The racing and breeding industry in North America is devising a plan of action to accommodate the British Horseracing Authority's zero-tolerance policy for the presence of anabolic steroids in Thoroughbreds.
As part of an examination of its equine medication rules, the Ohio State Racing Commission in February will begin hearing from various industry organizations involved in an effort to adopt uniform policies for all states.
The Organization of Racing Investigators will hold its 2015 training conference March 1-4 at New Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission Jan. 12 said regulation of cobalt, a naturally occurring substance in racehorses that can have performance-enhancing qualities when supplemented, indicates decreases in abuse.
Three regulatory veterinarians said Jan. 12 they support recent action by the Association of Racing Commissioners International to adopt a model rule on compounded drugs used in horse racing.
RCI said Jan. 5 it is taking steps to ensure regulatory agencies have adequate authority to sanction licensees who violate existing federal restrictions limiting the use of illegally compounded medications.
The industry's Racing Medication and Testing Consortium plans to reorganize its own Scientific Advisory Committee but does not plan to merge with the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission reported Dec. 18 a total of 47 rulings for positive tests for prohibited substances or substances over threshold levels at the 2014 Indiana Grand race meet.
The RMTC said Dec. 9 the Thoroughbred industry has made "major gains" this year in the number of jurisdictions operating or soon to be operating under all or part of the National Uniform Medication Program.
New York regulators are ready to consider final revisions to rules specifying allowable testing threshold levels for two dozen medications used to treat Thoroughbreds in advance of races.
Maggi Moss has had success racing at Indiana Grand Race Course, which she calls a bright spot in Midwest Thoroughbred racing. But dysfunction and unfair practices in racing regulation are threatening the business, she said.
The Kentucky General Assembly Interim Joint Subcommittee on Horse Farming was given a generally positive update on the status of the racing and breeding industry in the state Nov. 12 in light of years of declines.
All samples collected from horses that competed in the 2014 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park have been cleared by the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at UC-Davis.
As Santa Anita Park prepares to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 31-Nov. 1, track management is confident its new dirt surface will perform well and safely.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission announced Oct. 30 that the backlog of its drug testing samples is cleared and testing current at its Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse race meet at Indiana Grand.
The Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held for the first time under reforms included in the National Uniform Medication Program.
The recent announcement by Breeders' Cup to ban horses from being entered in the World Championships if their trainers are found to be in violation of its convicted trainers rule, effective 2015, could signal change.
Officials at a Lexington equine drug-testing laboratory blamed recent long delays in processing samples on a spike of nearly 100 times the number of usual suspicious results this year compared with 2013.
- By Tom LaMarra
Research commissioned by The Jockey Club shows that, though the Thoroughbred industry has made progress in the area of uniform medication and testing standards, a state-by-state approach is at best problematic.
Ogden Phipps said Oct. 6 a centralized regulatory body for horse racing would facilitate changes necessary to improve the integrity of the sport in the United States, but the chances of it happening are slim to none.
- By Tom LaMarra
United States Trotting Association-funded research into cobalt has resulted in a regulatory testing threshold of 70 parts per billion, the organization said Sept. 30.
A Kentucky racing official Sept. 12 said the state has been at the forefront of research into cobalt, a naturally occurring element said to have blood-doping qualities if used at high levels.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission Sept. 4 voted 3-0 to approve rules to regulate cobalt levels in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses.
The New York State Gaming Commission Sept. 4 said it will issue a standard 10-year suspension to anyone who violates the harness racing rule prohibiting the use of substances that abnormally oxygenate a horse's blood.
Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker, who made a splash at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was suspended for four games by for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.
An analysis of more than 350 blood samples has led the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to recommend establishing a testing threshold level for cobalt and classifying the substance as Class A.
A backlog at its primary laboratory has led the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to contract with second lab on an emergency basis.
Racing needs to beef up out-of-competition testing. read blog
Gulfstream Park, which plans to become the racetrack prototype for integrity in the sport, is to to offer furosemide-free races for 2-year-olds in 2015 and eventually operate an on-track pharmacy to control medication.
Continued improvement in regard to equine health and welfare is closely tied to major cultural changes in horse racing, panelists suggested Aug. 12 at the Saratoga Institute on Racing & Gaming Law in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency Aug. 11 outlined how the organization could assist the Thoroughbred racing industry should its factions come together and push for federal legislation.
The Jockey Club Aug. 10 acknowledged progress on the effort to adopt uniform medication and drug-testing rules on a state-by-state basis, but also said it will advocate on the federal level for assistance.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International has released a state-by-state breakdown of the results of equine drug testing in 2013.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Aug. 1 hired Truesdail Laboratories in California to handle its equine drug testing and will ask the lab to test about 40 "cloudy samples" from a three-week period in July.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International is considering rules to govern racehorses in training in an attempt to identify whether they are at risk for injury.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Delaware Park are working to ensure horsemen are promptly paid purse money in light of delays in the receipt of results of equine drug tests.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission is working with LGS laboratory in Lexington, Ky., to facilitate quicker turnaround for equine drug test results.
Multiple racing jurisdictions have adopted all or parts of the National Uniform Medication Program, with others expected to be on board by the end of this year.
As the North American Thoroughbred industry continues its quest to lower the catastrophic breakdown rate, it is actively pushing the need to identify at-risk racehorses, even if the effort makes stakeholders uncomfortable.
The National Uniform Medication Program wasn't on the agenda at the recent American Horse Council convention, but progress on that front was addressed during forums and in conversations among attendees.
The United States Trotting Association said June 16 it will fund a project designed to develop regulatory controls for the use of cobalt in racehorses.
The West Virginia Racing Commission May 20 signed off on several new regulations, including one that will allow the state to participate in the multiple medication violation penalty system that is part national model rules.
Out-of-competition testing on more than 75 horses nominated to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks (both gr. I), as well as other stakes on the May 2-3 cards at Churchill Downs, came back clean.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission April 30 adopted the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule and multiple medication violation penalty system, but a watchdog organization said it's premature to call it uniformity.
The odds for Congress passing legislation related to equine medication and Internet gambling this year are long, a Washington, D.C.-based official said May 1 during the University of Kentucky Equine Law Conference.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said April 30 it has far more evidence gleaned from an undercover investigator in trainer Steve Asmussen's barn in 2013, but gave no indication when it intends to make it public.
The Ohio State Racing Commission April 30 announced a settlement agreement with trainer Tim Hamm over a 2013 medication positive involving the eventual Ohio horse of the year.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission April 30 will consider adoption of new equine mediation rules for Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Standardbred racing.
Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse stakeholders in Florida said they are united in backing the National Uniform Medication Program, but its fate lies with the state legislature.
"Now, more than ever, we as track operators, horsemen, and regulators must come together to do everything we can to prevent any abuse of our Thoroughbred athletes," Stronach said.
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