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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

National HBPA Applauds Racing Commissioners International Medication Decision

The National HBPA applauds the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and its leadership for recognizing the need to, first, update the scientific advisory process as it relates to the development of scientifically sound medication rules and regulations that protect the health and safety of the horse and the integrity of racing and, second, simplify some of the numerous moving parts of the horse racing industry through the proposed merging of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) into the RCI.

“All equine racing medication scientific research should be transparent, independently researched, peer reviewed and publically available for analysis by the scientific community and interested industry participants,” stated Robin Richards, the NHBPA’s President and Chair, “and the RCI’s action should facilitate this process.”

The NHBPA firmly believes the RCI’s scientific expertise, with or without input from the RMTC, will produce well-reasoned medication rules and regulations that all participants in the horse racing industry (Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred) will embrace.

Phil Hanrahan, the CEO of the NHBPA, said, “I am confident the RCI’s decision will have a positive impact on our sport. Having the best and brightest scientific experts involved in the medication regulation process is a significant step forward.”

Kent Stirling, the Chair of the NHBPA’s Medication Committee, added, “As a Board member of the RMTC since its inception, I was always gratified to see everyone’s opinion considered, no matter how diverse, as we began to seriously move together towards creating rules that would produce national uniformity in our sport. In the last few years, this has not been the case as one group has clearly dominated the RMTC, and, in my opinion, stolen its independence. I applaud the RCI for its invitation to create a new partnership with the RMTC to better serve our industry. I hope the invitation is accepted.”

The NHBPA notes that the proposed merging of the RMTC into the RCI should also streamline the numerous processes currently involved with medication policy by renewing the focus on the science of medication and its impact on racing. It would remove a currently existing layer of debate from the process, reduce timelines for implementation and place the responsibility for medication policy in the hands of the very persons who are responsible for jurisdictional decisions – the regulators.

“We see all aspects of this as a positive move toward national uniformity in medication rules,” said NHBPA President Robin Richards.

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