Thoroughbred Horse

New York horsemen present Medication Reform Policy

Cross-posted from the Blood-Horse


Thoroughbred Horse
Thoroughbred Horse

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association April 13 announced a plan to reform medication policies in Thoroughbred racing. The five-point proposal, first presented last year, is designed to address many of the issues that have recently brought criticism to the sport.

“While we are hoping for industry-wide support for our proposal, our first obligation is to New York, and we believe the initiative should start here,” said NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr. “These exact points were presented to several industry organizations and leaders last year, only to fall on mostly deaf ears. This is the time to get on the bus, or move out of the way.”

New York is currently in compliance with one of the five points; the goal is that the plan will become a blueprint for medication policies in racing jurisdictions nationwide.

The five points of the plan are:

1) A threshold of 2mcg of Bute (phenylbutazone) in post-race testing for all runners, not just graded stakes horses. Currently, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board rule mandates a 48-hour withdrawal for Bute for all horses.

2) No adjunct raceday medication allowed. Adjunct medications are used in some jurisdictions to prevent Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage. They are not allowed in New York.

3) A 15-day withdrawal for Depo-Medrol (methylprednisolone acetate), and a four-day withdrawal for other corticosteroids.

4) A seven-day withdrawal for clenbuterol. The current withdrawal period in New York is four days.

5) Third-party administrators for race day Lasix, also [k]nown as Salix. Lasix will be administered by veterinarians hired by either the racetrack or the state. That is the current NYRA policy, but would become a state regulation.

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1 thought on “New York horsemen present Medication Reform Policy”

  1. It seems lately there have been a lot of movements from a variety of organizations to address the drug issues in racing here in North America. I find this encouraging and hope it will lead to some much needed reform. I also hope that it is in response to those in the racing world across the globe who have expressed unbalance in the industry in regard to racing ethics (i.e race day drugs) and venues (i.e. speed versis soundness and endurance).

    Perhaps the NA racing circuit has realised that without conforming to global standards Thoroughbred racing is without doubt on it’s way out. The public will simply not accept the disproportionate breakdowns and slaughter that occur here compared to other more forgiving nations. As much as cruelty exists everywhere, NA seems to be the “black sheep”.


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