Stronach Group, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, and the Thoroughbred Trainers of California, amongst others. Results of the ARCI effort to gather input will be presented to a meeting of national racing industry leaders, regulators and stakeholder groups to be held in early December in Tucson, Arizona. Steve May

LEXINGTON, KY - The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has put all racing regulatory agencies worldwide on notice of a finding by the New York Equine Drug Testing Program of the presence of AH-7921 in post-race samples taken from horses that recently ran at Belmont Park. This is the first time AH-7921 has been detected by a racing regulatory lab. The drug is one of the Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) that continue to emerge onto the designer drug market. Research has shown that AH-7921 can be as potent as morphine, yet its core molecular structures do not resemble morphine or fentanyl which have been detected in the past by racing regulatory labs. NPS drugs are believed to be compounded in order to avoid detection by human testing labs. There is no legitimate reason for AH-7921 to be present in a horse. The New York State Gaming Commission summarily suspended Thoroughbred owner/trainer Roy Sedlacek as a result of the finding. "Dr. George Maylin and his team should be commended for their persistent attention to emerging threats," ARCI Chairman Mark Lamberth said, noting that Dr. Maylin has consistently warned of the threat posed by designer drugs and peptides. "This is excellent work on the part of Dr. Maylin and the New York lab," he said. Another racing regulatory lab, Industrial Laboratories, was the first to detect the hepta-peptide Dermorphin in a race horse. Dermorphin is a natural opioid that binds as an agonist with high potency and selectivity to mu Opioid receptors. AH-7921 is a selective u-opioid receptor agonist with some effect on the K-receptor as well. Its use can be highly toxic. A copy of the New York State Gaming Commission ruling for Mr. Sedlacek can be found here: From the ARCI

LEXINGTON, KY - The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has formally announced the members of the committee recently formed to work with individual commissions to complete the implementation of the ARCI medication reforms. The 12 members of the ARCI Compliance Committee, as it will be officially known, were invited by Chairman Mark Lamberth. Lamberth has assigned the committee members to three working teams, with each team reviewing the regulatory policies of a set of racing jurisdictions. The regulators assigned to those teams are as follows: Team Member Member Jurisdiction Team Assigned John T. Ward, Jr. Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Team A Jonathan Zachem Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering Team A Judy Wagner Louisiana State Racing Commission Team A Domenic DiCera Illinois Racing Board Team A Rick Baedeker California Horse Racing Board Team B Jeff Colliton Washington State Horse Racing Commission Team B Tom DiPasquale Minnesota Racing Commission Team B Dr. Corinne Sweeney Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission Team B Mike Hopkins Maryland Racing Commission Team C Duncan Patterson Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission Team C Robert Williams New York State Gaming Commission Team C Frank Zanzuccki New Jersey Racing Commission Team C The committee teams will begin by completing a thorough review of the medication policies in each United States jurisdiction, and then will work state-by-state to advance the ARCI medication reforms. The jurisdictions assigned to each team are as follows: Team A Team B Team C Arkansas Arizona Delaware Colorado California Iowa Florida Idaho Maine Illinois Minnesota Maryland Indiana Montana Massachusetts Kentucky Nevada Michigan Louisiana New Mexico Nebraska Ohio Oregon New Jersey Oklahoma Pennsylvania New York Texas Washington North Dakota Wyoming   South Dakota     Virginia     West Virginia Lamberth stated that the committee will begin work this week, and three teams will meet on a regular basis. The committee work report to the ARCI Board of Directors during their meeting in December. Steve May

