Groups to host continuing education program for regulatory veterinarians

Posted: Feb. 3, 2018

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety & Integrity Alliance and the Racing Medication Testing Consortium in June will for the first time offer a comprehensive two-day continuing education program for regulatory and official racetrack veterinarians.

The conference, called the “Regulatory/Official Veterinary CE,” will be held June 25-26 a Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., and cover pre-race examinations, on-track protocols, best practices for test barns, data and documentation, technology resources, and biosecurity. It will precede the Grayson-Jockey Club Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit June 27 at Keeneland.

The agenda was developed by Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director of the RMTC, and Steve Koch, Executive Director of the safety alliance, in collaboration with a committee of equine medical directors and racetrack veterinarians. Approval for veterinary CE credits is anticipated in advance of the conference.

“Regulatory veterinarians hold a unique position in the protection of the health and welfare of the horse,” Benson said. “The goal of this CE is to provide training directly related to their mission.”

“Consistency of protocols across North American racing is critical to protect the welfare of the traveling horse,” Koch said. “It is therefore crucial that every track and regulatory authority ensure their veterinarians participate in this one-of-a-kind event.”

Participation is limited to active official vets employed or sponsored by a racetrack or regulatory authority. Select additional participants may be admitted at the discretion of the organizers.

Registration is $250/person and includes all meals each day. The registration deadline is June 1. Online registration will be available in coming weeks but spots may be reserved immediately by contacting Julia Sisoumankhara of the RMTC at or (859) 759-4081.

The CE program is designed to complement the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit. Organizers said attendees are encouraged to cross-register for both; information on the summit is available here.

Confirmed topics and speakers for the CE program

Pre-race exams and hands-on practice in barn areas: Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital; Dr. Tim Grande of the California Horse Racing Board; Dr. Michael Hardy of Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, Indiana Horse Racing Commission); Dr. Mary Scollay of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, University of Kentucky; and Dr. Scott Hay of Teigland, Franklin and Brokken Equine.

North American pre-race examination standards and medication regulation: Dr. Dionne Benson of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium

In-the-field implantation of the InCompass Solutions Veterinary Module: Cathy O’Meara of the Racing Officials Accreditation Program and Kristin Leshney of The Jockey Club.

Race-day procedures: Dr. Jeff Blea of Von Bluecher, Blea & Hunkin Equine Medicine and Surgery; Dr. Christy Klatt of the Minnesota Racing Commission and Arkansas Racing Commission; Dr. Lynn Hovda of the Minnesota Racing Commission, Safety Call Inc., University of Minnesota); and Dr. Greg Taylor, veterinary consultant for the NTRA alliance.

Race-day emergency medication: Dr. John Hubbell of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital.

Providing the best outcome for an injured racehorse: Dr. Robert Hunt of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

Legal ramifications of test sample chain of custody: Brad Beilly of Beilly & Strohsahl, P.A.

Model rule changes including veterinary practices and trainer treatment records: Steve Koch of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.

Equine Injury Database: Dr. Tim Parkin of the University of Glasgow.

Data opportunities outside of the Equine Injury Database: Dr. Rick Arthur of the University of California-Davis and California Horse Racing Board.

Infectious disease and racetrack biosecurity: Dr. Roberta Dwyer of the University of Kentucky.

Racing surface data valuable to regulatory veterinarians: Dr. Mick Peterson of the University of Kentucky and Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory.