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RMTC honored with Van Lennep award

November 23, 2007
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Since 1987, the Breeders Crown committee of the Hambletonian Society has selected individuals and organizations to honor with the Frederick L. Van Lennep Memorial Achievement Award, and this year\'s honoree is the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium RMTC).
 
The late Van Lennep was a visionary figure in the industry, as well as a vital advocate in the advancement and promotion of harness racing. He was a seminal influence in the creation of the Breeders Crown and one of the biggest proponents of the divisional championship series.

The RMTC, headed by Dr. Scot Waterman, DVM, assumed as its mission the development, promotion and coordination -- at the national level -- of policies, research, and educational programs which seek to ensure the fairness and integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants, and protect the interests of the betting public.

The consortium was formed in 2002 and now comprises more than 23 stakeholders in the horse racing industry, including those representing Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter horse interests. Governed by a board of directors, the organization has made slow but methodical headway in tackling the Gordian Knot of standardizing racing rules for all breeds in all aspects of medication in horse racing, including race-day medications, penalties, testing and prohibited practices in the 38 horse racing states across North America.

According to Waterman, “The racing commissions of 32 states have adopted or are in the process of adopting the model rules and no state has indicated to the RMTC that it does not wish to participate. The process for adopting rules varies from state to state and can be quite lengthy, depending on the number of steps a state must go through to adopt rules of any sort.”

The RMTC also funds a research program totaling over $600,000, has published withdrawal times for legitimate therapeutic medications and has developed model rules and testing procedures for regulating anabolic steroids and illegal use of buffering agents, commonly known as “milkshaking.” They have worked with the investigatory agencies in racing and helped coordinate the Big Event security team for major racing events.

\"On behalf of the staff and RMTC Board of Directors, we are greatly honored and humbled by receiving the Van Lennep Award,” said Dan Fick, Executive Vice President & Executive Director of The Jockey Club, as well as the CEO of the RMTC. “Fred Van Lennep was a visionary and a great leader in the horse industry, not just racing and Standardbreds. We at RMTC will try to continually emulate all of the highest principles associated with this award.\"

Aside from fostering the Breeders Crown program, Van Lennep and his first wife Frances Dodge built Castleton Farms into one of the premier breeding and racing operations of the era. Van Lennep was also an avid amateur driver, on the board of the Tattersalls Sales Company, a racetrack owner, USTA director, HTA director and considered the father of Florida’s pari-mutuel racing.

Additionally, Van Lennep helped create the American Horse Council and the Gluck Equine Research Center. He was a leader and tireless promoter of the sport he loved, and the award that bears his name is a tremendous reflection on those who earn it.

Van Lennep Award Recipients
2007: Racing Medication & Testing Consortium
2006: Jeff Gural, owner, breeder and racetrack owner
2005: Bruce Garland, Senior Executive Vice President for the NJSEA and Hugh Mitchell, Senior Vice-President of Racing for WEG for their invaluable contributions to harness racing.
2004: Ontario Racing Commission, for its effort to improve racing\'s integrity.
2003: The Red Mile Ownership, Lexington, Ky., for preserving a traditional icon in harness racing.
2002: Norma Campbell, Meadowlands owner liaison and special event coordinator.
2001: Joe DeFrank, Director of Racing at The Meadowlands.
1999: Niatross and Walnridge Farm for the Niatross Tour & Carol Cramer for the USTA Stakes Guide, an essential publication.
1998: The Meadowlands Racetrack for conducting the premier harness racing meet in the world for more than 20 years & the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame for the preservation of the traditional and current equine and human stars of the sport.
1997: The Ontario Jockey Club (later renamed Woodbine Entertainment Group) for an unmatched 20 year commitment to the Breeders Crown program.
1996: Tomas Bertmark for international advancement of trotting via the Internet site
www.kgb.seand Moira Fanning for her dedication, insight and untiring devotion to the Hambletonian and the Breeders Crown.
1994: Tom Charters for his leadership in the Breeders Crown program.
1993: Bob Rosburg, Jr. for his extraordinary work in harness racing television.
1992: “Trader Bud” Hatfield for his promotion of corporate team and amateur racing and his charitable endeavors.
1991: John Simpson, Sr. for his unparalleled leadership and horsemanship over many decades.
1990: Louis P. Guida for his commitment to ownership of great race horses and groundbreaking stallion syndication.
1989: Norman Woolworth for fifty years of exemplary sportsmanship in racing and breeding Standardbreds.
1988: Castleton Farms for their exceptional breeding and racing stables.
1987: ESPN for their unprecedented broadcast hours devoted to harness racing television. (The Hambletonian Society)

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