NYRA to create independent veterinary system for tracks
ALBANY The New York Racing Association is moving ahead with plans to create an independent veterinary structure that will be led by a medical director.
An equine medical director position is being created in NYRA, according to a news release. A series of horse deaths at Aqueduct Race Track sparked an investigation, which determined that the veterinary service needed to be under an independent authority.
“NYRA is taking immediate steps to try to prevent more catastrophic injuries from occurring,” said NYRA Board of Directors Chair David Skorton in a statement.
“We are establishing a new position, Equine Veterinary Medical Director, to be in charge of the health and safety of horses at all NYRA tracks and direct investigations into these unfortunate events,” he said. “In addition to these immediate actions, we will soon be making decisions on several specific operational issues in the interest of equine health and safety.”
At NYRA’s Board meeting Thursday, they will consider reducing the number of racing days during the week at the inner track at Aqueduct, increasing pre-race security and installing a synthetic surface at the inner track for the 2013-2014 winter season.
“The NYRA Board will have serious discussions to consider all these important issues that affect the health and safety of our jockeys and horses,” said Skorton.
New drug policies have already been implemented by the state as part of the response to the task force investigation.