Horsemen’s Groups Partner To Provide Thoroughbred Trainers With Online Continuing Education Platform

The California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT), Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) have teamed up to provide a Continuing Education platform for Thoroughbred trainers and assistant trainers. Horsemen U offers approved online CE webinars and issues CE certificates after a course and a short quiz have been completed. Trainers and assistant trainers can register, free of charge, and maintain their CE records in their account. The website for the platform is

Continuing education has been adopted as one of the core Best Practices developed by the stakeholders involved in the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities. CE requirements have been implemented in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and West Virginia. Pennsylvania and Virginia are in the process of adopting CE regulations.

Dr. Scott Palmer, the Equine Medical Director for the New York State Gaming Commission, spearheaded the nation’s first CE regulation, which was enacted in New York in December of 2016.

“There have been so many advances in the field of racehorse training in just the last five years,” Dr. Palmer said. “We have new technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, new developments in equine nutrition, and new regulations on everything from medication to immigration to wage and hour law every year. We want to be sure our horsemen can keep up with these changes, and use the knowledge gained to further their success, and the success of our industry as a whole.”

All licensed trainers and assistant trainers in the U.S. are eligible to register for a Horsemen U account. There are currently 12 webinars offered on the platform, on topics ranging from “Diagnostic Imaging of the Racehorse Fetlock” to “Equine Drug Testing” to “Equine Welfare, Horse Racing and the Social License to Operate.” The webinars have been hosted by the California Horse Racing Board, the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit and the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

“California has been developing its CE program and rules for many years, thanks to the leadership of retiring Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur and our Racing Commission,” said Dr. Jeff Blea, who took the reins as the CHRB Equine Medical Director July 1. “Horsemen U was largely developed by Andy Belfiore. California Thoroughbred Trainers is indebted to her for her foresight and pleased to be a contributor to a platform that is not only convenient, but in many ways essential for professional trainers who are committed to always improving their standards of horsemanship and understanding of the increasingly complex regulatory and public environment in which we all live.”

Live webinars are part of the Horsemen U program, with Dr. Dionne Benson scheduled to give a presentation on “Compounded Medications: What Trainers Need to Know” on July 12. All live webinars are recorded and posted on the Horsemen U website.

“Schedules can’t always be adjusted to make room for the live webinars, so it is important to have online options as well,” said MTHA President Tim Keefe. “Horsemen U also provides storage for the CE Certificates earned on the site, so the trainers have less paperwork to keep track of. We want to make the process of meeting the CE requirements for our horsemen as seamless as possible.”

The Mid-Atlantic stakeholders and regulators who have committed to the Strategic Plan include Delaware Park, DTHA, Delaware Racing Commission, Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland State Fair (Timonium), MTHA, Maryland Racing Commission, Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Monmouth Park, NJTHA, New Jersey Racing Commission, New Jersey Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Finger Lakes Racetrack, Finger Lakes HBPA, NYTHA, New York State Gaming Commission, New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., Penn National Gaming, Parx Racing, Presque Isle Downs, PTHA, Pennsylvania HBPA, Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, Colonial Downs, Virginia Racing Commission, Charles Town, Mountaineer Park, Charles Town HBPA, Mountaineer HBPA, West Virginia Racing Commission, and the National Steeplechase Association.

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