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.
In a memo, Alan Foreman, chairman of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, which has an affiliate in Maryland, said the booklet was distributed at all racetracks in the state, will be mailed to Maryland licensees, and is available at the Maryland Racing Commission and Maryland THA websites. He said the booklet will be made available to racing offices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The medication guidelines booklet was compiled by Foreman, Maryland THA executive director David Richardson, and Dr. Dionne Benson, executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium "to give horsemen and veterinarians the guidance necessary to ensure compliance with the reforms," Foreman said.
Foreman said Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia should have the uniform regulations and testing standards in place in time for their live racing seasons in 2014. In West Virginia, the racing commission has approved the document but is awaiting legislative approval, which should come in early 2014.
In Maryland, Laurel Park begins its winter/spring meet Jan. 1.
"As the rest of the states in the Mid-Atlantic complete adoption and rollout of the new reforms, we will be preparing a similar booklet for the entire region that will be similar but also contain information specific to each racetrack" on third-party, race-day administration of the anti-bleeding drug furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix, Foreman said.
The Maryland booklet lists 24 therapeutic medications with their withdrawal times and threshold levels. It also notes that the bronchodilator clenbuterol can't be administered within 14 days of a race, and no intra-articular corticosteroids can be administered to a horse within seven days of a race.
The MRC opted to adopt the uniform rules for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing. Harness racing begins at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland in mid-March.