National campaign highlights unprecedented investments in equine safety initiatives across the sport


Lexington, KY  – On April 23, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced a new national campaign, Safety Runs First, and corresponding website to promote the sport’s collective commitment to safety, welfare and integrity.

Safety Runs First ( highlights reforms being implemented in the sport of Thoroughbred racing and their results to date, including the impacts of the national regulatory oversight body, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA); emerging technologies and their applications on the future of equine safety and welfare; new veterinary and track surface protocols; and other measures being taken by the sport to enhance safety practices.

The campaign and website are designed to be a continuing, long-term resource for the public as the racing industry furthers its investment in programs and resources to help reduce injury risk and enhance the safety of its athletes.

“Safety Runs First will be a key part of our sport’s commitment to transparency and accountability as we continue to strive for ways to create the safest environment possible for racing,” said Tom Rooney, NTRA President and CEO. “This is an evolution of a program the NTRA launched last fall but with substantial additional reach and resources, thanks to NTRA member organizations.”

“From uniformity in our rules, strengthened veterinary protocols, and the use of new technologies, data and AI, Thoroughbred racing is making significant strides in safeguarding the welfare of our horses,” said Shannon Arvin, Chair of NTRA Board and President & CEO of Keeneland Association. “Safety Runs First provides the platform to share this exciting forward progress with our fans and the general public.”

Produced by creative communications agency CTP, the initial promotional campaign will coincide with the 2024 Triple Crown series of races and then continue through the summer and fall. It will launch with national and regional broadcast, digital, social media, and radio advertising.

Return to the April 24 issue of Wire to Wire