RACEHORSE MEDICATION SUMMIT REPORT
December 4, 2001 - Tucson, Arizona
Prepared by Schlegel & Associates, Sarasota, FloridaBackground
The attached list of racing organizations and officials were invited to attend a one-day workshop for the purpose of determining if agreement could be reached as to the need for a uniform policy for racehorse medication in the United States, and if so, where agreement can be reached on elements of such a policy. The workshop consisted of two segments: a two-hour open session briefing by experts on topics pertinent to the purpose of the Summit, and an intensive seven-hour workshop for the invited representatives which was conducted by a professional facilitator from outside the racing industry.Workshop Results
Significantly, consensus was achieved on a number of general and specific points that can lead to the development of an industry-wide uniform medication policy statement.The following points of consensus were considered to be fundamental:--There should be uniformity across state lines and in all jurisdictions.--Any medication policy must take into consideration the integrity of horseracing, the health and welfare of the horse, the long-term interests of the breeds, and the safety of the rider and driver.--A National Advisory Body should be created to address the development of medication policies and practices. In addition, a National Reference Laboratory or Laboratories should be developed in order to address issues of testing, e.g. research into and method development for new substances and quality assurance and accreditation for all laboratories conducting post-race sample analysis.--Education and dissemination of consistent information about industry policies to all segments of the industry and the betting public and the public at large is essential.--It is the highest priority that a broad-based funding mechanism be developed to support these initiatives identified in this document.A uniform medication policy statement takes into consideration four basic component areas: Medication, Testing, Security and Enforcement. The scope of the discussion was limited to these areas and listed below are the major points in which consensus was achieved in the allotted time. It is recognized that there are other issues that will need to be addressed in the future.
1. Medication--Furosemide is the only medication to be administered on race day. Any changes in this policy should be supported by sound scientific principles with the health and welfare of the horse and integrity of racing as the prime considerations.--Furosemide should be made available to all horses on raceday at the responsible parties' option. --Guidelines on pre-race administration of Furosemide must be implemented by the industry. Post-race screening of urine utilizing specific gravity, to ensure compliance, should be mandatory. Quantitation of Furosemide in serum must be performed for samples that do not meet minimum specific gravity criteria.--One of the five FDA-approved non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be administered no later than 24 hours prior to the race.--Substances that should have a true zero tolerance level (utilizing the most sensitive testing method available) if found in the horse on race day must be identified.--RCI medication guidelines and classification system should be reviewed and revised as needed.
2. Testing--There must be uniformity in testing procedures and methods amongst all laboratories.--Both blood and urine samples must be collected and tested.--Adequate funding mechanisms for expanded testing (e.g. more ELISA's per sample) and research and development must be developed.--The development of scientifically based withdrawal time guidelines and/or decision levels for certain therapeutic medications is a priority.--These developed withdrawal times for identified therapeutic medications should be communicated to the racing industry.
3. Security--Enhanced security is an essential part of an overall medication program. Standards of practice should be established regarding the assurance of compliance with pre-race medication rules and to prevent improper pre-race administration of medication.--Properly trained security personnel are essential to the management and implementation of a medication program in the racingindustry.
4. Enforcement--Ongoing training of racing officials regarding medication developments must be assured.--Strong, fair and swift enforcement of medication policies, consistent with the severity of the offense, is encouraged.--Substances that may be present in the racehorse as a result of contamination must be identified.--Because the potential of contamination resulting in a post race positive is recognized, there is a responsibility to investigate these cases thoroughly before initiating regulatory action. The concentration in the test sample is one important fact to be considered in the enforcement/adjudication process.--Additional research to determine if decision levels can be identified for products that could be dietary or environmental contaminants should be supported. --RCI penalty guidelines should be reviewed and revised as needed.--Veterinarians should be required to document the administration of all medications to racehorses, and medication records submitted by veterinarians should be considered by the enforcing authority prior to taking action against the licensee.--Confidentiality for accused parties must be maintained as long as is legally permissible under state law.
Commitment to Continue
The workshop concluded with unanimous commitment by all participating organizations and individuals to assist in the next steps to be taken to finalize development of this uniform medication policy statement, and creation of an action plan for its implementation. It was agreed that a follow-up workshop, comprised of the same individuals participating in this workshop, should take place in the very near future.
Dr. Robert Lewis and Dr. Rick Arthur, American Association of Equine Practitioners; Dan Fick and Frank Vessels, American Quarter Horse Association; Lonny Powell and Dennis Lee, Association of Racing Commissioners International; Stan Bergstein, Harness Tracks of America; Remi Bellocq and Kent Stirling, National Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association; Hans Stahl and Dr. Ted Hill, The Jockey Club; Jim Gallagher and Dr. Scot Waterman, National Thoroughbred Racing Association; Ben Nolt and Mike Hopkins, North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association; Alan Foreman, Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association; Dan Metzger and Gary Biszantz, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; Fred Noe, United States Trotting Association; Sam Ramer, United Thoroughbred Trainers Association; Chris Scherf, Thoroughbred Racetracks of America; Paul Berube, Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau; Richard Mandella, trainer; John Ward, trainer; Dr. Tom Brokken, racetrack veterinarian; Dr. Milton McClure, racetrack veterinarian; Ed Halpern, California Thoroughbred Trainers Association; Dr. Ron Jensen, regulatory veterinarian; Terry Meyocks, New York Racing Association; David Switzer, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association; John Van deCamp, Thoroughbred Owners of California; Alex Waldrop, Churchill Downs; Darrell Hare, Jockey's Guild; and Dr. Rick Sams, chemist.