The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association will tackle several issues, including governmental affairs, high volume pari-mutuel bettors, and use of furosemide on race day during its winter convention Jan. 12-16 in Hollywood Beach, Fla.
Furosemide, known as Salix or Lasix, will be discussed Jan. 14 during the National HBPA Medication Committee forum. The organization said the “scientific case” for use of the drug to control exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging will be the focus.
Use of the drug on race day was a high-priority industry issue in 2011. No racing regulatory body has taken action to ban furosemide on race day.
Panelists will be Dr. Steven Barker, chemist for the Louisiana State Racing Commission; Dr. Thomas Brokken, a long-time racetrack veterinarian; Dr. Mark Dedomenico, a heart surgeon who owns Eclipse Award winner Blind Luck; and Dr. Thomas Tobin, a professor at Gluck Equine Research Center and the National HBPA veterinary adviser.
The National HBPA Legislative Affairs Committee will host a Jan. 13 forum to introduce American Continental Group, the organization’s new government affairs consultant based in Washington, D.C. The National HBPA Wagering and Alternative Gaming Committee will discuss ways to provide incentives to high-volume bettors Jan. 13.
Other topics on the agenda are immigration and a new advance deposit wagering system operated by the Iowa HBPA in conjunction with Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The convention concludes Jan. 16 with a board of directors meeting. The National HBPA Executive Committee meets the previous day.
The organization’s twice-a-year conventions are hosted by various affiliates, in this case the Florida HPBA. The affiliates then look for sponsors to help offset costs.
The Florida HBPA in a recent memo said it was notified by Calder Casino & Race Course that the racetrack “was significantly scaling back its prior sponsorship commitment of $10,000.” The Florida HBPA represents horsemen at Calder and Gulfstream Park.
The horsemen’s group said the convention “faces a budgetary shortfall,” and that it was soliciting sponsors.