Close up of horse's nose. Image Paul McRae.

Blood will spurt from horse’s noses if you ban Lasix they cry in Kentucky

Close up of horse's nose.  Image Paul McRae.

I read some of the statements people in the American horse racing industry make and seriously wonder if there are any sane, rational individuals left among them.

ROGER ALFORD writing for the Associated Press reports:

    FRANKFORT, Ky. — Thoroughbred owners and trainers voiced dire warnings Tuesday about the potential of blood spurting from horses’ noses if the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission institutes a race-day ban on the anti-bleeding drug furosemide.

    Several veterinarians voiced similar warnings in urging the racing panel not to impose a ban that they said would endanger not just horses but also jockeys who could be hurt if the animals suffer pulmonary hemorrhages and collapse during races.

    “What will the public perception be when horses pull up in front of the grandstand with blood running out of their nostrils, down their chests and legs and the jockeys’ silks covered in blood? This will make the betting public sick to their stomachs,” horse owner Billy Ashabraner said.

    The worries were aired during a public hearing of the racing commission held in Frankfort on Tuesday, a week ahead of a June 13 meeting in which the panel will consider a proposal to phase out the use of the anti-bleeding drug on certain race days.

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How is it that in almost every racing jurisdiction around the world, Lasix is banned and they don’t have this problem? Because “chemical horses produce chemical babies” and the US racing industry has ruined the breed? Small wonder other countries are shying away from buying US Thoroughbreds. Of course that is only the beginning of the deeply layered problems of horse racing American style.

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5 thoughts on “Blood will spurt from horse’s noses if you ban Lasix they cry in Kentucky”

  1. Drugs or no drugs, horse racing any style, any where in the world is an injustice to horses and the whole business should be abolished, as with dog racing. Call me a horse racing abolitionist. Horses die on racetracks around the world everyday, there is an excess of horses created by horse racing everywhere, with many sent to slaughter, and there are the intensely controlled living conditions for racehorses everywhere, to name just a few of the problems.

    We should be serving horses, not racing them in a multi-billion dollar gambling industry. “Ask not what horses can do for you; ask what you can do for horses.”


  2. This is absolutely ludicrous.

    What about Curlin in the Dubai World Cup for example and other horses who race outside of North America who have not exhibited this phenomenon? They were not permitted Lasix during those races. And of course, as you mention, all of the other horses around the globe that race without it.

    In both thoroughbred or standardbred racehorses, about 90% bleed to varying degrees in the lungs, but only 2% show blood at the nostrils (epistaxis)..This is normal given the dramatic increase in pulmonary (lung) artery blood pressures during exercise at maximal speed and effort, occurs primarily during the last portion of the race and is transient in nature.

    Any horse who shows evidence of bleeding from the nose should simply not be racing.

    On the other hand, I agree about the “chemical horses producing chemical babies”. Perhaps the genetics of the North American racehorse have been irreparably altered.

    This is reverse manipulation at its worst. Using the welfare of the horse to promote performance enhancing drugs.


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