Ludt New BC Chair; Support for Medication Ban

Tom Ludt is new chair of Breeders' Cup, which supports a race-day medication ban.

The Breeders’ Cup board of directors, with Tom Ludt as its new chairman, will form a sub-committee to develop a plan to eliminate use of race-day medication—Salix and other anti-bleeding drugs commonly used in racehorses—in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Ludt, president of Vinery Ltd. and a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, replaces Bill Farish, who stepped down April 14 after serving for five years. Ludt, a Breeders’ Cup director since 2009, will serve as chairman for two years, while Farish will remain on the board of directors, the organization said.

“Being elected chairman of Breeders’ Cup is both a great honor and significant responsibility," Ludt said. “I believe the innovations of the last few years, including our expansion to two days and 14 races and our continued focus on the international aspects of our competition, will serve Breeders’ Cup well as we strive to find new ways to strengthen the organization and our game as a whole.”

Said Farish of Lane’s End Farm: “I have enjoyed my five years as chairman overseeing a period of remarkable growth and expansion of the Breeders’ Cup program on a global scale. It has been a privilege to serve our nominators, whose continued funding and support has been invaluable to our organization and our industry.”

Examination of race-day medication is in support of a recent call by the Association of Racing Commissioners International to phase out use of race-day drugs. Breeders’ Cup, which uses its own policies and those of each host state, said it plans a “timetable for elimination” of race-day medication.

The board also extended the provision of the $400 nomination discount for North American nominators. North American foals by Breeders’ Cup-nominated stallions may be nominated online at the discounted price until midnight Aug. 1. The nomination price will be $500 per foal from Aug. 1-Oct. 15 and $1,500 for late nominations, which will conclude Dec. 15.

Breeders' Cup has hired a search firm to seek candidates for the position of president and chief executive officer, a position vacated by Greg Avioli in early April. The process is ongoing.