Kentucky Horse Racing Authority Approves New Medication Rules

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority voted unanimously Aug. 15 to implement stiff medication rules and penalties that closely parallel rules adopted by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

The rules, which break down into three drug classifications provide for salix and two adjunct bleeder medications as the only medications permitted on race day.

The rules also provide that one of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be administered within 24 hours of race day. The three include Phenylbutazone, banamine, and ketoprofen.

"These changes not only advance the integrity of racing in Kentucky, but also protect the health of the horse and the safety of the rider," said Connie Whitfield, vice chairman of the KHRA and chairman of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council.

The regulation includes specific drug classification schedules with penalties in line with the severity of the drugs that were administered when positives were found. The three classifications are: drugs that have no legitimate use in horse; drugs that have a legitimate use but have high potential to influence performance; and therapeutic medications with low potential to influence performance.

The rules will be sent to Gov. Ernie Fletcher with recommendations that they be enacted as an emergency regulation, said KHRA chairman Bill Street.

"I think this is the right thing for this state," Street said.

Once the regulations are in place under the emergency provision public hearings will be held before regulations become permanent rules.

Marty Maline, executive director Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, told the authority that his organization would prefer that hearings be held on penalty phases of the medication rule before it's even put into effect as emergency regulation.

In other business, Jim Gallagher, executive director of the KHRA, introduced retired jockey Patti Cooksey as the authority's new deputy executive director. Gallagher said Cooksey's appointment is part of Fletcher's mandate to the authority to promote the horse industry in addition to regulating it.