Rip Off the Medication Band-Aid - By Eric Mitchell

 (Originally published in the July 23, 2011 issue of The Blood-Horse magazine. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions at the bottom of the column.

By Eric Mitchell - @EJMitchellKy on Twitter

By Eric Mitchell The Breeders’ Cup board of directors took a big step July 14 toward leveling the international medication playing field for Thoroughbred racing.

Beginning with the 2012 World Championships, Breeders’ Cup aims to ban all race-day medication for the 2-year-old races. The ban is expected to expand to all races by 2013.

By race-day medication, we mean all drugs but primarily Salix and any other adjunct anti-bleeding medication, which are currently allowed.

The clock for the ban of race-day medication began ticking down last March when the incoming and outgoing chairmen of the Association of Racing Commissioners International called for a five-year phase-out of race-day medication use. The phase-out challenge was followed in June by a two-day international summit during which veterinarians and researchers extolled the effectiveness of furosemide (Salix) in reducing bleeding (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging) in racehorses while racing jurisdiction executives and trainers outside the United States talked of how bleeding can be managed without drugs. A follow-up meeting to the summit will be held Aug. 4 by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, a group of 25 industry stakeholders that is now taking the lead on the proposal to ban race-day medication use.

What tack the RMTC may take after its next meeting is not clear as there is no reported consensus on the necessity of a ban or, if consensus is reached, on the ways to implement it.

What is clear, because of the Breeders’ Cup board’s action, is that the U.S. racing community better have an answer and a plan before 2012.
If an industry-wide ban is not implemented by 2013, we will have horses racing regularly on Salix leading up to the championships, then running one of the biggest races of their careers without it. From a betting standpoint, this cannot be good for the form of this high-profile event, which attracted more than $111 million in handle last year.

There is also a proposal on the table to phase in the race-day medication ban only in graded stakes first. The problem is the same as with Breeders’ Cup times 25. You’ll wind up with a patchwork of medication rules. A horse can run through its conditions on Salix until it gets the opportunity to run in a graded stakes, and then it’s racing cold turkey. Is this fair to the horse? Fair to the bettors? It doesn’t seem so.

Forget partial race-day medication bans. We have enough problems now with patchwork regulations. Let’s put all U.S. racing under one medication policy and put the U.S. on par with the rest of the world by moving forward on a race-day medication ban as soon as possible.


Summer Racing Returns

On a lighter note, July is a special month on the racing calendar; bringing us two big, feel-good, destination race meetings that highlight the year. The perfect climate and location of Del Mar bring sun- and horse-worshipers to the edge of the Pacific just north of San Diego to embrace the lazy days of summer. Across the country in the small upstate New York hamlet of Saratoga Springs, East Coasters congregate to celebrate the bred-in-the-purple Thoroughbreds competing in daily stakes action and the unveiling of 2-year-olds hopefully taking their first strides toward next year’s Triple Crown trail.

The debate rages back and forth between Easterners and Left Coasters as to which is the more scenic venue; which town has the finer culinary fare; and which boasts the most beautiful people.

The answer to all these questions is…you can’t go wrong either way.

Although racing thus far this season lacks a star of Zenyatta’s magnitude, we are likely to see over the summer top-flight runners such as Smiling Tiger, Flashpoint, Blind Luck, Havre de Grace, Awesome Maria, Winter Memories, Courageous Cat, and a host of other potential headliners looking to make names for themselves.

And, in an encouraging vein, there will be weekly Saturday live national television coverage of Saratoga’s feature race on NBC or its sister network Versus, beginning with the July 23 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) and going through the Sept. 3 Woodward Stakes (gr. I). Included in the deal is a full slate of grade I action—the July 30 Diana Handicap, the Aug. 6 Whitney Handicap, the (Sunday) Aug. 7 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, the Aug. 13 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap, the Aug. 20 TVG Alabama Stakes, and the Aug. 27 Travers Stakes.  
Is there any better time to be a racing fan?

Features Editor Lenny Shulman contributed to this column. 

