Racing regulators and other industry officials were told April 7 they should use existing tools to push states to adopt the National Uniform Medication Program.
Racing jurisdictions have made progress on equine medication reform but states and their regulatory agencies must commit to move quickly and in unison, said Alex Waldrop, president of the NTRA and chairman of the RMTC.
The outgoing chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International said it is "vitally important" racing jurisdictions adopt the National Uniform Medication Program as soon as possible.
Racing officials and regulators gathered April 1 acknowledged a need for transparency, consistency, and quick, cohesive action in response to high-profile incidents.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it will "go away" if horse racing addresses its medication issues, and industry officials who have been trying to do just that suggest progress is evident but not recognized.
A survey of more than 800 people conducted by HorsePlayerNOW.com, a fan education website that hosts the weekly "Night School" program, indicates a strong belief that racehorses are well cared for in Thoroughbred racing.
Racing industry organizations have greatly stepped up their call for swift adoption of national model rules on medication and drug testing in the wake of probes into allegations of mistreatment and over-medication of horses.
The New York Gaming Commission said March 20 it is investigating allegations of "abuse and mistreatment" of Thoroughbreds after receiving information gleaned from an undercover investigation performed by PETA.
A major Thoroughbred racing stable was the subject of a 2013 undercover investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which alleges over-medication of and cruelty to horses.
A horsemen's meeting on upcoming equine medication changes in Kentucky revealed some interesting information: The four months of racing at Turfway Park are the "cleanest" in the state according to drug-testing results.
Kentucky horsemen March 14 were given an overview of impending equine medication changes and also provided with a few tips to avoid headaches when the new regulations take effect later in the spring.
A New York Racing Association committee could recommend to the full board of directors adoption of a house rule to combat use of multiple non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
A circuit court in West Virginia has upheld the penalties levied against trainer Chris Grove for a Class 1 positive at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in 2012.
A Jan. 30 meeting of racing stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions showed how difficult it can be to achieve uniformity, even with the best intentions or most basic of regulations.
Racing jurisdictions concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions are finding progress to be a subjective term: Much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done.
When is a scientific study not a scientific study? That was a question posed by several panelists during a two-hour session on medication Jan. 25 during the National HBPA winter convention.
The West Virginia Racing Commission will soon consider a penalty system for drug violations that dovetails with uniform model rules making their way through the state legislature.
The New York Gaming Commission, during a Jan. 21 public hearing, heard the pros and cons of having different medication rules for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses.
A booklet put together by several individuals at the forefront of equine medication reform has been prepared for Maryland, which will enact the Mid-Atlantic Uniform Medication and Drug-Testing Program Jan. 1, 2014.
Out-of-competition testing of racehorses has broad support, but important issues such as the constitutional rights of licensees has made use and enforcement difficult for regulators.
Amid another call for separate medication rules for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, the Ohio State Racing Commission has indicated it's not prepared to adopt a uniform national drug policy.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, on a 4-2 vote Dec. 3, recommended the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission adopt the national uniform medication rules for Thoroughbred racing.
The United States Trotting Association, which in late September dropped out of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and rejected model medication rules approved by RCI, has created its own drug advisory committee.
The California Horse Racing Board said Nov. 4 all urine and blood samples collected from horses in the Breeders' Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park have tested negative.
Racing regulators in New York gave preliminary approval to new threshold levels for 24 equine drugs as well as hefty fines for racetracks, lottery agents, and others who let underage people gamble.
Breeders' Cup believes it is well-prepared in the areas of safety and security for its Nov. 1-2 World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Oct. 17 voted unanimously to adopt the national uniform medication and drug-testing program.
- By Tom LaMarra
More than 50 racetracks and industry organizations have co-signed a letter to regulators urging them to adopt the uniform national model rules on medication and drug-testing reform.
A major proponent for national uniform medication rules said Sept. 26 the move by the United States Trotting Association to drop out of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium won't derail the effort.
The United States Trotting Association, citing differences in breeds, said Sept. 26 it has ended its membership in the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and has rejected the proposed national model drug rules.
The Virginia Racing Commission Sept. 25 unanimously adopted the Association of Racing Commissioners International model medication rules, which set uniform thresholds for a list of 24 controlled therapeutic medications.
The Maryland Racing Commission Sept. 17 adopted uniform medication and drug-testing rules as part of a push in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Though Breeders' Cup this year will "monitor the performance" of 2-year-olds that must race without furosemide in its World Championships, the therapeutic medication will be available for use in all races for the 2014 event.
The Ohio State Racing Commission is moving forward to adopt drug-testing threshold levels as part of national model rules, and also indicated it will switch to post-race TCO2 screening and bring Thoroughbreds into the mix.
The West Virginia Racing Commission has upheld the suspension of trainer Chris Grove for a 2012 positive test for a Class I substance after a race at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
The New York State Gaming Commission and New York Racing Association are implementing enhanced security measures for the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes (gr. I).
While the topics at this year's Saratoga Institute on Racing and Gaming Law were similar to those at other industry meetings this summer, the tenor of the presentations and perspectives of the panelists were not.
- By Tom LaMarra
Whether members of Congress address legislation tied to medication and drug testing in horse racing remains to be seen, but the Thoroughbred industry appears to be more and more unwilling to take the chance it won't happen.
The Jockey Club will provide up to $500,000 in 2014-15 to some racing jurisdictions to step up out-of-competition drug testing with a focus on graded stakes.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International voted July 31 to approve model rules that create a points system and enhanced penalties for drug violations.
- By Tom LaMarra
An official with the RMTC said confidentiality agreements used when the organization considers research to set thresholds and withdrawal times for medications are necessary because of scientific factors.
The West Virginia Racing Commission July 23 unanimously approved revised Thoroughbred racing rules, including several amendments that deal with equine medication and drug testing.
Regulatory administration of race-day anti-bleeding medication in Kentucky has provided a clearer picture of drug testing and produced added security benefits, officials said.
- By Tom LaMarra
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium said July 19 its board of directors has approved a model rule on multiple violation penalties and forwarded the suggested change to racing commissioners for consideration.
- By Tom LaMarra
A horsemen's group official involved in development of the proposed model rule for multiple violation penalties said July 15 the regulations are a "living document" that probably will be adjusted based on industry needs.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association board of directors July 14 signed off on recommended changes to a proposed model rule on medication penalties but acknowledged acceptance could be hard to achieve.
Scientific and regulatory advisers to the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association July 13 expressed concerns over the proposed withdrawal time and testing level for the bronchodilator clenbuterol.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association most likely will make recommendations for revisions to the proposed national model rule on medication penalties.
Horsemen will pay more to offset the cost of equine drug testing under a resolution adopted by the Ohio State Racing Commission June 27.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing organizations are moving ahead with plans to implement a points-driven penalty system for equine medication violations.
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