Medication reform stymied by Kentucky vote, HBPA

by | 08.28.2012 | 10:59am
Lasix (Furosemide, Salix)

Much can be said – none of it good – about Monday's shocking vote by the Kentucky legislature's Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations meeting, when new medication rules recently adopted by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission were rejected.

I doubt legislators had any idea the ramifications their vote would have and were led astray by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Democratic Rep. Larry “HBPA Man of the Year” Clark.

The vote to reject the new rules was a landslide 19-1, with Republican Sen. Damon Thayer the only one with the foresight to support them.

The rejection of the proposed rules – which have been a year in development in a very public and transparent process – was not just a blow to the horses who race in Kentucky, but against a national movement to reform medication rules on a state-by-state basis. This movement has had widespread support from horseman's organizations, veterinarians, and other industry groups. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear can and should override the vote with an executive order, but the legislature has the opportunity take another vote next year.

This was NOT about whether Lasix, the drug used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, should be banned. It was a vote to support national model rules developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium that would 1) require third-party administration of Lasix on race-day; 2) eliminate the use of adjunct bleeder medication on race-day; and 3) reduce the permitted levels of the phenylbutazone, or Bute, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

The RMTC's membership includes the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, National HBPA, Racing Commissioners International,  Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, among others.

Why did RMTC adopt these three specific model rules?

First, from a security standpoint, keeping private equine practitioners out of a horse's stall on race-day eliminates the temptation or opportunity to administer drugs that are not permitted.

Second, adjunct bleeder medications do not reduce or prevent bleeding (and have potential negative impact on horses), according to a peer-reviewed scientific study funded by the AAEP and conducted by researchers at Kansas State University and published in Cambridge University Press.

Third, reducing the permitted levels of Bute lowers the chances that a lame or unsound horse will pass the pre-race physical inspection conducted by a commission veterinarian.

Why, then, did HBPA oppose the measures that many other racing states already have adopted? Based on the comments of Rick Hiles, the Kentucky HBPA's president, this was a shot across the bow in retaliation for the recent vote by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to phase out the race-day use of Lasix in stakes, beginning in 2014 with 2-year-olds.

“I don't think they're going to get it to go anywhere,” Hiles told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “If we got this stopped today, the Lasix issue ban is probably dead.”

Well done, Mr. President. You have shown great leadership in sending out signals to the public that Kentucky wants to continue permitting private veterinarians into the stalls of horses on raceday, allowing them to give adjunct bleeder medications (and who knows what else) that do not reduce bleeding, and extend the practice of potentially masking lameness with higher than needed levels of an anti-inflammatory drug.

Owners in Kentucky who support medication reform have no one to blame but themselves. They have sat back and allowed the leadership of their horsemen's representative organization to hijack the medication issue and take it in the wrong direction.

UPDATE: Rick Hiles, president of the Kentucky HBPA, emailed the following statement.

“The vote taken August 27th by the Kentucky Licensing and Occupation Committee was neither about clean racing or dirty racing, but instead was about the health and welfare of our horses. Kentucky's medication policies are set by scientific studies, veterinarian reports, research scientists, and pharmacological studies. To change them because a small group of people thinks its right, who in most cases don't even own a horse, doesn't make any more sense than if we tried to change human medicine practices set by doctors. I don't think the public is crying out to stop the use of adjunct bleeder medication in hospitals on patients that are hemorrhaging and for 1 member of a by-partisan 24 member committee to think he is right and the other 23 are wrong, well maybe he needs to educate himself on what he is talking about.”

  • Drfenger

    Okay Ray, as we discussed last night, this issue is not a “clean racing” vs “dirty racing” issue. It is about therapeutic medication being used in an appropriate manner. As written, the proposed regulation would result in 5% of horses administered Bute in the recommended manner having a violation. That would be like having 1 in 20 cars going 55 mph in a 55 mph zone getting a ticket for speeding. If you don’t understand how that is wrong, then I cannot explain it any more clearly.

