Lexington, KY - Three highly respected former racing regulators - Steve Barham (OR), Bennett Liebman (NY), and Allan Monat (IL) - will comprise the independent panel the ARCI has formed to certify compliance with key integrity standards each year.
Association of Racing Commissioners International Chair Judy Wagner made the appointments this week, noting that each of the appointees is totally independent of any racing interest or regulatory agency.
Barham once served as Executive Director of the Oregon Racing Commission prior to joining the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program in 2002 where he taught animal science and racing law and enforcement. He helped manage the ARCI model rules process and often assigned his students academic projects measuring adoption of the best regulatory practices contained in the ARCI Model Rules.
Liebman is no stranger to racing, having served as a racing advisor to two NY Governors, a longtime member of the New York Racing and Wagering Board (now the Gaming Commission), and as coordinator of the Equine Law Project of Albany Law School’s Government Law Center.
Monet is a former jockey who served as a Member of the Illinois Racing Commission, where he earned a reputation for independence.
Under the program, the panel will report each year at the annual ARCI meeting whether jurisdictions are “Compliant”, “Substantially Compliant” or “Non Compliant” with select integrity standards embodied in the Model Rules. The standards may be expanded for subsequent years based upon recommendation of the panel to the ARCI Board each December.
For 2017, the standards are linked to four ARCI Model Rules that are often referred to as the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP). These include implementation of the ARCI/RMTC Controlled Therapeutic Schedule; use of an RMTC accredited testing laboratory; adoption of the Multi-Medication Rule Violation point system; and the independent administration of race day furosemide for those trainers/owners opting to use it.
ARCI President Ed Martin indicated that some individual regulators and industry entities have expressed a desire to have a formal certification program to help guide them in assessing whether races imported to their track or jurisdiction operate under key integrity regulatory standards.
Racetracks, ADW’s and off track betting companies choose which tracks they will offer their customers. Usually these offerings require the consent of the appropriate horsemen’s organization and approval of the regulatory entity.
Martin was adamant that the ARCI will not be involved in recommending or deciding which simulcast signals should be approved or not. “That is up to the tracks, ADWs, OTBs, the local horseman’s group, and the appropriate regulator, to make such decisions individually. All the ARCI will do is provide information for others to assess what weight to give it in making decisions affecting their customers or constituents,” he said.
The concept of a compliance certification program emerged from the Compliance Committee created by past ARCI Chair Mark Lamberth of Arkansas. It was included in the 2016 Stakeholder Input Project, where it received considerable support - 57% - from those participating.
Some in the thoroughbred industry have an interest in limiting the import of simulcast signals in some markets to those races operating under minimum integrity standards. This concept has been embodied in the federal legislative proposals that have been put forward, but not passed, since 2005.