Message from Scott Rake, the President of the Minnesota HBPA
Minnesota has distinguished itself for decades in the health services provided to its people. We’ve led the nation in providing superior health care with facilities such as the Mayo Clinic, with good public health policies such as our early anti-smoking initiatives and with alternative healthcare delivery methods. Likewise, we at the Minnesota HBPA aim to ensure that in our state we also are doing our best to provide our racehorses the highest level of care. By our proactive measures, we may differ in our approach than others elsewhere in the country. But as Minnesotans we’re determined to achieve the best possible results. We feel compelled to go beyond the norm. In Minnesota, at our premier racetrack, Canterbury Park, as we’ve had a far better record than the national average in terms of horse safety, it isn’t enough. Our goal is to never have a breakdown. If this is not our goal, then we’re in the wrong sport.
We continue to remain engaged in Minnesota racing’s collective research, led by Dr. Lynn Hovda, the Chief Veterinarian of the Minnesota Racing Commission. This research continues to produce insights that can prevent injuries and provide better care for our horses. Accordingly, Canterbury has invested substantial resources, time and energy in resurfacing the track, ensuring it stays kinder and safer for our horses.
It’s because of these past and ongoing efforts that Canterbury has had a good safety record. But we know there are more measures to take. We’re thankful that the same commitment to doing the right thing for our horses is shared not only by those at Canterbury, but by the Minnesota Racing Commission and others in our state who are part of the horseracing industry, including the legislature. But there is always room for improvement.
Horseracing is a sport with a long tradition, and like any activity that has been around for centuries, there are those who think the status quo is fine. We’re not among them. We believe we can preserve the excitement and the beauty of horseracing while bringing it into the modern age. We are committed to doing all we can for the good of the sport..for the public as a whole, for racing fans and, most of all, for our beautiful horses we all so love.
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