RMTC Approves Thresholds, Withdrawal Times

RMTC chairman says it could help veterinarians and trainers avoid rule violations.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium board of directors has approved thresholds and withdrawal guidelines for six medications that have been identified by the American Association of Equine Practitioners as having therapeutic purposes.

The thresholds and withdrawal guidelines, based upon scientific research conducted by laboratories associated with the RMTC and recommended by RMTC's scientific advisory committee, were approved at the Nov. 13 board meeting in Louisville, Ky.

The thresholds and withdrawal guidelines apply to acepromazine, butorphanol, clenbuterol, dantrolene, detomidine, and mepivacaine.

"We have eagerly anticipated the conclusion of these administration studies and applaud the work of the University of California-Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory in providing research on the majority of medications we addressed today," RMTC chairman Dr. Robert Lewis said in a press release. "This should help veterinarians and trainers avoid rule violations." 

"The recommendations will provide veterinarians, trainers and owners useful guidelines when developing therapeutic medication plans for horses in training," Dr. Rick Arthur, chair of the scientific advisory committee and equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, said in a statement. "With the completion of these administration studies, the RMTC can now move forward with its imperative initiative to focus on the detection of prohibited drugs."

Dr. Dionne Benson, RMTC executive director and COO, reported that the drug testing initiatives committee is in the process of reviewing RMTC laboratory accreditation applications from three laboratoriesThe University of California-Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Laboratory, and HFL Laboratory-Kentucky.

"The goal of the RMTC accreditation process and Quality Assurance Program is to ensure that all laboratories are operating at the same high level of proficiency," said Benson. "We hope to complete the accreditation process for these laboratories in early 2013, and we continue to encourage other laboratories to apply for accreditation."

The RMTC also announced a Corticosteroid Experts Conference for researchers and veterinarians will be held Nov. 30, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif.

"Corticosteroids are an important issue in horse racing in the United States," said Benson. "The RMTC arranged this meeting to bring together experts from all aspects of equine health and welfare with the goal of providing a comprehensive plan for regulating corticosteroid use in horse racing."

The RMTC also said the board agreed to review a request from Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, for the group to support RCI's efforts to streamline medication rules. The RMTC will provide RCI with a response to Martin's request prior to the next meeting of RCI's model rules committee.

Additionally, the board formed a group to assist the RCI in developing a simplified and updated set of penalty guidelines.