New York Racing Association searches for equine veterinary director


Dean of Cornell veterinary school on search committee.

New York Racing Association (NYRA), now run by the state of New York with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, has formed a search committee to fill the position of equine veterinary medical director. The New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety’s investigatory committee, established by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, recommended the newly created position in its report released last September. The veterinary medical director is to oversee equine medication and health issues at NYRA tracks and recommend strategies to enhance the health and safety of horses and jockeys.

A NYRA release states that the director is to ensure the highest ethical standards in New York racing. Last year’s investigation and subsequent state takeover of NYRA revealed association corruption, including overcharging bettors, and questions surrounding the safety and health of the horses racing on New York tracks. The new veterinary director will report directly to Cornell and work closely with NYRA’s Equine Safety Committee and will chair the newly established Equine Safety Review Board to review and assess fatal equine racing and training injuries at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

Members of the search committee who will conduct the international search are:

• Michael Kotlikoff, dean, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine

• Chair Anthony Bonomo, NYRA board member

• C. Steven Duncker, NYRA board member

• Mary Scollay Ward, Kentucky equine medical director

• Lisa Fortier, associate professor, Cornell University

• Thomas Divers, professor, Cornell University

• Terry Finley, West Point Thoroughbreds

• Ken McPeek, McPeek Racing

• Jerry Bilinski, Waldorf Farms NYRA is currently run by the NYRA

Reorganization Board, a three-year, publicly controlled governing body charged with transforming the management of thoroughbred racing in New York State. Upon completion of its work, the 17-member Board will return control of NYRA to the private sector.

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