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RMTC announces new executive director

July 12, 2012

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The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) has announced the hiring of Dr. Dionne Benson as RMTC Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.

In her new position, which she assumed on July 9, Dr. Benson will provide administrative oversight of RMTC-funded research projects, the implementation of world-class laboratory drug testing standards, and the development and promotion of uniform medication rules, policies and guidelines.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Benson on board,” said RMTC Chairman Dr. Robert Lewis. "She will provide the RMTC with strong leadership and scientific expertise, enabling great progress in the critical areas of research development, drug testing advancement and medication policy uniformity. Dr. Benson has assumed the duties that Jamie Haydon provided on an interim basis, and on behalf of the RMTC board, I want to sincerely thank Jamie and The Jockey Club for his services to the RMTC.”

A native of the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Dr. Benson most recently completed a veterinary internship at the acclaimed Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. In that position, Dr. Benson rotated through the areas of surgery, anesthesia and medicine, and was responsible for primary patient care. Dr. Benson previously completed a summer research project under Dr. Troy Trumble at the University of Minnesota, in which she designed and executed a clinical study on peri-neural and intra-articular joint blocks.

In addition, Dr. Benson has worked as a veterinary assistant to Dr. V. Don Newcomb at Canterbury Park and as a detention barn technician for the Minnesota State Veterinarian's office.

Prior to her veterinary medicine pursuits, Dr. Benson practiced law for eight years, serving as an adjunct faculty member at the William Mitchell College of Law, and as an attorney for the National Arbitration Forum and at Larkin, Hoffman, Daly and Lindgren, Ltd. in Minneapolis, Minn.

Dr. Benson received her B.S. and D.V.M. from the University of Minnesota, and J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law.

Dr. Benson has garnered many awards, scholarships and grants, including the ACVS Foundation Student Surgical Proficiency Award for Excellence in Large Animal Surgery (April 2011), Bayer Healthcare Legend Award in Equine Medicine (April 2011), Julie Hanzlik Memorial Scholarship (April 2011), American Livestock/Hiscox Insurance Company/AAEP Scholarship (December 2010), Winner's Circle Scholarship (April 2010), and the Morris Animal Foundation Summer Student Research Grant Recipient (June 2009).

The RMTC consists of 25 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public. (RMTC)

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