KTA Board Opposes Kentucky Medication Policy

The board of directors of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association has formally stated its "dissatisfaction" with current medication policies in the Bluegrass State.

The board, in an open letter released May 15, also said it doesn't agree with the results of a recent survey of Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association members. The survey revealed that 90% of respondents support Kentucky's current medication rules, though other groups, including the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, have questioned the survey's methodology.

The KTA, which like the Kentucky HBPA negotiates horsemen's contracts in the state, supports the ongoing push for uniformity in medication and drug-testing. The letter was signed by 29 directors and 20 other individuals, including TOBA chairman Gary Biszantz, Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach, and Woodbine Entertainment chief David Willmot.

"Our desire to effect change in these rules and our further desire to attempt consensus and cooperation with the emerging proposal of a uniform national medication policy, based on scientific data, would clearly differ from Kentucky's current policy," the KTA letter says. "We strongly believe these changes to be in the best interest of our horses and the integrity of racing in Kentucky."

In Kentucky, use of multiple therapeutic medications is permitted on race days. The American Association of Equine Practitioners, which got the uniformity push rolling with a proposed policy and the first Racehorse Medication Summit, advocates use of only furosemide (Salix) on race days.