31 Comments

Leave a Comment:

sceptre

Mr. Mitchell,

You are apparently in favor of a race-day ban on Salix, yet you offer little or no rationale for such conclusion. It would seem that your stance is based essentially on the fact that "the rest of the world" bans the drug (race-day). Likely this was also what inspired the Breeders' Cup Board when making their recent decision. Don't you find it troubling that the majority of equine vets oppose this action? Isn't it a bit too easy to assume that their stance is motivated solely by self interest? Please also recall that this "rest of the world" ban occurred well before the rather conclusive S. African Study-demonstrating the efficacy of Salix (Lasix) in reducing EIPH-was submitted. That despite this the foreign racing community stubbornly failed to revisit the issue. This inflexibility diminishes the credibility of their "head in the sand" position-one that should be questioned, rather than embraced. Instead of jumping on this non-academically conceived, popularity and knee-jerk driven bandwagon, is it not better (and also our obligation to the horse) that we first devote our energies to a more thorough investigation of the issue?    

19 Jul 2011 12:25 PM
melanchthon

The sooner we get rid of 'race day' medications the better.  Unfortunately, the numbers don't lie and the only thing pumping our horses full of drugs is doing is allowing horses that are not sufficiently robust for the sport to breed and produce fast but fragile animals.  When your vet bill is bigger than your training bill you know something has gone very wrong.  

19 Jul 2011 1:57 PM
Needler in Virginia

No question about it, if racing wants to be viable in 2011 and beyond, ALL race day meds should be banned...... sooner than later. All the "classic" arguments have been made many times, both for and against banning race day meds; the truth is that a horse which requires medications shouldn't be running anywhere. If analgesics are required, the horse should NOT be racing. If steroids are required, the horse should NOT be racing. If Lasix, or Salix, or whatever you want to call it, is required, the horse should NOT be racing. All Thoroughbreds are NOT bleeders; all Thoroughbreds do not require Salix. Many US Thoroughbreds are given it ONLY because it's also a performance enhancing drug, and it's legal........as of now. If all Thoroughbreds are bleeders, then why does the rest of the world manage quite nicely without it? Are US Thoroughbreds the only bleeders in the racing world? NAH! American racing had better get a grip; the rest of the world seems to breeding better, sounder, and healthier horses than we have managed to do, and those horses race at Longchamp, Ascot, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Dubai and do fairly well, considering the poor buggers have no Salix to count on........poor them. It's amazing how well one can do when forced to live on grass, hay, oats and water, don't you think?

NO RACE MEDS, NOW!

Cheers and (I hope) safe trips.

19 Jul 2011 3:19 PM
Needler in Virginia

To Eric and Lenny, my apologies for the rant but I've been reading this same stuff for years, and as yet, NOTHING has happened.....but I'm gonna shut up about that, and cast my votes for the two most beautiful venues in American horse racing. Saratoga and Keeneland (which you didn't mention): Saratoga for its' time travel feel and Keenland because it's a cathedral of horse acing and one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, even with the airport right across the road!

Cheers (again) and safe trips.

19 Jul 2011 3:23 PM
skyfire

I have spent many happy days at Del Mar, but IMO Saratoga has better racing hands down.

I am worried about how US field size will be affected  by no race day medication.  Realistically, our horses are different than the rest of the world, as is our racing.  I think we cut our own racing throats by worrying about what the rest of the world thinks.

19 Jul 2011 8:49 PM
Aluminaut

melanchthon,

Great comment about the vet bill being higher that the training bill.  I heard that lately, from more than one person.

19 Jul 2011 10:02 PM
SUNNY FARM

Needler in Virginia ; Take heart !

The changes will be made and the sooner the better. The Breeders Cup will set the standard for the best of Horse Racing & others will follow. This time it is going to happen. I am very excited, being a person who raises my horses as organically as possible. For me, this rule change will now level the playing field. AS soon as the public and other horsemen outside of racing hear of these changes, it will increase participation in horse racing over all AND a new trust will be formed. Other countries will arrive with thier horses into the good ole' USA to race.I am really looking forward to that day !The BEST news of all is that the THOROUGHBRED will become victorious in all of the drug-ban effects...as he deserves to be. The day is coming when the winner really will be the winner and the owner can take pride in that.

19 Jul 2011 11:40 PM
JerseyBoy

Eric:

This is the second time I have seen mention of the fact that a South African study confirmed the efficacy of Lasix. It is also one of those rare occasions in which I have seen a study mentioned to support a point without any mention of the conclusions of the study. If it is the same study I read, the the conclusions include the following:

"Further steps should include the disqualification of “bleeders” from being registered in the Stud Book and that furosemide be banned internationally from racing, or failing that, breeders should refrain from buying potential sires that have raced on this drug".

Those who call for further study, can perhaps explain how this study will be conducted when horses are racing on Lasix which inhibits bleeding.

I support your call. I also hope the day will come when those who call for a delay will state that they have no conflict of interest in this matter. I have none.

