Phil Ziegler, United States, Peter Burnett discussed on In The Gate

In The Gate
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Now that the triple crown is over that's often when we hear it in the gate. Do us state of the industry type of show. And boy is there have been a lot going on a lawsuit looking to declare co-winners of the Kentucky Derby are sharp upturn in sales at the most recent auctions. And of course, the fallout from the more than two dozen deaths at Santa Anita since the start of their meet on December twenty six in the wake of that latest news and the many. Reforms that track officials have implemented as a result, some in the mainstream media have started to call for a national over arching governing body to run the sport right now. It's state governments that make an enforce the rules, approve race states, etc. And the tracks work through the state governments, but otherwise are completely independent of one another as we have detailed here on in the gate for the past few years. There has been legislation introduced into the US house of representatives that would establish a national arm of the government to set and enforce medication rules and testing procedures for racehorses. We've shown, how that Bill is likely to go nowhere at least for now. But when California governor Gavin Newsom grants that California horse racing board the right to shut down a meat for health or safety reasons, and when influential people like Senator, Dianne Feinstein. And yes, the people for the ethical treatment of animals get involved. Then you wonder if the climate isn't maybe starting to ripen. For an overarching governing body of horse racing. Of course, if such a thing ever is to happen, a number of industry, stakeholders would have to come together to make it happen. Each of those stakeholders has concerns and interests that would need to be satisfied. So here's what we're going to do. We're going to lay out what some of those concerns are in living, breathing form. We've invited three guests who represent broad swaths of the horse racing business by no means are they the only representatives of their respective sectors? But they'll give you an idea of what it would take for everybody to work together. If the idea of a one for all all for one governing body is ever to happen. We've invited a former state racing Commissioner a current track operator and a current horsemen's group Representative from the state government side of things we welcome. Peter Burnett who was once the chairman of the Virginia racing commission representing the track. Operators is Phil Ziegler of emerald downs. Seattle and we also have with us Eric handle Bax CEO of the national horsemen's benevolent and protection association. Welcome gentlemen. Let's start with the broadest question. Do you think in the big picture that horse racing would benefit from having a single governing body similar to a stick and ball sports league? Let's start with Mr. Burnett. Well, you know, I think that, yes, it probably would benefit and make two observations about that. One is, I think the thirty some jurisdictions that govern racing have been extremely protective of their right to continue doing that. And, and in particular their way of doing that, and there are probably about thirty different sets of rules that horsemen have to get used to in terms of or bide by in terms of participating in the sport. But these jurisdictions came about at a time when most of the. Activity of horse racing was exceedingly local, including attendance of, of its entire gambling fans nowadays is the second point that I think would be helpful is that we have with all of our computers, electronics, and TV and all the rest, the ability for folks to not be at the track and still effectively. Enjoy the sport. And to do their wagering in the like and a national system for that could be very helpful. What about from your standpoint, Mr. Ziegler as a track operator? Do you think the sport would benefit from a single governing body? Well, I think that in the broad sense. Probably yes. Although I don't know that we pay enough attention to the good things that we have now with the association of racing commissioners international in model rule. And there are a lot of cooperative efforts between the industry and the different states in cross licensing and things like that. And. And, and I do think that we have a presence of cooperation between all the tracks that active now and actually does a pretty good job. Most of the model rules are going to stop it in pretty much every state. And I think that goes a long way towards what we're looking to accomplish Mr. Hamill back. What did you think from a horseman perspective of that? Absolutely will. Thank you feel for bringing up the hair TI because what I would I would like to bring about. And I know Mr. Burnett would agree. I think that unfortunately, there aren't enough in. We might say casual fans that don't understand the weeds of our industry that even know what k- are CI association of racing. Commissioners international is obviously, those of us on this call do, and hopefully those who listened to the podcast will, then the educated, some. But what we have is each of the. States that have an authorized pair mutual, wagering systems. They're members of the, and the AR CI is a template for each individual rule book, what I would like to also say, is that when compared to rules such as an NBA MLB year NFL one must understand that our rules are law, and the laws governed by each state, and while there are some variations I certainly acknowledged that what continues to be pushed incorrectly, and the falsehood of rhetoric that we continue to hear in mainstream media, as Phil touched on the massive amounts of uniformity, that we currently have is very impressive. When you consider that numb, the national uniform medications program has really only been in. Assistance. For six years. We have twelve of the thirty four active para mutual jurisdictions in the United States, are exactly the same much different than what you hear from people who are pushing other agendas. Twenty of the thirty four para mutual jurisdictions in the United States have adopted three of the four phases of numb. So, again, the amount of uniformity, that we currently have is not pushed in the media enough, in my opinion. And when you ask me do, I think we need a national governing body, my answer would be we have one, and that is the AARP each state, no different than the