03/17/2011 12:59PM

NTRA safety code updated

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has approved an updated code of standards for racetracks that have agreed to participate in the association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance, the NTRA said on Wednesday.

The updated code includes new requirements regarding safety equipment for jockeys and other riders, according to the alliance. The alliance also said that the code has been made more “rigorous” in several areas, including requirements for tracks to provide accurate reports of injuries and additional standards for prerace and postrace veterinary inspections.

The alliance provides accreditation to tracks if the tracks substantially comply with the code of standards. The alliance was launched in 2008 after the death of Eight Belles in the Kentucky Derby brought renewed public scrutiny to the sport’s practices.

Since it was launched, the alliance has accredited 19 tracks. Accreditation lapses after two years, so 16 of those tracks will need to be reaccredited this year under the updated code, according to Mike Ziegler, the alliance’s executive director.