AAEP Plans Medication Summit

A wide-ranging group of industry representatives will take part in the Racehourse Medication Summit during the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's Annual Symposium on Racing. The medication summit, sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), is planned for Dec. 4.

In addition to the AAEP, participating organizations include: American Quarter Horse Association; Association of Racing Commissioners International; Harness Tracks of America; National Horsemens Benevolent and Protective Association; The Jockey Club; The Jockeys' Guild; National Thoroughbred Racing Association; North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association; Thoroughbred Horsemens Association; Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; United States Trotting Association; and the United Thoroughbred Trainers Association.

To ensure a broad range of perspectives, trainers John Kimmel, Richard Mandella, and John Ward; racetrack practitioners Drs. Tom Brokken and Milton McClure; Ed Halpern, California Thoroughbred Trainers Association; regulatory veterinarian Dr. Ron Jensen; Terry Meyocks, New York Racing Association; chemist Dr. Rick Sams; David Switzer, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association; John Van DeKamp, Thoroughbred Owners of California; and Alex Waldrop, Churchill Downs also were invited to participate.

"By bringing the industry together for the first time specifically to discuss racehorse medication, the Summit will further the work individual groups have undertaken to address this issue," said Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. "Racehorse medication is not just a veterinary issue, but one that affects all of horse racing. Resolving it requires the work of the entire industry, not just one or two groups working alone."

The Summit will focus on the administration of therapeutic medications, providing invited participants an opportunity to discuss the standards and policies the industry should follow for the use of medication in racing.

An introductory segment devoted to the science, efficacy and pharmacology of certain medications used in racehorses is also planned during the summit. This segment will be open to anyone that wants to attend. Invited Summit participants can take part in a professionally facilitated discussion on the need for uniform medication guidelines and specific policy elements, including the delineation of pharmacologically insignificant medication levels and environmental contaminants.

A public briefing on the morning of Dec. 5 will be held to provide an overview of next steps by the group.