A day after the announcement of the formation of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, The Jockey Club released the following statement Nov. 20 in support. The Jockey Club and horsemen group representatives were not among the panelists that spoke at the Nov. 19 press conference.
The Jockey Club applauds the creation of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition. The new group seeks to become a transparent source of safety information and best practices and will set up new safety standards for the participating tracks, which comprise the majority of major tracks in the United States.
“The Jockey Club supports the aims of this coalition and believes that its efforts will improve equine health,” said Jim Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club, adding, “The entire racing industry needs to get on board for these proposals to have maximum impact.”
The Jockey Club looks forward to all racetracks joining the coalition because for reform to be truly effective, it must be adopted uniformly across all jurisdictions. The current regulatory regime governing horse racing has proved to be unable to affect these changes and is the reason there are no national standards—a system of individual, state-based regulations and rules denies the industry dynamic and effective change.
“The coalition’s agenda will make racing safer for horse and rider,” continued Gagliano. “Initiatives that capitalize upon the various safety databases are solid initiatives. Clearly, there is a lot of work to do, and we’re pleased to see this group of racetrack organizations and the Breeders’ Cup working together.”
The Jockey Club is a member of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, which has been active on a broad front of horse racing safety issues, including support for the Horseracing Integrity Act. The Jockey Club, through its Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, Thoroughbred Safety Committee, and white paper, has introduced a host of recommendations aimed at improving Thoroughbred racing safety and integrity, including centralized storage of all treatment records, stricter regulation of medications in line with international standards, mandatory recording of information in the Equine Injury Database, and voided claims rules. Information on initiatives supported by The Jockey Club can be found here.
The Jockey Club is the breed registry for Thoroughbreds in North America. Since its founding 125 years ago, it has been dedicated to the improvement of breeding and racing of Thoroughbreds, focusing on improvements to the integrity, health, and safety of the sport.