20 Jul 2011 6:19 AM
Arian Haxhillari

Why is so hard to do a big study about this issue and get over with it. I think e big international study about use os salix will give the world the answer about it.

As a new  owner I think it cost me more to get my horses in shape after using Lasix than the ones without it. The only person making money and interested on this are my vets.

I think even vets need to change there attitude. I don't see then helping me in conditioning my horses and love to inject every single time a problem comes up.

20 Jul 2011 8:44 AM
Frank Newman

Yada, yada, yada.........if we/you are gonna ban "drugs" do it. Don't wait 3 years or 3 months...Ban what ever you/we call "drugs" today ...why wait??? entry box will suffer, but time will heal that wound. QUIT TALKIN AND DO SOMETHING

20 Jul 2011 9:08 AM
GoldenBroom

To support purposefully dehydrating an animal to lower it's bloodpressure so it can perform is ridiculous. Enough already. We've already weathered (maybe not the end of) "rightsizing" the industry to meet demand, it's time for the second half of the cuts to be done and over with. Bite the bullet and do it already. I wonder if the breed will prove heartier in more ways than just pulmonary because of this? Better natural circulation MAY lead to healthier joints, muscles and bone...hopefully we'll see in the next 5 to 10 years as the "new" stock starts running...

20 Jul 2011 9:56 AM
sceptre

Jersey Boy-

No, the S. African Study I cited was not the later (and different) study you mentioned. The former study dealt solely with the issue of Lasix's efficacy in minimizing EIPH and its findings were conclusive. The study that you cited dealt with the potential heritability of EIPH-I also read thoroughly this study, and found its methods wanting.  

20 Jul 2011 10:43 AM
Needler in Virginia

Thanks for that, SUNNY FARM. It's only that I have tons of BACKSTRETCH (now defunct) from the late 90's saying the same thing (along with a HUGE number of other industry publications), and so far, NOTHING has happened, except Barry Irwin was smart enough to move all the Team Valor horses to Graham Motion's barn because of the "lies" that other trainers had told him about drug use. THAT'S IT. Even now, there are those who tweak the studies done, and, as we all know, you an make data prove any point you want to make....all you have to do is change the way the question is asked, or evaluate only the data from the chestnuts who ran on Salix in April of 2008, at a distance of 2 miles, on a synthetic surface, carrying less than 130 pounds and bearing jockeys who wore red silks. SOrry..my irony gene is kicking in.

I MUST believe this a do-able thing; otherwise I can't watch it happen any more. The idea that US horses are somehow exempt from the rest of the racing world's rules is nauseating to me, as is the idea that, somehow, US horses are different from the rest of the Thoroughbreds in the world. And if something doesn't happen very soon, we will be watching the slow, gradual demise of Thoroughbred racing in this country. I HATE feeling this way, so once again, I thank you for the words of encouragement...........I NEED 'EM!!

Cheers and very safe trips.

20 Jul 2011 11:01 AM
nedjohnsonsux

You are so typical of everyone in the industry. Eric have you ever cooled out  a horse that bleeds after a race? When you pull off the band-aid as you say, what effect will it have on bleeders? Do you think they will bleed less? I don't think even you are that ignorant.  They will bleed and choke for hours after they race.  It is sad to witness. But then we will be on par with the rest of the world.  Great idea, let us copy the rest of the world, most who have horrible human rights. The reason the US is the best place on earth is because we blaze the path, don't follow.  But let us get on par with the french, who hate us even though we saved them from the Nazis. or maybe you prefer we get on par with the Saudis who treat women as second class citizens.

Listen I am not against limiting and perhaps eventually eliminating medications on race day.  But be smart and do it starting with a specific foal crop, then though won't be arbitrarily taken off medications they have been running and depending on their whole careers.

But then I forgot you just want to follow others not actually do better.

