The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association most likely will make recommendations for revisions to the proposed national model rule on medication penalties.
Two members of Congress introduced legislation May 4 authorizing penalties for those caught using performance-enhancing drugs in racehorses.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors Feb. 6 received an update on an anabolic steroids study, results of which will be used to set thresholds for testing in plasma.
A 90-day emergency regulation governing infractions of Kentucky equine medication rules expired Feb. 15 and the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority reverted back to the old rules that were previously in place.
The debate over equine medication and drug testing in Kentucky may be colored by very important questions: Is the medication policy currently in place in the Bluegrass state legitimate, and are all racing jurisdictions on the same page when it comes to national uniformity?
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.
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.
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.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is prepared to release a revised proposal for a national policy on drug testing and therapeutic medication. The document deals with Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 medications, as well as prohibited practices.
The results of a survey of members of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association indicate that more than 90% favor the current medication policies in place in the Bluegrass State.
Uniformity in equine drug-testing and medication use won't come easy if comments made by panelists at the University of Florida's Equine Medical Symposium are any indication. If anything, the March 15 discussion revealed splits within the racing industry and brought up the question as to whether medication is really the root of the industry's problems.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is polling horsemen to get their opinions on the state's medication policies, which include a ban on all Class 1, 2, and 3 drugs within 48 hours of a race, and use of anti-inflammatory anti-bleeding medications on race day.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has formed a task force to identify therapeutic medications used in racehorses. The organization was approached by the Testing Integrity Program, commonly known as TIP.
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