  • RayPaulick

    States that have adopted this same rule (California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia) are not experiencing a 5% rate of Bute overages in testing. 

    I can’t drive 55.

  • Cubs Stink

     Ask any veterinarian how giving 5 mcg of bute compared to 2mcg of Bute can affect their ability to determine soundness the morning of a race.  You will find that a sore horse with 5mcg of Bute can jog a lot sounder than a horse with 2 mcg.

  • Thelibrarian

    Most of the operations out there today can’t keep them sound & running more than an avg. of 4 starts per horse/year WITH all the meds. Does anyone REALLY believe they want to try it without them? THEY DON’T!

  • Stanley inman

    The president of the Kentucky HBPA said,
    “…if we got this stopped today,
    the lasix issue ban is probably dead”
    Ric ,
    thank you for boasting about a future
    where drugging horses on raceday will still be permitted.
    You are aiding our cause in a substantial way;
    Driving the uninformed and the indifferent into the debate as they
    Witness your actions as obstructionist to the movement ending drugs on raceday and
    At the same time
    Hear our claims for clean racing.
    Ric, over 600 sporting associations thru out the world believe
    No drugs and sport.
    So the public ultimately will decide;
    With the six hundred
    Or with you and the Kentucky HBPA.

  • Lou Baranello

    Ray, You have it right again!  The Kentucky HBPA wants to be sure the foxes have carte-blanche in the hen houses. 

  • Stanley inman

    I don’t think you see
    where we are coming from.

    Your comments reflect the “business of racing;”
    We are talking about
    the horse and sport.
    Two very different topics.
    I don’t want to talk about the business of racing;
    I’m focused on the horse and sport.
    Trainers and
    all those living on the horse
    Are down the line,
    Making the noise about not changing.

  • Pluckedduck1

    Txs to PR for free discussion–I am sorry to find it a bit disengenous to keep mixing these issues. Honesty on the issue of lasix related to horse health requires scientific study instead of  nonsense “research” on the “Clean” horse racing website.

    Almost all that handle horses already agree on bute and the other issues, and almost all disagree with the above stated position on lasix. The RMTC model rules (that i support sans lasix) piggy backs unrelated critical issues.  Such lack of integrity and lack of honesty of method  in the lasix debate does disservice to the horse and the sport and deserves the 19-1 nay vote it got imo.  Congrats to KY legislature.

  • Caroline

    Dear Dog. If nothing else, please check your grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension of basic sentence structure before issuing an email statement justifying your position by claiming your policies are set by research scientists (some of whom actually own a horse or two AND can correctly construct a sentence).   

  • Lisa Wintermote

    I’m for clean racing BUT I wouldn’t support this as written. It’s way too “big brother-ish” for me. You can’t legislate morality. You can’t prevent doping either. What you can do is legislate UNIFORM rules/regulations/penalties in horse racing.
    Wagering crosses state (and international) lines and so too should rules, medication policies, and licenses. The penalties for doping need to outweigh the rewards. The fines and suspensions should be punitive enough to deter doping.
    Streamline or eliminate the appeals process to stop trainers from continuing to train after a violation. SUSPEND any horse with a positive drug test for the same amount of time as the trainer…etc…
    When you start trying to mandate what vet administers meds or who can enter the stall, that’s where my support stops.
    I have nothing to hide but I’m American enough to resent the thought of being “watched”. Punish people who cheat severely but you can only go so far to prevent it.

  • FEDavidson

    One more example of the ineptitude of our elected officials and clarity as to the HBPA’s inability to see the forest through the trees.  With the short-term goal of representing its constituency, the HBPA is missing the bigger picture that includes a reality of an ever-shrinking constituency to the point where the HBPA and racing may become obsolete.

    The ineptitude of both elected officials, and others appointed by them, places in great jeopardy any chance of realizing the implementation of meaningful uniform medication rules and the enforcement thereof.  While I loathe the government’s involvement in regulating any industry, when an industry is as broken as the horse racing industry, it’s time to look at systemic alternatives.  Permitting the fox to continue its rule over the hen house is not the answer.  My answer:  recruit Rudy Giuliani as a National Racing Commissioner with jurisdiction over all 50 states; impose uniform rules which transcend the states’ borders; and, let him use his prosecutorial and mayoral experience in cleaning up a broken industry.

  • McGov

    I’d like to know exactly what the “therapeutic” mechanisms of bute are.  That would be like taking aspirin and calling it “therapeutic”.  You want to recommend therapies, how about hydro-therapy?  But that might take a month and actually allow the problem to heal.  Less money for vets today and tomorrow.  Instead, lets follow the collective wisdom of our great, educated leaders that must be right because they’re “doctors” or they are in the “majority”.
    It’s so incredibly simple to demonstrate the powers of bute…somebody needs to put this in visual form for the masses…a little before and after will do it in a hurry.

  • Barry Irwin

    Atta boy Stan.

  • Barry Irwin

    Maybe the Cubs do stink but you don’t.

  • Concerned observer

    The HBPA is the union of the trainers and vets. It’s focus is now on protecting the status quo. Vets whould not be allowed to be on HBPA boards.

    History has proven the worth of unions, but it  has also shown that they will carry on mindlessly, on until they kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

    Examples…. the UAW, UMW, AFL-CIO, is the NEA next?

  • Dr Cathy Todd

    I wonder if people are giving any thought as to why there has not been a triple crown winner in many years….all you need to do is look at a large brown horse who flew at the derby and the preakness and could barely walk at the belmont…..kentucky, drugs were ok, maryland, drugs were ok, new york—not OK! lasix is a diuretic! the horse can lose about 20 pounds on race day be simply peeing–thus giving an advantage to the drugged horse…when I worked (yes, I was/am an equine orthopedic surgeon) at various racetracks in the UK there were plenty of requests by clients to ‘just give him a little something, will you please?’ I never did, did not see the point of enhancing one horse over another….racing should be a level playing field and the administration of any drug is totally unethical.

  • Pluckedduck1

    As veterinarian–are there any reasons for a trainer to attempt avoiding  or preventing EIPH by giving lasix race day?  Would ur opinion be same for dry as opposed to humid low pressure environment?

  • Pluckedduck1

     Well stated!  my Q–which present jurisdiction already fails to have virtually exact rules outlined in this post?  Plucked duck is in favor of model rules, up to the point they become an agenda that has nothing to do with model rules.  Depriving our vets of lasix income is ridiculous imo.

  • RayPaulick

    If vets are getting a significant portion of their income from Lasix shots, they don’t have many clients.

  • Pluckedduck1

     u r a horse in a stall depending on bute to race.  Suddenly they take away ur bute.  U r considering ur future.  Bute should be eliminated imo.  There are some persuasive reasons for its use.  It is a debate.  And, yes, vets make way too much $$$. Perfect sense.

  • McGov

    IMO, the only argument for bute that makes any sense is number of starts.  That’s it.  Are we willing to continue taking great risk with horses for number of starts?  Apparently yes.  It is the business side of horse racing and it is not pretty.

  • Charlie Davis

    Except number of starts has gone down considerably over the years, and is much lower here than it is in other jurisdictions. 

    Looking at the starts per horse stats, if Bute is really helping our horses run more often, then our horses are worse off than I thought.  

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Good point…except…Hansel, Point Given, Afleet Alex who all lost the KY Derby only to win the Preakness, and yes, the Belmont!
    Statistics are a funny thing, they can be twisted, tweaked, and twitched to prove almost any point.

  • McGov

    I think it’s a vicious cycle of using bute and other drugs to promote champions who then sire the next generation of horses needing the same medications to perform through the same or similar problems.  It seems that the problems progress with each generation making the breed weaker and weaker as we allow more and more.  If we stopped altogether with drugs and promoted champions that proved their worth drug free…the problem might work itself out.

