NM Stewards ban racehorse trainer for 16 years for Viagra positives

by JANE ALLIN

The Paulick Report states:

John Stinebaugh. Image from Stallionesearch.com.
John Stinebaugh. Image from Stallionesearch.com.

Quarter horse trainer John Stinebaugh has been suspended 16 years and fined $40,000 after four horses in his care tested positive for Sildenafil, the active ingredient in the human erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. The horses were competing in Rainbow Futurity and Rainbow Derby Trials at Ruidoso Downs last July 5 and 6.

Seldenafil is a Class 3 drug that carries a Class A penalty – the most severe penalty category – under drug classification guidelines published by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Viagra is not approved by the FDA for use in horses. The drug increases cardiac output and can be performance enhancing.

Viagra for horses? What’s next in this drug-ridden industry of charlatans?

Anecdotal information has it that Viagra doesn’t have the erectile effect on horses — fortunately and for obvious reasons.

Sildenafil Citrate, a powerful vasodilator, is marketed under the trade names Viagra and Revatio, the differences between the two being mostly superficial. In effect, the drug works by relaxing smooth muscle in blood vessels throughout the body resulting in increased blood flow. While Viagra’s use is relegated to the bedroom, Revatio is used to improve symptoms of PAH or pulmonary arterial hypertension – high blood pressure in the vessels carrying blood to the lungs.

Sound familiar?

Yet another performance enhancing drug used in an attempt to manage EIPH (exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage). Do they really need any more drugs to “treat” this? As it is, the regulations are far too lax in North America when it comes to the use of therapeutics for this very purpose.

Lasix is a diuretic that draws the water away from the lungs and keeps the blood pressure from getting too high. This prevents gaps in the vessels and the blood from getting into the lungs. It also considered a performance enhancer throughout the world, just not here in North America.

Clenbuterol — a β2 antagonist — is a smooth muscle relaxant (bronchodilator, vasodilator) widely abused in the racing industry. While it is intended for respiratory problems it is regularly used to build muscle by mimicking anabolic steroids even when administered in therapeutic doses.

The myriad drugs, legal or otherwise, administered to NA horses is frightening. Trainers desperate to win, meting out drugs — any drugs -– that they believe will make their horses run faster or force them to race on compromised limbs, the pain masked by yet more drugs. Without a care they continue unaware, or more likely callously unconcerned, about drug interactions and the deleterious effects that repeated use of these drugs will have on the horse.

Is it any wonder why their careers are short-lived? Either they breakdown on the track and are euthanized or hauled off to slaughter when they are no longer turning a profit.

Among sportsmen are the noble, the diligent and the caring, as there are the callous, the cheats and the criminals. ~ Harsha Bhogle

Isn’t it time that horse racing purged itself of the latter?

10 thoughts on “NM Stewards ban racehorse trainer for 16 years for Viagra positives”

  1. Your article on nurse mares was a wonderful piece of fiction. Your portrayal of nurse mares in the thoroughbred industry and the thoroughbred breeders for that matter is complete garbage. You twisted numbers that had no relevance to your point and coupled them with more misinformation. At least the article above is somewhat accurate when referencing lasix and clenbuterol, but not entirely.

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  2. I’ll bet this guy has been dosing this horse with this drug all the time he’s been training her. The quarter horse owners and breeders are no different than the TB trainers and owners its all about the money and nothing else. The horses take a back seat to the winnings as the owner or trainer can always find another horse if the first one drops dead.

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    1. Actually, John hasn’t and doesn’t. The “trace” element found that tested positive was part of therapeutic treatment and was administered by a well known vet clinic. John was not aware that chemical was in the treatment. The vet clinic took full responsibility. This is a witch hunt.

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      1. Probably because NM is the dirtiest Racing State in the Nation. Our own Kentucky Derby winner Owner of Mine That Bird , Leonard Blach, DM , is all for disposing of horses for human consumption. he testified about the inocuence of Drugs in horsemeat. The planned Horse-killing facility is right over the fence from his 80 stall mare barn. Welcome to New Mexico!

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    1. So what? This has nothing to do with the drug test. PJ Chick in Black was also run successfully with another trainer. Maybe the horse can really run!

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