20 Jul 2011 11:58 AM
catonie

I've read much about this subject and heard even more, the past few years, since we began this "do as someone else does" mentality, and it's very worrisome to me. Our country is light years ahead of these countries in almost every way. We fought a war to become independent and to be able to think for ourselves. Why in the world would we think that something they do is somehow 'superior' to what is being done in North America? These other countries are the ones who race 4 1/2 miles, over fences designed to make them fall, carrying 160 lbs before finally deciding which is the better horse. If they don't measure up, either over fences or on the flat, so what? They just send them to slaughter and eat them. At least in the United States we are able to determine which horse is best at a mile and a quarter and we don't eat them when they are through racing. Other countries send their horses here to race, where they can get Lasix so they don't bleed from the lungs. It doesn't make them run faster, but allows them to run to their own potential. In this day and age when field sizes are small and dwindling, why would we want them to become even smaller by limiting those horses who can compete? If you or I had a grand horse who raced on Lasix, would you want to run that horse and take the chance that it would bleed when you could help prevent it? Of all the things racing has done, and all the medications that have been discovered, Lasix is the one thing that works to help prevent this. Must we go back to the dark ages because Europe and Asia seem to be stuck there? It's not only Thoroughbreds who bleed, as Quarter Horses bleed, too, even with the short distances they are asked to run. Horses bleed more in hot, humid weather...and at altitude also. Quarter Horses who race at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, at 6,400 feet often bleed, many times profusely. Now, I hear Stronack doesn't seem to want lasix used at "his" racetracks? Even though it's a legal raceday medication in those states? There are many other race tracks, and I would hope the horsemen use them, rather than his. I believe it's time for the horsemen/horsewomen to come together and decide this thing, rather than the politicians who are discussing it at the moment. Lasix is something that helps, not harms, horses. I don't want people to go back to the witch doctors' remedies, or something rumored to help a bleeder when we have a truly good thing, already legal, and being used and regulated.

20 Jul 2011 12:22 PM
EJMitchellKy

Sceptre,

What I think is true is that veterinarians agree that Salix is very effective in treating bleeding. The question is whether it is essential that a horse race on Salix. Clearly there are trainers in other countries that race successfully without Salix and veterinarians that have no problem helping to keep these horses healthy and sound. The medication is used during training or during rehabilitation, at least in Europe, then it is cleared out of their system in the 10 days leading to a race.

Didn't this country once race horses without Salix? And how did we go from requiring that a horse demonstrate it is a bleeder to get put on the Salix list to having more than 90% of our horses running on this medication along with the position that we can't run without it?

I also find it curious that the U.S. is the only racing jurisdiction that allows the race-day use of Salix and yet the rest of the world is inflexible.

20 Jul 2011 1:24 PM
GoldenBroom

catonie, Unlike in humans, in animals Darwin's theory of evolution is still the best way to improve the breed, which has not been improving at all in recent decades. Out with the weak and feeble, only breed the strong. As far as horses bleeding in extremely hot and humid weather, at high altitudes, here's an idea...don't race there or during peak summer months or when it goes over 85 or 90!? Not the most financially sound answer but the breed has been so watered down that it's feebleness and lack of interest (hurt by drug usage in the media) that it's time to change. And what is with the talk about wars and politics and the flag waiving? It's a global economy, we have a global sport. We are not talking about races at the local fairgrounds here. You have trainers from England and Ireland, owners from Dubai and France, horses that jump "the pond" regularly and come up from South America and fly over and back to Australia for stud duty. Welcome to the 21st century everyone. Lasix doesn't help the breed anymore than the patch and repair jobs done on horses with poor hooves. It just allows bad genes to continue on and on.

20 Jul 2011 1:43 PM
chanceland

I trained horses before lasix and, believe me, bleeding was a much bigger problem then. All horses will bleed to some degree eventually if they continue to run, so why wouldn't you do what you can to minimize the lung damage. All of the horses racing now are all descended from horses who raced without lasix, so I don't understand how banning it will make the breed stronger. Racing has a lot of very serious problems and lasix is the least of them. Why don't we put all of this energy to work improving our labs and testing to catch the real cheaters, among other things too numerous to mention.

20 Jul 2011 2:59 PM
Bob Baffert

Eric,

You don't realize that you are damaging our business with these ideas of yours. You need to focus more on making your magazine a little bit better and worth reading. If medication goes the racing world will go with it. During these tough economic times it's getting harder for people to keep investing. Now you want to make it harder for them to keep horse in training. It's the sport of Kings in Europe but not in U.S. Stick to writing stories and stay out of things you have no clue about. We are in scary times right now. Horse Farms are going under, people quit breeding horses. Now is not the time to knock racing in U.S.

20 Jul 2011 3:05 PM
EJMitchellKy

Nedjohnsonsux,

I don't think human rights plays into the debate on Salix so I'll leave it at that.

But we have gone from Salix being a useful medication to help treat horses that are bleeders to every horse is a bleeder and will choke inhumanely following a race and spew blood like a fountain if we don't race them on this medication. Even when he didn't have Salix, there were relatively few cases of horses that bled to this degree.

