Anne M. Eberhardt

Indiana Commission to Consider Drug Rules

Some industry groups question language, plan to adopt on an emergency basis.

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission April 30 will consider adoption of new equine mediation rules for Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Standardbred racing.

The proposed regulations for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing include threshold levels for about 25 commonly used therapeutic medications. The proposed rules were on the agenda for the March 5 IHRC meeting but action was postponed.

According to an information packet for the April 30 meeting, the IHRC will not address the multiple medication violation component of the National Uniform Medication Program. It was part of the packet for the March 5 meeting.

IHRC staff, however, in a brief memo said it recommends passage of the Association of Racing Commissioners International Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule and the MMV penalty system.

In written testimony submitted to the IHRC during a public comment period, Indiana Breeder & Protection Inc. questioned various aspects of the proposed rules and said in some instances they aren't the same as the RCI model rules. IBOP, a watchdog group, had suggested the MMV penalty system rules not be adopted on an emergency basis and instead go through the regular rule-making process in Indiana.

IBOP also questioned language regarding test samples. It claims the proposed rules are different than those in state statute, and that horsemen could be prosecuted despite clean blood or urine samples because of the way the rule is written.

The Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association said it supports the proposed drug rules, while the Indiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association outlined its concerns in written testimony.

The Indiana Standardbred Association, meanwhile, said it opposes adoption of the rules on an emergency basis because they could cause a hardship for horsemen. The ISA, like groups in other states, believes certain rules should be different for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing.

The United States Trotting Association also weighed in on the Indiana rules in opposition to the proposed 14-day withdrawal period for the bronchodilator clenbuterol in harness horses. That rule would be the same for all three breeds that race in Indiana.

The live harness meet at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino got under way in late March. The live meet at Indiana Grand Race Course, formerly known as Indiana Downs, is scheduled to begin May 6.