Anne M. Eberhardt

Model Rule on Salix Administration Adopted

The rule prevents private veterinarians from administering the drug on race day.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International Model Rules Committee has adopted protocol that prohibits private veterinarians from administering furosemide on race day.

The RCI committee, which met Dec. 8 in Tucson, Ariz., also adopted a model rule urging all racing officials to report “any perceived issues” with a horse that could impact the running of a race.

The model rule on the tightening of the administration of furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix, has been in the works for the better part of this year. It was recommended by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, a group of about 25 stakeholders.

“This change is designed to restrict private veterinarians from administering any medication to a horse on race day,” RCI president Ed Martin said.

The rule must now be adopted by regulators in each racing jurisdiction.

The RCI board of directors, during its meeting Dec. 9, reiterated its opposition to race-day use of adjunct bleeder medications, which are used in about six states. The board believes the only therapeutic treatment that should be allowed on race day is furosemide under strictly regulated terms.

The RCI Model Rules Committee also adopted changes that clarify the Jockey Scale of Weights to allow for more flexibility of the rules when 3-year-olds compete against older horses. Also adopted were rules that require more disclosure of ontrack jockey insurance policies.

Representatives from 18 North American racing jurisdictions were in attendance at the meetings, as were industry groups such as the Jockeys’ Guild, National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, American Quarter Horse Association, United States Trotting Association, and several racing associations.