LEXINGTON, KY - The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) announced today that a new committee will be formed to work with individual commissions to complete the implementation of the ARCI medication reforms. The reforms are embodied in the Model Rules, the association's recommended best regulatory practices and policies. Mark Lamberth, who also serves as a commissioner on the Arkansas State Racing Commission, made the announcement following a Monday conference call with racing regulators. The regulators asked to participate will be named in the near future. The goal of the committee is to complete implementation of medication reforms that were developed by ARCI members and staff working with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). The committee will identify the jurisdictions that have yet to adopt portions of the reforms and develop strategies to work with the individual commission to advance the reforms. "Racing regulators working together with the racing industry have made tremendous strides over the past few years in some of the biggest racing states to implement sound, uniform medication policies in areas such as therapeutic medication use, laboratory testing standards and accreditation, and increased penalties for repeat offenders. There are some jurisdictions that have not implemented all of these reforms, and the goal of the committee is to aid those jurisdictions in the implementation process," said Lamberth. Lamberth said that all racing regulators were uniform in prohibiting performance enhancing drugs, and the ARCI is committed to resolving relatively minor differences in regulations pertaining to testing thresholds for some therapeutic medications. "Full adoption of the ARCI Model Rules, which have been thoughtfully and carefully developed in conjunction with the RMTC, would accomplish that," he said. Lamberth also said that a model Request for Proposals for laboratory services was an important reform and predicted that racing commissions will rely upon it as laboratory contracts expire and future procurements are implemented. "We know that the racing industry is in a much better position today than it was just five years ago when it comes to medication policy, and the regulators on this committee want to continue that progress for the good of racing," added Lamberth. Lamberth said that the committee will begin work immediately and report to the ARCI Board of Directors in December. by Steve May, for the ARCI

The entire Arkansas horse racing industry joined the Arkansas Racing Commission today as it voted to formally oppose federal intervention and pending legislation in Washington that would shift equine welfare and anti-doping efforts to a private entity with no experience with horses. Arkansas Racing Commission Chairman Cecil Alexander announced that the commission was “unanimous” in today’s vote to oppose efforts to pass federal legislation to shift state regulatory responsibility to the control of the private and non-accountable US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in order to reverse a long standing equine welfare policy. At today’s Commission meeting the following organizations representing the entire racing industry in Arkansas indicated opposition to the federal legislative attempts:  Oaklawn Park, the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders and Horseman’s Association, and the Arkansas Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.  Mark Lamberth, a Member of the Commission and current Chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International said the federal legislative initiative was a “departure from cooperative efforts that have historically been productive”.   Lamberth said that if the USADA was interested in helping Arkansas racing, they should accept the ARCI’s invitation for collaboration instead of pursuing a “hostile takeover”. The ARCI has noted that the pending Barr/Tonko bill would necessitate a new tax on the racing industry to pay for USADA involvement and grant the Colorado based organization tremendous control over Arkansas racing.   “These bills give a private organization in Colorado Springs the unchecked authority to effectively shut down the Arkansas racing industry if we don’t pay their bill or adhere to their edicts.   Local communities and local voices are shut out and this is just plain wrong,” he said. The ARCI has noted that the USADA drug testing program is 1/37 the size of the program operated by US State racing commissions.   The percentage of drug rule violations detected is roughly the same in the USADA program as it is in the current program conducted by the states. “Racing commissions are uniform in not allowing performance enhancing substances in horses when they race,” Lamberth noted.   “On the advice of the veterinary medical community, for the past thirty years a raceday administration of a medication proven to be helpful to the horse to mitigate or prevent airwave lesions and exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage is allowed.   As its use is ubiquitous and disclosed to the public, no horse is given an advantage when it races and any attempt to characterize this as anything other than putting the horse first is just plain wrong.” Lamberth questioned USADA developed anti-doping policies deployed in human sport that permit athletes to compete under the influence of substances that would never be tolerated if found in a post race sample taken from a horse following a race. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, athletes may request a “therapeutic use exemption” to train and compete with a performance enhancing drug.   According to the USADA 2014 Annual Report, about 85% of applications fully processed are approved. “Anyone who’s concerned about drugs in racing should have a real problem with the fact that USADA thinks it OK not to tell the public which athletes are using drugs when they compete.  They don’t even tell you the events involved,” he said. Lamberth said that both the ARCI and the Arkansas Racing Commission are interested in “working with anyone who wants to help us do what we do”.   He noted that the federal legislative effort might be better focused on targeting a portion of the $9 million federal appropriation to combat doping in professional sport in order to support efforts in horse racing.   “I find it amazing that neither bill that has been proposed actually provides any assistance to help us,” he concluded. Ed Martin