What does it say about the quality of our horses if they are incapable of running without this medication? The argument has been made that it is inhumane to run horses that bleed without Salix. Is it humane to even run a horse at all that has a severe bleeding problem? Even some trainers in the U.S. will tell you a bleeding problem during training indicates a need to back off.

Phasing in regulation by crop is certainly one approach but you will eventually run into the same problem...some horses banned from running on Salix competing against horses that are grandfathered in to run on Salix. We know horses than run on Salix perform better than horses that don't. I don't think that is fair to the owners, do you?

20 Jul 2011 4:51 PM
EJMitchellKy

Bob,

I appreciate your comments. We'll continue doing everything we can to make the magazine better and the industry stronger.

20 Jul 2011 5:06 PM
sceptre

Eric, and all-

Eric, I appreciate your reply, but suggest that before you reach any conclusions first gain some understanding of EIPH's mechanism (physiology). No room here for me to discuss it, but I'm sure you can research the topic. Perhaps had The Breeders' Cup and Mr. Stronach done the same they would have concluded differently...Know that the type of effort expended by horses in horse racing is NOT a "natural" activity for even the thoroughbred breed. Racing at such speeds and level of fittness can, and often does, impact negatively on them. It is rather doubtful that we can ever biologically engineer them to such degree that this reality will be nullified. "Bleeding" (EIPH) is but one of a host of such negative consequences. Salix has been proven to minimize the effects of EIPH (E=exercise; I= induced). Racing (on race-day) is a higher degree of exercise than is usually mere training. Salix, therefore, plays its most efficacious (and needed) role on race-day...It has been amply shown that the vast majority of thoroughbred racehorses evidence EIPH. This was likely always the case-moreso as horses "improved" to race faster-but in times past was less apparent before the advent of the endoscope...As in many other human endeavors, it seems the wrong people are calling the shots. It's unfortunate that those (vets and trainers) likely best able/best experienced in matters such as this are also perceived (correctly) as being vested in permitting race-day salix. I am neither a vet nor a trainer, but am rather certain that a race-day salix ban is absurdly premature. I truly hope that science and logic will prevail, but this hope grows ever more faint...I see where Mr. Baffert is also against the ban (on salix), but I reject his argument, and since he does have a voice that can be heard, suggest that he too become more versed on the topic.        

20 Jul 2011 6:54 PM
s delight

In my opinion, the answer to these attitudes regarding medications for horses, is that any individual making the rules for medication should have to follow the same rules.

Let's do away with their heart medication, lasix for blood pressure, and of course other blood pressure meds, anti-inflammatories for when they take their daily jogs, and let's not forget the viagra......Horses are athletes and they are a live being performing under very difficult environments.  Where's the common sense.......

20 Jul 2011 7:07 PM
Needler in Virginia

Oh, please. Meds are administered for a reason, be it legal or illegal. If meds are legitimately required, fine, but that horse should not be racing until the need for the meds is over. If a horse requires long term meds to race at all, maybe that fact alone is enough to judge that horse unfit to race. If the meds are illegal......... well, we won't go there.

Why not slam bad practices? Bad practices in baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey and YES! even curling, should be condemned as just that....bad for the sport. Why not in racing, too??? Racing is not perfect, nor are the other sports, but with so many ways to wager available, I would think racing would want to present a rather more elevated picture of our sport than it has done. Race day meds DO NOT present racing in the best light.

Cheers.

20 Jul 2011 8:07 PM
Onechaser

I agree.  Ban all race day meds in all the races.  Keep the sport on a level playing field. It would be better for the breed and for the future of racing.

20 Jul 2011 9:01 PM
Arian Haxhillari

We need a randomized control study to address this issue as if we do with any drug in human studies. No study up to this point is of this kind regardless the results. Forget the South Africa  or Australia studies.

They just prove some point but are not the one we need to base our scientific results.

Arian Haxhillari

20 Jul 2011 11:38 PM
nedjohnsonsux

Thanks for your response.

The truth is they use plenty of medication on horses in the rest of the world, many cases more than we do here. They brag about no race day medication, but give them plenty leading up to the race. Spend some time in a yard and you will see tons of syringes and drugs, and not all in the hands of veterinarians. (here if you have a syringe you are ruled off) And their horses do bleed. The only thing they have going is shorter season. But make no mistake, they medicate, and quite a bit. And they love running in the US as they can use Salix.

