Syringe. Horse. Image by Anne Eberhard.

Racing: New KY medication rules


With new equine medication rules expected to go into effect the evening of Aug. 25, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has been working to get the word out about the expected new policies.

KHRC equine medical director Bruce Howard said he has reached out to Kentucky horsemen and vets, as well as horsemen in other states, to inform them that the changes adopted earlier this year will likely be fully adopted Aug. 25—putting them in play for the state’s next scheduled race date of Aug. 28 at Ellis Park. The Licensing and Occupations Committee of the Kentucky General Assembly has the adoption of the rule changes approved earlier this year by the KHRC on its Aug. 25 agenda.

[C]hanges include:

  • The aforementioned extended withdrawal time for the administration of corticosteroids from seven to 14 days pre-race.
  • A ban on the use of furosemide, commonly marketed as Lasix, on race day for 2-year-olds. Next year that ban would apply for horses entered in stakes races.
  • A requirement of 14 days of a horse’s medical records at the time of entry, including a clear and accurate record of any treatment administered.
  • Extension of the withdrawal time for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs from 24 to 48 hours pre-race.
  • Elimination of the use of bisphosphonates in racing and in horses younger than 4 years old.
  • A requirement of an examination by a racetrack veterinarian prior (or that day) of a horse to being entered in a race to improve equine safety and add extra scrutiny of a horse’s condition.

Under the anticipated new rules, Howard also noted that race-day therapies will be restricted to nebulizers. Spas, cryotherapies, and magnet wave treatments will be prohibited.

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Featured Image: Anne Eberhard

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