By: Mary Rampellini

The American Quarter Horse Association announced Thursday that it has been teaming up with racetracks and racing commissions to “deploy Racing Integrity Teams to racing events.” The team’s tasks vary, from performing searches of barns, stalls or cars, surveillance of horses, sharing intelligence with local enforcement, and other integrity-oriented duties.

Sam Houston hosted one of the teams during a recent weekend and it was made up of investigators from five racing jurisdictions and investigators from the Texas Animal Health Commission.

“Our efforts are to partner with both the commissions and the tracks to help enforce all rules of racing,” said Janet VanBebber, AQHA Chief Racing Officer. “This can include monitoring proper licensing, checking for the presence of prohibited substances, searches for illegal equipment, and even keeping an eye out for possible human drug use. Assisting each jurisdiction in implementing its own Integrity Team will help serve as a valuable deterrent for improper and illegal activity at racetracks.”