Tucson, AZ — On Wednesday, April 12, the Race Track Industry Program hosted Dr. Dionne Benson, the executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). Dr. Benson spoke in the RTIP’s Advanced Animal Racing Laws and Enforcement class.
Dr. Benson has been the executive director of the RMTC since 2012. She received her veterinary degree from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law. Her experience prior to joining the RMTC includes working as a veterinary assistant at Canterbury Park, serving as a detention barn technician for the Minnesota State Veterinarian’s office, and practicing law as an attorney in Minnesota.
Dr. Benson’s presentation focused on the role of the RMTC in addressing medication issues in horse racing. The RMTC’s goal is to encourage and promote integrity in horse racing through uniform adoption of the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP). The five components of the program are laboratory accreditation, following the controlled therapeutic substances list, third-party Lasix administration, the multiple medication violation program, and out-of-competition testing.
Besides the major components of NUMP, Dr. Benson talked about the similarities and differences between medication testing protocols in the United States versus protocols that are followed internationally. She also warned about the risks associated with using compounded medications and that these substances are not subject to the same rigorous research and safety standards as FDA-approved medications.