We have too many hypocrites here, chief among them is this year's Derby winner who loves to talk the talk abut eliminating meds but uses them on nearly 100% of his charges.

21 Jul 2011 12:13 PM
SUNNY FARM

Good Morning !

I have in front of me, the book:

Race Horse Training (Collins 1938 )

Sub-titled "Venture All ".

I have other old Throughbred training books, pre-1900's. I have YET to find any words or chapters to describe "Bleeding in race horses". It wasn't the norm back then, from what I gather.

Back "In the day", the horses ran TWO, even FOUR heats, all well over a mile IN ONE DAY. Back then, from what I read in Collin's book, the horses were walked & rested as needed !!!

Banning the 'drugs" will NOT cause everyone to quit racing. What banning the drugs will do is to give hope to those who race as sportsmen & care about their horses. As the word gets known, more of "us" will join up and arrive at the tracks. In the beginning, it will cause some loss but it will be well worth it.

IT'S WORTH THE RIDE TO GET WHAT YOU WANT"

Even though everyone laughed at me for choosing the old,anchient mares,with the old classic bloodlines,for my breeding programe', I never laughed at myself. What I see here at my SUNNY FARM, is a bunch of HAPPY horses who feel great...naturally.

I see no bleeders here, if I do, I'll change the career of that youngster,because that is the right & proer thing to do for the welfare of that horse.

I love my horses a LOT...so do many others....do not worry, we WILL come to race as soon as the playing field has become a level & fair venue. The fans will bet "heavier" and the Handi-cappers will find more enjoyment & satisfaction.

YOU GO MR.Stronach, and press forward with your rule changes,they are for the right reasons.

22 Jul 2011 9:06 AM
Mary in VT

Mr Baffert,

If medication goes the racing world will go with it? Really? Mark his words everybody. It will be interesting to see if this prediction proves correct or ridiculous if an industry wide phase out does occur.

But I do agree that your industry is in real danger of evaporating before your very eyes for a variety of reasons that revolve around deeply entrenched aspects of it's image being less than family friendly. Parents have to consider whether it is wise to expose little Johnny to the possibility of tragedy as one of the gorgeous horses breaks down beofre their eyes, or the need to explain that B means that this horse is racing on pain medication, and "Oh look, Johnny. L means that this horse is racing on a medication to prevent it from hemoraghing at the nostrils from it's exertions. Isn't this fun kids! Good stuff, huh!" Excetera.Excetera. Excetera.

If American horse racing is truly so propped up by race day medication that it can't exist without them then perhaps it is time that it died a quiet death and left the thoroughbred horse to the people that cherish it enough not to run a horse that requires long term medication. Who knows? Maybe someting sensible would rise up out of the ashes.

Love the Bloodhorse just the way it is for a myriad of reasons not the least of which is it's forum for robust debate.

22 Jul 2011 11:01 AM
EJMitchellKy

Interesting comments from Kenny McPeek in the most recent edition of "And They're Off." He makes a good point toward the end of his segment about offering the blue-collar runners an opportunity to continue racing on Salix but eliminate the race-day medication in stakes races.

www.bloodhorse.com/.../21345DE1-653B-44EB-B8CF-49D3835700F5

I still have concerns about creating a mixed bag of regulations but it might be worth considering.

Also, I would like to point out I see very few similarities between U.S. racing and racing in Europe and Hong Kong. It was brought out during the medication summit how differently the training environment is in Europe compared with the U.S., where most horses train at racetracks in urban areas. And Hong Kong, while top-shelf racing, is a very selective and controlled environment in which 90% of the horses racing are geldings.

Where racing is more comparable to the U.S., I think, is Australia. Anyone want to weigh in on this?

22 Jul 2011 1:03 PM
JerseyBoy

There seem to be lots of South African studies on this subject. Here are two excerpts from a report on a South African study that appeared in Today@Colorado State, June 29,2009.

1-"Furosemide, used in the United States and Canada to treat bleeding into the airways in thoroughbred racehorses, decreases the incidence of hemorrhage according to results of a recent study. The study, conducted by Colorado State University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Pretoria in the Republic of South Africa, provides a foundation for racing authorities to make decisions regarding use of this medication, which is the subject of heated debate and controversy around the world".

2-"Use of the medication is controversial because work previously conducted by these scientists found that it enhanced the performance of Throughbred and Standardbred horses".

The URL is attached:

www.today.colostate.edu/story.aspx

22 Jul 2011 3:38 PM

Recent Posts

More Blogs

Archives