Wanted: NY equine medical director

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The state is looking to hire an equine medical director to oversee the health and safety of horses at New York racetracks after an alarming number of deaths at tracks.

The state Gaming Commission and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine announced today that they’ve started a formal search for the job.

The position was developed through the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety last year after the New York Times exposed that there were 21 equine fatalities during Aqueduct Race Track’s 2011-12 winter meet in Queens.

A review by Gannett’s Albany Bureau last November found that there were 637 equine deaths at New York’s 11 racetracks between 2009 and early November 2012. The deaths increased 30 percent between 2009 and 2011.

“This partnership between the state and Cornell University will build upon the vast improvements in equine safety already happening and further demonstrate why New York State’s horse racing is unparalleled,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said about the new position. “We will establish collaborative, comprehensive and effective oversight with world-renowned expertise to protect the health and safety of horses and their riders.”

The equine medical director will be responsible for all aspects of equine health, safety, and welfare at New York racetracks, the Gaming Commission said.

Here’s the job description. The state didn’t say how much the job would pay.

The New York State Equine Medical Director must possess a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Medical Doctor or equivalent degree and have a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience in equine sports medicine and/or board certification in large animal medicine or surgery. In addition, the position requires:

• A valid license in good standing to practice veterinary medicine in the State of New York
• Significant experience with racing regulations and medical oversight, including knowledge of enhanced drug-testing protocols and comprehensive understanding of racing injuries
• An ability to closely monitor horse injuries and the racing environment to develop new innovative solutions, processes and programs to protect the health and welfare of the horse
• A minimum of five years of post-residency clinical experience

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