Representatives of affiliates of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association indicated Jan. 22 they support uniformity in medication and drug testing but need clear guidelines and consistent interpretation of the rules by sometimes overzealous regulators and stewards.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association medication committee hopes to establish what it calls "proper regulatory thresholds" for trace levels of the urinary metabolites of cocaine and morphine.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority on Nov. 14 gave unanimous approval to revised medication rules that had been the subject of controversy when implemented under an emergency order signed in August by Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium expects to have enough money to carry it through 2006, but an official with the group indicated it's imperative more racetrack and horsemen's associations commit funds to the organization.
The Board of Directors of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) commissioned Dr. Rick Sams of Ohio State to develop an action plan, timeline, and research priorities to establish guidelines for withdrawal times for therapeutic medications commonly used by racetrack veterinarians.
The horse racing industry is in the midst of creating a major research and development laboratory that will be responsible for improving testing capabilities and developing tests for designer and other hard-to-detect drugs used in racehorses, officials announced during The Jockey Club Round Table Conference Sunday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has asked Gov. Ernie Fletcher to authorize a "full review" before any changes are made to the state's equine race-day medication policy.
A discussion into the use and effectiveness of corticosteroids--therapeutic anti-inflammatory drugs--was full of twists and turns July 21 but inevitably settled on the areas of threshold levels, withdrawal times, and finally the question of whether a stringent policy for race-day medication is practical.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors met June 28 in Chicago, approving several measures including final recommendations for penalties.
Kentucky is one step closer to implementing a hard-hitting comprehensive schedule of penalties for medication violations, including horse suspensions, license revocations, and fines designed to make racehorse owners and veterinarians more accountable.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority delayed action May 16 on a hard-hitting, comprehensive schedule of penalties for medication violations--including ones designed to make racehorse owners and veterinarians more accountable.
A hard-hitting, comprehensive schedule of penalties for medication violations--including ones designed to make racehorse owners more accountable--is headed to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for consideration at its May 16 meeting.
New regulations patterned after model policies offered by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region will in place in Virginia when Colonial Downs opens for live racing in June.
By Edward S. Bonnie - Would you pay $5 per start to support better drug testing, research, and track security? The average Thoroughbred races eight times per year. Hence, the average Thoroughbred owner would pay $40 per year per horse to help ensure competition on a level playing field.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council is considering substantial penalties for drug violations in horse racing, including combinations of fines and suspensions, use of detention barns, and provisions for horses to be barred from racing for specific periods of time depending on the offense.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has approved model uniform medication rules as recommended by regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region and hopes to have blood-gas testing for "milkshakes" in place by the time Delaware Park opens April 30 for its 135-day meet.
Despite a final plea by a group of local horsemen, the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority unanimously moved Feb. 22 to adopt the model race-day medication rules proposed by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
The Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council set in motion major changes in the state's medication and drug-testing policies when it voted Feb. 4 to recommend adoption of the model rules devised by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
Kentucky racetracks could begin testing for "milkshakes" this spring under their own guidelines, officials said.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has set a deadline for adoption of recommended uniform medication violations and testing protocol for "milkshakes," which are mixtures of bicarbonate of soda and a liquid force-fed to a racehorse before it competes.
The Ohio State Racing Commission tightened its medication rules Jan. 20 to greatly reflect the model rules offered by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. In another change, money will be deducted from each purse to defray all or part of the cost to test blood and urine samples.
Regulators in the Mid-Atlantic region, who have been working together for years on uniform medication rules, agreed Jan. 20 to endorse the model medication and drug testing policy devised by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association medication committee, in response to concerns from affiliates in Kentucky and Ohio, has asked its affiliates to make known their position on the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium's proposal for uniform medication and drug testing.
The California Horse Racing Board has scheduled a public hearing Dec. 2 at Hollywood Park to consider amendments that would bring current regulations into line with recommendations made by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors has approved president D.G. Van Clief Jr. as acting commissioner and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is recommending owners pay a $5 fee to fund research to develop threshold levels and withdrawal times for therapeutic medications.
