Racing Integrity Teams

Racing Integrity Teams deployed to major event at Sam Houston.

Racing Integrity Teams deployed to major event at Sam Houston.

The American Quarter Horse Association is committed to protecting the welfare of the American Quarter Horse and the integrity of American Quarter Horse racing. As part of this pursuit, AQHA is regularly teaming up with racetracks and racing commissions to deploy Racing Integrity Teams to racing events.

These teams, which include trained racing investigators from many jurisdictions, are deployed to help individual racetracks and racing commissions provide a higher level of compliance with their rules and laws and to help increase the level of racing integrity at racetracks where they are deployed. The teams’ work includes assisting local racing commission and track staff; performing inspections of barns, stalls or cars; sharing knowledge and intelligence with local enforcement teams; and other general security and deterrent actions.
On April 6-7, multiple teams were deployed to the Quarter Horse meet at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston to assist with additional security during the Sam Houston Futurity (G2) trials. Investigators from the Texas Racing Commission, special-event team agents (an enforcement component supported by AQHA and Sam Houston Race Park) and agents from the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted vehicle, trailer and barn inspections. Other inspections were conducted in the jockey quarters, and officials wanded assistant starters, pony riders and jockeys before races.

According to the Texas Racing Commission, approximately 272 man hours were utilized in inspecting approximately 140 vehicles and trailers and personal contact with nearly 200 people. As a result of the inspections conducted, 71 prohibited items were discovered and seized. All violation cases were filed with the Texas Racing Commission Board of Stewards at Sam Houston Race Park.

“Our goal is to partner with the commissions, the tracks and, in some cases, the AQHA Racing Affiliates to help enforce all rules of racing,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “Our objective is to protect our sport. During this special operation, contact with the horsemen was positive and appreciative for the efforts expended to keep races safe and fair.”

The RITs are just one step in AQHA’s commitment to protecting the welfare of the American Quarter Horse and protecting the interest of the public.

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