Daniel gets acclimated as Maryland Equine Welfare and Medical Director

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Dec. 23, 2018

Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Daniel, who took over as state veterinarian for the Maryland Racing Commission in January 2017, has begun her duties as Equine Welfare and Medical Director for the MRC.

A 2013 review of the MRC by the state Department of Legislative Services recommended creation of the position, which was endorsed by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Jockey Club. Funding became available in 2018 through legislative action.

Daniel will continue serving as state veterinarian.

“I’m one month into it, so this is a work in progress,” said Daniel, who served as state veterinarian at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia for many years. “The Standardbred industry will be part of it, too, so there will be some learning on my part.”

Daniel said she’d like to establish an industry mortality review board to examine necropsies and solicit input from all stakeholders to identify ways to further reduce the changes of equine fatalities. “We can then see if anything could have been done differently,” she said.

As part of her equine welfare responsibilities, Daniel said she hopes to work more closely with Beyond The Wire, Maryland racing’s aftercare program, on the placement of retired racehorses.

Daniel, when hired as state veterinarian, replaced the retiring Dr. David Zipf, who for more than 50 years provided veterinary services to the Maryland horseracing industry.

California, Louisiana, Kentucky and New York are among the states with an equine medical director.

(Photo of Dr. Elizabeth Daniel courtesy of Jim McCue)