NTRA Release: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., has been fully accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance following a complete review of all racing operations at the facility.
The accreditation of Gulfstream was the culmination of a lengthy certification process that began with the track’s completion of a 48-page written application and continued as Gulfstream hosted several meetings with Alliance officials. The on-site review included inspections of all facets of the racing facility, and interviews with track executives, racetrack personnel, jockeys, owners, trainers, stewards and fans. The inspection team was comprised of Ronald Jensen, DVM; racing official Richard Lewis; Mike Kilpack of the Organization of Racetrack Investigators (ORI); and Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance.
“Gulfstream was reviewed during its current live meeting,” said Ziegler. “It received ‘Best Practice’ ratings in many areas including pre-race examination protocols; post-race observation protocols; fire safety planning and procedures; regular, weekly meetings with horsemen to discuss safety and other regulations; and its aftercare program, which is supported by the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After Racing Fund.
“It was clear from the inspection that the Gulfstream Park management and staff place an extremely high emphasis on the safety of its human and equine athletes,” Ziegler continued.
“We are pleased to earn this accreditation and proud of the high marks our facility received in a wide variety of areas," said Tim Ritvo, President and General Manager of Gulfstream Park. "The safety of our athletes and the integrity of our product are fundamental to everyone on our staff.”
Gulfstream Park is now the 23rd racing facility to receive full accreditation, joining Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Belmont Park, Delaware Park, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, Arlington Park, Saratoga Race Course, Calder Race Course, Turfway Park, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Oak Tree at Santa Anita, Fair Grounds, Aqueduct Racetrack, Golden Gate Fields, Woodbine, Pimlico, Canterbury Park, Sunland Park, Finger Lakes Casino and Racetrack, Suffolk Downs and Santa Anita Park.
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.