Regulation, Testing Emphasized at Vet Conference
An emphasis on regulating medication and developing enforcement strategies marked the second and final day of the Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education conference (#RegVetCE19) presented by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety & Integrity Alliance at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., March 4-5.
The morning was highlighted by an informative panel on U.S. and international out-of-competition testing strategies. Dr. Rick Arthur of the California Horse Racing Board, Dr. Tessa Muir of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Dr. Izzy Trejo of the New Mexico Racing Commission covered subjects such as hair testing and the scope of substances that should be included when performing out-of-competition testing.
Testing matters were further discussed in a talk by UC Davis's Dr. Ashley Hill on scientific threshold level development and the 95/95 threshold interval, and on a later panel that focused on laboratory issues including sample turnaround logistics and unknown substances. The panel was led by Dr. Lynn Hovda of the Minnesota Horse Racing Commission and featured representatives of RMTC-Accredited testing laboratories, Dr. Anthony Fontana of Truesdail Laboratories and Petra Hartmann of Industrial Laboratories.
Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, presented on the purpose and philosophy behind therapeutic medication regulations, and regulating substances present in the racehorse's environment.
Afternoon sessions included a talk led by Zoetis's Dr. Kenton Morgan on adulterated substances, compounded and illegal new medications, misbranding and mislabeling.
The event concluded with a detailed comparison of U.S. and international medication regulations. This discussion featured BHA's Dr. Muir, RMTC Executive Director and COO Dr. Dionne Benson, and RMTC Chair and NTRA President Alex Waldrop. "(RegVetCE) was a great reminder that we are here for the welfare of the horse, first and foremost," stated Meredith A. Steudle, DVM of the New Jersey Racing Commission. "The networking that is created during conferences like this helps us develop strategies to do our job better."
The sold-out event, which attracted more than 60 regulatory and official racetrack veterinarians from 20 states and six countries (and covering almost 50 North American racetracks), was organized by RMTC's Dr. Benson and Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance.
"The 2019 Regulatory Veterinarian CE conference marked another successful event, which is evidenced by the group of attendees and significant industry support," said Dr. Robert O'Neil, director of equine health and safety for The Stronach Group. "Our sport's equine athletes will certainly benefit from the support that continuing education provides veterinarians in the field - from developing their networks and skill sets to expanding access to critical resources. This annual gathering has become the gold standard in training regulatory veterinarians."
Koch added, "Industry support is a critical component of the RegVetCE's continued success. Gulfstream Park has generously supported RegVetCE, both financially and as a first-class event host, and we are grateful to The Stronach Group for their leadership on this project." "The event's financial supporters are crucial to ensuring that we continue to provide a robust program."
Koch continued, "We are also grateful to the racing commissions and racetrack operators for enabling the travel and participation of their regulatory veterinarians, and to our U.S. and international panelists, who provided highly thoughtful, scientific content."
The Regulatory/Official Veterinarian CE is made possible through the generous support of The Stronach Group, Keeneland Association, RMTC, NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, New York Racing Association, ALS-Truesdail, Industrial Laboratories, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Quarter Horse Association, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, The Jockey Club, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Oak Tree Racing Association, Ohio HBPA, Remington Park Racing and Casino, and Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.
For an overview of all topics covered over the two-day conference, CLICK HERE.
The RMTC consists of 23 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.
The NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance is a standing organization establishing standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Corporate partners of the Alliance include Insurance Office of America and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at NTRAalliance.com.
For additional information, visit the RMTC website at rmtcnet.com or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC communications and development consultant, at (859) 759-4081.