ARCI Press Release:

On the closing day of its 2019 Racing Integrity and Animal Welfare Conference, held last week in Arcadia, Calif., the Association of Racing Commissioners International honored organizers of the annual Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education conference.

The special President’s Award, recognizing exemplary service and contribution to racing integrity, was presented to Dr. Dionne Benson of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), Dr. Lynn Hovda of the Minnesota Horse Racing Commission, and Dr. Mary Scollay of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

“The Association of Racing Commissioners International was delighted to recognize the efforts of Drs. Dionne Benson, Lynn Hovda and Mary Scollay to create this high impact continuing education program for our veterinary colleagues who are the frontline advocates for our racehorses,” said ARCI Chair Dr. Corinne Sweeney.

The three women, in collaboration with fellow conference committee members Steve Koch of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Dr. Scott Hay of Teigland, Franklin and Brokken, DVM’s, are responsible for the creation of the Regulatory Veterinarian Continuing Education conference. This conference was most recently presented by the RMTC and the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance last month at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.

The sold-out event was attended by more than 60 regulatory and official racetrack veterinarians from 20 states and six countries (and covering almost 50 North American racetracks). A robust program, it emphasized protection of the health and welfare of the racehorse through presentations on regulating medication and developing enforcement strategies, in addition to simulated pre-race inspection demonstrations on racehorses currently in training.

Said RMTC executive director and COO Dr. Dionne Benson: “We are honored to accept this award on behalf of our team that planned the content of this one-of-a-kind annual conference, as well as our generous sponsors, whose donations made it possible.”

Added Koch, Safety & Integrity Alliance Executive Director: “We are grateful for our exceptional U.S. and international panelists, who provided highly thoughtful, scientific content for this event. Our sport’s equine athletes certainly benefit from the support that this continuing education provides regulatory veterinarians in the field, as the welfare of the horse was at the center of our program.”

The Second Annual Regulatory/Official Veterinarian CE was made possible through the generous support of The Stronach Group, Keeneland Association, RMTC, NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, New York Racing Association, ALS-Truesdail, Industrial Laboratories, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Quarter Horse Association, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, The Jockey Club, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Oak Tree Racing Association, Ohio HBPA, Remington Park Racing and Casino, and Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

The RMTC consists of 23 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.

The NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance is a standing organization establishing standards and practices to promote safety and integrity in horseracing and to secure their implementation. Corporate partners of the Alliance include Insurance Office of America and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Information on the Alliance, including the Alliance Code of Standards, can be found at