Lexington, KY --- Racing’s anti-doping rules will continue to withstand legal challenge, according to conclusions reached at a meeting of regulatory attorneys convened by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. “A widely reported decision in Delaware not to pursue a prosecution in a singular case had mitigating factors that were unique. This has been thoroughly reviewed as have been the standards required for a successful prosecution and we are confident that the rules will continue to withstand any future challenge,” said Mark Lamberth, chairman of the ARCI and a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission. Following press coverage intimating that rules based upon the recommendations of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as embodied in the ARCI Model Rules might be vulnerable to legal attack, the meeting was convened to conduct a vulnerability assessment. “I am not aware of any successful challenge to a drug prosecution based on science. People will try and spend a lot money doing so, but in the end, the courts have upheld racing commission actions,” said Ed Martin, the ARCI’s President, noting that the attorneys identified no vulnerability in current rules. (Note: A recent court decision in Kentucky overturning an action by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission was based on mitigating circumstance relating to the justification of the penalty stemming from Kentucky’s classification definition of the medication Levamisole, not on the science or capacity of the laboratory behind its detection.) Lamberth has asked the RMTC to make as much information as possible available to help the public and industry understand that regulatory policies are based on a solid review and assessment of the science, literature and opinions of recognized experts. Earlier this year, the ARCI convened its own scientific advisory group to assess issues independently from the RMTC. “It’s important for people to have confidence in the process and regulators have a responsibility to consider all views and assessments,” Lamberth said. “Scientific recommendations are based on what it is that we know today. As additional research work is done and completed, we always reserve the right to change policy based on new information. Absent that, those who must defend racing commission actions in court have an extremely high degree of confidence in the integrity of the current system.” by Steve May, Racing Commissioners International 

LEXINGTON, KY - The President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) today predicted that the currently unregulated horse breeding industry will ultimately be folded into any federal racing legislation that advances in Washington. "I fully anticipate that as current proposals advance in the legislative process, Members of Congress will heed comments made by a key supporter of federal intervention about the practices of Thoroughbred breeders that may be contributing to an inappropriate reliance on drugs," Ed Martin said. Prior to becoming involved with racing regulatory matters, Martin served as a senior aide on Capitol Hill for almost a decade. The President of the Humane Society of the United States and a member of The Jockey Club's coalition, Wayne Pacelle, wrote in a July 20, 2015 column published on the animal welfare website the following: "Doping horses for racing is more dangerous today than ever because breeding practices - which select for speed and champagne-glass legs - make the horses less sturdy and more vulnerable to breakdowns than they were even 10 or 20 years ago." The Thoroughbred breeding industry and related sales companies are not currently regulated by the states, creating a void that Martin predicted Congress would fill given the universal concern about Thoroughbred racing breakdowns. Martin noted that state racing commission medication reforms already implemented are starting to reduce catastrophic injuries in some jurisdictions as reported by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear at The Jockey Club's Roundtable conference this past weekend. He predicted that unregulated sales company medication policies that permit the stacking of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to be used on horses going through the auction ring could be considered permissive. "I predict that Members of Congress will want to know why drugs need to be given to horses that have never raced and have not been injured," he said. The ARCI President said that if a state were to expand the jurisdiction of an ARCI member commission to regulate the breeding industry and sales companies, the association would begin working on Model Rules to assist that agency in meeting the legislative mandate. To date, that has not happened. Steve May

1 to 16 of 56
1 2 3 4 Next »