Posted: Oct. 14, 2022
The Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit, established by Drug Free Sport International to administer the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, has named Dr. Mary Scollay as its Chief of Science, while HISA has selected Dr. Peter Hester, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and currently practicing at The Lexington Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, as National Medical Director.
Scollay, previously Executive Director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, will oversee the HIWU Science Department, including the HISA Equine Analytical Laboratory accreditation program, and education efforts ahead of the ADMC Program launch in January 2023. She will also prioritize research development into prohibited substances and engage with veterinary scientists, pharmacologists, and others in the Thoroughbred industry. Scollay and her team will manage a prohibited substances database that will be available for industry stakeholders to use as a reference tool.
While with the RMTC, Scollay directed the advancement of world-class laboratory drug-testing standards, promotion of RMTC-recommended rules and penalties for prohibited substances and therapeutic medications, monitoring of emerging threats to the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses, and administrative oversight of RMTC-funded research projects and educational programs. Scollay spent more than 30 years as a racing regulatory veterinarian, including 11 years as the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Equine Medical Director.
“Dr. Scollay’s extensive experience in the areas of anti-doping rules, testing standards, and veterinary regulation in the Thoroughbred industry will make her a key asset to HIWU,” said Ben Mosier, Executive Director of HIWU. “We are fortunate to retain her knowledge and skillset as we prepare for the implementation of the ADMC Program on Jan. 1, 2023.”
“HISA represents the way forward for Thoroughbred racing, the only way forward,” Scollay said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the sport during this transition, and I am committed to working with HIWU to deliver a best-in-class equine anti-doping program to the industry.”
HIWU was established in 2022 by DFSI to administer the rules and enforcement mechanisms of the ADMC Program, which will create centralized testing and results management process and apply uniform penalties for violations efficiently and consistently across all American Thoroughbred racing jurisdictions that HISA governs. HIWU will oversee testing, educate stakeholders on the new program, accredit laboratories, investigate potential violations, and prosecute any such violations.
As HISA National Medical Director, Hester will focus on jockey health and welfare, working to mitigate the risk of injury, including concussion, as well as improving health care services to jockeys and sourcing affordable medical insurance for jockeys and their families.
“I have had the great privilege of working with many jockeys and exercise riders in my practice as they recover from injuries and surgery,” Hester said. “I have tremendous respect for the athleticism that their job requires and I am familiar with the risks associated with this profession. It is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to work with HISA as we implement new policies to protect and serve these courageous athletes.”
Hester has been serving on the HISA Racetrack Safety Standing Committee as an independent member, but will resign from his seat. Hester will continue to practice as an orthopedic surgeon.
In his new role, Hester will further HISA’s commitment to protecting jockey safety and welfare in coordination with individual tracks’ medical directors and others. Under HISA, every rider is required to have his or her medical information readily available at all times in case of an accident and must undergo annual physical examinations and baseline concussion tests to demonstrate they are fit to ride. HISA has also implemented uniform standards for concussion and return-to-ride protocols.