Regulatory veterinarians meet for second CE conference

Posted: March 5, 2019

The second Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education program attracted more than 60 veterinarians to learn about best practices related to the health and welfare of racehorses.

Presented by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, the conference drew regulatory vets from 50 North American racetracks. The two-day event was held at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

Topics on the first day, March 4, included pharmacology—a review was provided by Dr. Cindy Cole of the University of Florida Racing Laboratory—and a presentation on regulated substances in the equine environment by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Equine Medical Director Dr. Mary Scollay.

“As regulators, we are often challenged by the feeling of being out there alone,” said Dr. Shari Silverman of the New Jersey Racing Commission. “Coming together as a national group helps affirm actions we take, gives us new ideas and direction to move in, and incentivizes us to continue to explore more ways to improve the welfare of these horses and ensure the integrity of racing.”

Attendees visited Gulfstream barns for simulated pre-race inspection demonstrations on racehorses currently in training. A discussion on pre-race examination decision-making was led afterward by Dr. Barrie Grant of the California Horse Racing Board.

“Regulatory veterinarians are the only ones that advocate strictly for the horse, without having to answer to a trainer or an owner,” said event co-organizer Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the RMTC. “We ask veterinarians at this conference to be mindful of to whom they are ultimately accountable.”

Said Dr. Tara Law, who represented the New York Racing Association: “As a new grad, this was my first CE conference and I cannot say enough good things after just (the first day). The bar has certainly been raised for future conferences.”

The Registry of Approved Continuing Education program of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards has approved the conference to offer 18.5 veterinarian continuing-education credits.

(Conference photo courtesy of RMTC)