Increased Security Successful

Increased Security Successful

Bank of America Challenge Championships see successful and safe event.

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The American Quarter Horse Association is committed to protecting the welfare of the American Quarter Horse, and this year the prestigious Bank of America Challenge Championships, held at The Downs at Albuquerque highlighted the importance of racing industry integrity and equine welfare. 

As part of its commitment, AQHA teamed with the racetrack and state racing commission to deploy both a Racing Integrity Team and a group of veterinarians to conduct complete pre-race examinations at this major event. 

The Racing Integrity Teams help to ensure integrity at racetracks, and their work might include assisting the local racing commission and track staff; performing searches of barns, stalls or cars; sharing knowledge and intelligence with local enforcement teams; and other general security and deterrent actions.

The Racing Integrity Team at the Challenge Championships, which included a specialized drug detection dog, searched more than 90 vehicles and horse trailers, and had personal contact with more than 200 licensees and visitors. Their efforts also included random barn searches and searches of the horse trailers that were already on the grounds. 

A team of veterinarians performed pre-race inspections. These inspections included out-of-competition testing and inspections in the weeks leading up to the races, morning-of inspections of every horse to race in the event, and inspections during the warm ups for the race. 

The full card of 10 Challenge races took place without any equine-athlete injuries. 

“The safety and welfare of our horses and our industry is vital to us, and we take efforts to secure integrity very seriously,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “I appreciate everyone who helped coordinate these efforts, and am very pleased that they culminated in a successful and safe Championship event.”

These efforts are examples of AQHA’s continued commitment to protect the welfare of the American Quarter Horse and the interest of the general public.

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