Casner: US racing ‘out of step’ on medication

Cross-posted from the Paulick Report

Written by RAY PAULICK

Bill Casner has been around the racetrack a long time, as an exercise rider, a trainer, and more recently as co-owner and co-breeder of a Dubai World Cup and a Kentucky Derby winner. He’s seen the rising tide of permissive therapeutic medications, and the problems he believes they have created for the sport and business of Thoroughbred racing and breeding.

“It is time to ‘just say no,'” Casner wrote in an editorial published this week by Thoroughbred Times.

Casner, who sold his interest in WinStar Farm last year, is the latest Thoroughbred owner and breeder to endorse the phase-out of all race-day medications, a recommendation made by the outgoing and incoming chairmen of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

He argues that the use of anti-bleeder medication furosemide has caused horses to race less frequently because of its dehydrating effect as a diuretic. Another consequence, he said, is the “toll it takes on bone with its increase in renal calcium excretion,” citing a 2006 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

“The science speaks for itself,” Casner wrote, “yet the naysayers will tell you that administering ‘therapeutic’ racing medications is the ‘humane’ thing to do. Salix and Bute are putting a metabolic insult on our horses that is unacceptable.

“We are an addicted industry. We are addicted to our drugs and medications and have deluded ourselves into thinking that we are doing the right thing for the horse.

“Science tells us different.” Read full post >>

Jane Allin is analyzing the use of drugs in horse racing. The first four parts of her series can be read on our website.

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