NY May Demand Horses' Complete Vet Records

New York may demand complete medication records for all racehorses.

State racing regulators in New York, seeking additional and timely information about medications given to racehorses, are eyeing a major crackdown on recordkeeping practices by Thoroughbred owners and trainers.

In what one official said could result in a considerable change for some in the industry, strict sanctions could be levied against trainers and owners who are not able to immediately produce a detailed record of a horse’s veterinary record, including date, time, and place of every medication administered, going back 45 days before a race.

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board is quietly circulating a “concept” to industry officials involving what could become a New York state rule affecting all trainers and owners involved in racing.

The plan, not posted on the agency’s Web site, would require every owner and trainer of a horse “on the grounds or that has within the prior 60 days entered to race at a racetrack” have “continuously available” a horse’s veterinary record for every drug administered to the horse during the previous 45 days.

If asked by a racing board official, the trainer or owner must be able to produce a record showing what drugs or medication was administered, along with the dosage, how it was administered, who did it, and where it was administered. Penalties would be imposed against those unable to “immediately” produce the requested documents, which must include a “contemporaneous record” of all veterinary procedures on a horse.

The “dear industry participant” letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Blood-Horse, states that those failing to produce such a record could result in a scratch, disqualification, “and/or listing as ineligible of a horse and in penalties against the owner, trainer and/or veterinarian, including a fine and suspension or revocation of the occupational license.”

The letter does not say when the rule, if adopted, would go into effect. It was sent to an unknown number of industry officials July 27, and asks for comments by Aug. 14.

One source close to the industry said it could result in a recordkeeping nightmare for some owners and trainers, especially the smaller-scale operations.

But NYSRWB chairman John D. Sabini, in a written statement issued Aug. 7, said: “If we succeed in getting this rule on the books, I am convinced it will bring about much greater transparency and accountability in the sport, promote integrity, and help fortify the confidence of the betting public that this is an industry that cares about the health and well-being of our equine athletes.”