The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., has earned re-accreditation from the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. The re-accreditation followed a complete review of all racing operations at the facility. Hollywood Park received its initial Alliance accreditation in June 2009. All accreditations and re-accreditations carry an effective period of two years.
Hollywood Park is the fifth Alliance-accredited racetrack to earn re-accreditation. Keeneland Race Course received re-accreditation from the Alliance in April of this year, Churchill Downs and Pimlico Race Course each earned re-accreditation last month, and Arlington Park earned re-accreditation last week.
The re-accreditation of Hollywood Park was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Hollywood Park hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, with special attention paid to areas that were newly added to the Alliance’s Code of Standards in 2010 and 2011. Such areas containing new or more stringent requirements include wagering security, injury reporting, post-mortem veterinary inspections, jockey health and safety, paddock safety, aftercare/transitioning of retired racehorses and cross-jurisdictional sharing of vet’s list data. Interviews were also conducted with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Celeste Kunz, VMD; Jim Gates, racetrack executive; and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
During the latest Alliance inspection of Hollywood Park, best practices were identified in areas including reporting of injuries and fatalities; post-mortem veterinary examination protocols; limited use of front traction devices on horseshoes; use of cushioned riding crops; equine ambulance protocols and equipment; participation in and funding of safety research; catastrophic injury planning and procedures; infectious disease management; regulation of alkalinizing substances; regulation of exogenous anabolic steroids; regulation of shock wave therapy; out-of-competition testing protocols; frozen sample testing protocols; medication and testing education; and, wagering integrity protocols including, elimination of cancel delays; exclusion of pools when non-verifiable; policy as a guest when excluded and the mechanism in place to investigate wagering incidents.
“Hollywood Park and its regulators from the California Horse Racing Board should be commended for their ongoing efforts toward improving the health, safety and welfare of racing’s human and equine athletes,” said Ziegler. “It is clear that safety and integrity are important to the racetrack and all who participate there.”
“Safety and integrity-based racing are vital to everyone here at Hollywood Park, and we are proud to be recognized by the Alliance for several industry-wide best practices,” said Jack Liebau, President of Hollywood Park. “Going through the accreditation process reminds us how important these areas are.”
Hollywood Park is one of 19 racing facilities to be fully accredited. Others are Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Belmont Park, Arlington Park, Monmouth Park, Saratoga Race Course, Calder Race Course, Turfway Park, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Oak Tree at Santa Anita/Santa Anita Park, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct Racetrack, Pimlico Race Course, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park and, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack.
The Alliance, formed in October 2008 with the goal of establishing national uniform standards in the areas of safety and integrity, includes 55 racetracks in North America and every major national horsemen’s organization. Alliance certification standards cover six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; uniform medication, testing and penalties; safety research; and wagering security. Within those six categories, specific standards focus on areas including:
• Systematic reporting of equine injuries
• Aftercare of racehorses
• Pre- and post-race veterinary examinations
• Post-mortem examinations
• Health and safety of jockeys
• Riding crops and their use
• Horse shoes and hoof care
• Safety research
• Safety equipment for jockeys and horse handlers
• Exogenous Anabolic Steroids
• Alkalinizing agents (TCO2)
• On-track emergency medical care for humans and equines
• Out-of-competition testing
• Freezing and retrospective testing of post race samples
• Continuing education
• Security assessment and training
• Totalizator technology and “stop wagering” protocols
• Wagering incident investigation
The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is a standing organization whose purpose is to establish standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at www.NTRAalliance.com.
The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, former four-term Governor of Wisconsin and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, serves as independent monitor of the Alliance and will provide public reports on Alliance progress in instituting safety and integrity standards.
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