Dan Fick, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club, was elected chairman of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium at its quarterly meeting Sept. 9. The consortium also approved a per-start fee for horse owners to help fund initiatives.
The National Horsemen's Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, given the results of a recent study, has suggested research into medication thresholds and withdrawal times be performed using horses in training.
Three months after national regulators' associations approved model rules for a proposed national medication policy, the task of lobbying jurisdictions to adopt them continues.
Model rules for the proposed national medication policy are moving forward, but the unification of the Association of Racing Commissioners International and North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association apparently isn't going to happen anytime soon.
Officials gathered in New Orleans for the first Joint Conference of Racing Regulators will consider a proposed national medication policy that calls for voluntary use of Salix on race days and use of one of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs no later than 24 hours before a race.
Time and money are two of the major roadblocks as the horse racing industry struggles to come to terms with medication, drug testing, and security, officials said March 4 during the joint annual meeting of Harness Tracks of America and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has adopted a position paper on medication and drug-testing that says any changes in policies in each jurisdiction should be enacted only after there is scientific evidence specific therapeutic drugs shouldn't be used in racehorses.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has approved policy language on race-day use of Salix and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as environmental contaminants, and also formed a subcommittee to review race-day security practices.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium continued its march toward a national model policy on medication and drug testing Dec. 10 when regulators responded favorably to the proposal. But wholesale changes in race-day medication rules around the country aren't expected to take place any time soon.
Regulators in the United States will get their first look at a proposed national medication and drug-testing policy Dec. 10, but even if it wins widespread support, it could take some time before any changes are enacted in various jurisdictions.
Though regulators on Dec. 10 will examine a proposal for a national medication and drug-testing policy, release of the document to the public hinges on how well it is received during the meeting.
The debate over whether Kentucky should implement a restrictive race-day medication policy heated up Nov. 18 with calls by racetrack veterinarians and trainers to keep the current policy intact, and allegations that the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is carrying out an agenda in secret.
At an Oct. 21 open forum on Kentucky's equine medication policy, nearly everyone agreed the state should be part of a national effort to attain uniformity. However, opinions varied widely when it came to just what that policy should include.
As Kentucky prepares to open a major debate on a proposed policy that would allow only Salix on race day, a high-profile trainer who races in major jurisdictions believes in a common-sense approach -- and he also said the industry must realize drugs aren't the only problem. Meanwhile, another top Kentucky trainer believes race-day therapeutic medication is essential.
On Wednesday Keeneland's board of directors voted to support a national drug policy and elected three individuals to new positions.
The chairman of the Kentucky Racing Commission has advocated a Salix-only policy on race day in the state, and said he would schedule meetings around the state to get feedback. Currently, five medications are permitted on race day in Kentucky.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has made substantial progress on a model policy for the horse racing industry and also has allocated $275,000 for four research projects tied to its initiatives.
With a goal to raise $2 million to $3 million a year to support its initiatives, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is looking at a mechanism that would raise money from horsemen and racetracks based on the top four finishers in each race.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California will donate $128,000 to racing charities for the fiscal year 2002-03.
Mid-Atlantic regulators and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association are scheduled to meet June 12 in New Jersey to discuss medication and drug-testing issues on a regional and national scope.
The American Graded Stakes Committee will begin implementing a drug-testing plan for horses participating in its designated races beginning at Keeneland and Belmont Park this fall. It expects to have the testing protocol fully in place by the end of 2004.
Uniformity in medication and drug testing could be years away, a member of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium said April 1 during a California Horse Racing Board Medication Committee meeting.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Progress continues in the areas of medication and drug-testing, and those involved in the process should not let a "lack of easy answers" stand in their way.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has elected officers, chosen an executive director, and put the finishing touches on few sections of its proposed model policy for medication and drug testing. Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. was elected chairman.
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