adoption of a speed limits maximum does have a right to change or very from the model rule. But when you look at and another comparison to something outside our industry while speed limits maximum speed limits may vary. The fact that you cannot drive under the influence in every state is fact, so my comparison alludes to the fact that if you look at all thirty four active fair mutual jurisdictions performance enhancing, medications is completely prohibited. And again, when you're looking at decline health and welfare, something that we may touch on the administration of Lasix one hundred percent regulated and also protocol in the same fashion. So I don't think we need another national governing body. I think, of course, there are always things that we could do better in a more collaborative. Way. And certainly when issues are raised such is the most freak most recent this phosphates issue. Our industry comes together swiftly and we act quickly. But when there are issues that are concerning or need further discussions. We take a pause and we try to do it correctly. We'll if a movement toward a national governing body ever were to really start. What would be your biggest concerns? Let's start with Mr. Ziegler. Well, again to some extent where we're moving in that path already would model rules. And cooperation, I think that record then transparency is important as well. But, you know, I believe that we've done a great job with that already. And I think we need to continue on that path, and keep looking at the science and keep looking at model rules and ways to. Make it better. And we have a lot of great experts in this industry that spend a lot of time way more than I spend on dissecting every medication in every dosage and what safest for the horses and for the sports and again, I think we're doing a pretty good job of that right now. And we're moving in the right direction. And I think this notion again that we don't have what we already have is ball's because we already have it. We're already doing a lot of great things. Well, I know Doug O'Neill has been cited for a medication violation in one state where the medication level would not have been out of bounds in another state and I don't wanna make this all about medication. But Mr. brunette does somewhat seemed like you know, the football field is a different size in New York versus Michigan. Is it possible to come together on this in the form of a national body? That's the big question. What do you think? Well, I. I certainly think it's possible and I agree with earlier comments about the effectiveness of AR I in the best example, I can give you of that is, when I took my turn as chairman of it, I think, about two thousand nine or ten, we had the I would call it, good fortune of banning anabolic, steroids, under our model rules, and there's no more anabolic steroids and racing and US I'm aware of, and I think it's, it's an example of folks having a lot of respect for the model rules. And I think that, that body could be a very effective Brel national organization. I don't think it has to be something that's under the department of whatever in Washington DC, and I think that, that the medication issues in rules without focusing too much on them. Do do raise that issue that one state has one view that this level is okay with them? And for what? Whatever reason that's the why they stick with it. I think the advantage of having a model rule that everybody is willing to adhere to is you don't run into those situations. And I'm not so sure that the science of, of medication is so controversial that we couldn't have common rules for the entire thirty four jurisdictions that everybody could live with for all for the benefit of the horse, by the way. Well, I, I would just say that, I guess, coming back very to your original question as far as what, what are concerned the and our biggest concern as horsemen, and again, representing almost thirty thousand owners and trainers, we would need for a governing body to use scientific facts, basic, equine, health, and safety policies, and not be concerned about optics and one thing that continues. To frustrate me in coming back to optical is that phrase perception is reality. I am I am not a believer in that. I believe reality is reality, and we who are in the industry can't let optics or the perception of those outside the industry, Dr that for us, we have to be steadfast and using signs doing what is in the best for equine health and welfare and continued to follow veterinary leaderships, such as the av may and such in our world importantly, ADP, or the national association of racetrack veterinarians, so for us, the importance would be to have a governing body that, that was populated with stakeholders again, which we have now in the model rules process. Yes. And certainly if any federal oversight ever needed to be discussed, or as a possibility, what we should be looking to the United States Department of agriculture, not the current methods, which is coming from the central trade commission. So that would be my concern, but I would still double back and say, if people were more properly educated on what processes we have now and what we go through now and how we look to science within the racing medication testing consortium, doing pharmacological studies far more dynamic studies to learn where medications do or don't have any further effect on the heat point athletes. Those are the processes that we're going to now and we need to spend more time on this. I think that comment raises really. I think pretty clearly the issue of what mechanism is going to be most effective in voiding, optics, and is going to be most likely to adopt reality and hard core science and be capable of cheating, some level of uniformity in the both the promotion and application of various rules, whether they be for medication or, or other issues. And I couldn't agree more that you want significant stakeholders, you want credibility. And I think that at least in my experience in Virginia, the commissioners are appointed by the governor, and the governor can have different views and different political objectives, and some governors don't know which end kicks in which when bites, and I. I think it can be a little bit fraught, sometimes with less experience, than what most of us who are experienced in the business would like to see across the board. But I think it's how you pick that organization and what its.

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