On behalf of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and The Jockey Club, we found it disappointing that individual members of the Kentucky HBPA and racetrack veterinarians, fearful of any changes in the use of the race-day drug Lasix, are attempting to hold hostage new Kentucky racing rules designed to promote the health, welfare and safety of the Thoroughbred racehorse. We refer to yesterday’s decision by the Kentucky Interim Committee of License and Occupations to reject regulations designed to: (1) eliminate the use of non-FDA approved adjunct bleeder medications, (2) reduce the allowable use of the painkiller Bute, and (3) mandate that Lasix be only administered by regulatory veterinarians.
All of these changes have been approved by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium to improve the health and safety of the horse and the integrity of the sport. The RMTC represents 25 industry stakeholders including veterinarians, regulatory agencies, and horsemen associations. In addition to Thoroughbred interests, the RMTC has representatives from American Quarter Horse, Standardbred, and Arabian racing.
Some or all of the regulations are already on the books in many other states and had been supported by a wide spectrum of the industry, including those in most major racing states (listed below)*.
As other states move forward with regulatory reform to improve the safety and integrity of the sport, it is troubling to see elements of racing in Kentucky act in a manner that is so inconsistent with its stated objectives to support clean and safe horseracing.
We support the regulatory amendments proposed and approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. We urge the members of the political committee(s) responsible for yesterday’s decisions to reconsider and approve the proposed amendments to regulations as designed to protect the racehorse.
*States that have acted to prohibit the use of adjunct bleeder medications:
Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington (recently proposed in West Virginia)
*States which limited the administration of furosemide to regulatory veterinarians:
Delaware, New York, Minnesota (recently proposed in California)
*States that have approved a lower level on Bute:
In all races: California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, (recently proposed in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota and West Virginia)
In Graded and Listed Stakes: Arkansas, Illinois, West Virginia
In Graded Stakes only: Louisiana, Washington
Dan Metzger, President, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
Jim Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Jockey Club