At the July annual meeting of the board of directors, the 25 members of the Hambletonian Society made both personal and collective commitments to raise $100,000 to further fund the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, Inc. efforts. The Consortium was created in 2000 with the intent of developing and coordinating policies, research, and educational programs which seek to ensure the fairness and integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants, and protect the interests of the betting public at the national level.
“On behalf of the RMTC Board of Directors I would like to thank the Hambletonian Society’s board for their generous financial commitment. Their leadership in helping the RMTC establish a permanent funding stream will allow us to continue our progress towards uniform medication rules and to continue funding scientific research that solves the industry’s problems,” said Dr. Scot Waterman, D.V.M., executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
The message sent by the Hambletonian Society board met with an immediate response from F. Phillip Langley, president of the United States Trotting Association, the standardbred breed registry that also acts as harness racing’s regulatory body.
“I think the action of the Hambletonian Society is a very positive step in the fight for integrity,” said Langley. “I commend the Directors for stepping forward. In the next few weeks USTA will be meeting with Dan Fick and Dr. Scot Waterman of RMTC and Frank Fabian of SIS to discuss funding mechanisms and where such funding could best be used. At our fall Executive and Finance Committee meetings this will be a priority on the agendas.”
The Society has been a stakeholder in the RMTC since 2005, but at the recent annual meeting of the board of directors, held in conjunction with the 81st Hambletonian, a race owned and administrated by the Society, the directors agreed to contribute $100,000 as a show of support for the RMTC efforts. The primary goals of the RMTC include uniform medication rules and penalties; improvement to testing procedures; research and development; and security.
“The board was unanimous in their opinion that the issues addressed by the RMTC are of an urgent nature and important to the continued health of horse racing, which relies on the public trust for its growth,” said Tom Charters, president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. “It is vital that the progress made to date by the RMTC continue to benefit both the thoroughbred and standardbred industries.”
The Hambletonian Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society’s mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of 129 of harness racing’s most important events at 17 North American tracks, including the 46 races which it owns. The most prominent are the $1.7 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, its filly division, the $850,000 Hambletonian Oaks and the sport’s championship series, the Breeders Crown.