Dr. Scott Palmer's presentation before the RCI Equine Welfare and Anti-Doping Conference
on identifying the "at risk" horse.
Associate Members of the ARCI
Entire Arkansas Horse Racing Industry
Opposes Federal Bills
Little Rock, AR - The entire Arkansas horse racing industry joined the Arkansas Racing Commission today as it voted to formally oppose federal intervention and pending legislation in Washington that would shift equine welfare and anti-doping efforts to a private entity with no experience with horses.
Arkansas Racing Commission Chairman Cecil Alexander announced that the commission was “unanimous” in today’s vote to oppose efforts to pass federal legislation to shift state regulatory responsibility to the control of the private and non-accountable US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in order to reverse a long standing equine welfare policy.
At today’s Commission meeting the following organizations representing the entire racing industry in Arkansas indicated opposition to the federal legislative attempts: Oaklawn Park, the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders and Horseman’s Association, and the Arkansas Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Mark Lamberth, a Member of the Commission and current Chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International said the federal legislative initiative was a “departure from cooperative efforts that have historically been productive”. Lamberth said that if the USADA was interested in helping Arkansas racing, they should accept the ARCI’s invitation for collaboration instead of pursuing a “hostile takeover”.
Lamberth said that both the ARCI and the Arkansas Racing Commission are interested in “working with anyone who wants to help us do what we do”.
He noted that the federal legislative effort might be better focused on targeting a portion of the $9 million federal appropriation to combat doping in professional sport in order to support efforts in horse racing.
“I find it amazing that neither bill that has been proposed actually provides any assistance to help us,” he concluded.
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