  • nu-fan

    People are starting to talk about drugs and horseracing.  That is a step in the right direction.  This irresponsible vote, however, also demonstrates the reason that the federal government needs to step in.  Can’t leave this to state-by-state regulations with the brotherhood of horseracing derelicts running it.  But, it takes the voices of all of us to have any chance of getting these needed changes made.  I urge each of you who believe that these changes for medication reform need to be passed (and implemented) start by emailing Gov. Steve Beshear to let him know that the buck does stop at his desk.  And, if he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to these thugs, it leaves us all to acknowledge that he is a puppet governor.  By the way, you might want to consider getting on the mailing list or even joining WHOA (Water Hay Oats Alliance) at the following website: http://www.waterhayoatsallianc….  In addition, a little bit of good news today came from California in that “The California Horse Racing Board’s Medication and Track Safety
    Committee has endorsed a proposal to have the anti-bleeder medication
    furosemide administered on race days by official veterinarians,
    association veterinarians, or non-practicing third-party veterinarians
    rather than a trainer’s private vet. [Bloodhorse]”  It’s a small step but still a step forward.  Little by little…  I also urge you to contact your own state senators, state horseracing associations and news media to let them know that you expect them to implement changes as well.  Make noise.  Let them know that you are watching them and demanding action.  And, for the rest of you who disagree and come up with this and that:  That’s just muddying the water.  I know it and you know it. 

  • nu-fan

    Caroline:  Shame on you.  You’re trying to get us to get our eye off the ball by nitpicking about grammar and such!  That’s one way to defeat your counterpoint.  Instead of staying on the point, you are countering with insults about unrelated issues. And, you are implying that only horse owners have any say in the integrity of horseracing in this country?  Wow.  Arrogant to boot!  Try listening to other opinions and not “shout” them down with insults.

  • Drfenger

    Actually, my comments are very much about the horse and sport and very little about the business of racing.  Brumbies and mustangs (wild horses) perish at a rate of 10-20% per year (due to all causes) and Thoroughbreds perish at a rate of 2.5% per year (due to all causes).  The difference is modern medicine.  The same reason that the human infant mortality rate in America is considerably lower than that of Sub-Saharan Africa.  We owe the animals in our charge the best health care (aka therapeutic medication) that we can provide.  Therapeutic medication is NOT doping.  Lasix is NOT doping. 4.4 mg/kg (2 g/1000 lb horse) at 24 hours is NOT doping.  Snail venom, cobra venom, etorphine, erythropoeitin…these are doping.  Do not demonize or penalize horsemen for doing the right thing by their horses.  Develop appropriate rules and penalize the 1.5% of the people that actually cheat.  Please separate the two issues.

  • Tinky

    “Lasix is NOT doping.”

    You are simply wrong about that. Rapid weight loss prior to an event IS doping. And it is the reason why virtually every trainer chooses to run every horse on Lasix irrespective of whether or not they are bleeders.

  • nu-fan

    Thank you, Dr. Todd for your input.  I have read comments from various individuals who have worked in the horseracing industry and have seen where many of them as concerned about the misuse (abuse) of drugs in horseracing.  But, to have a veterinarian comment also gives the expert medical view, which has been sorely missing in the media.  Could you try to get some of the other members in your profession to also lend their voices in getting these reforms passed and implemented?  I pulled up websites of a couple of prominent schools of veterinary science here in the U.S. and couldn’t find much of anything having to do with this issue.  Is it too controversial for these schools?  Do these schools receive grants from those connected to horseracing?  Is that why these schools remain mute–at least to the perception of the public?  I would think that they should work together to get these needed reforms to both state and federal government agencies.  Again, thank you for your comments today.

  • nu-fan

    Stan:  I can see where you and I are on the same page.  We differentiate the difference between “sport” and “business”.  I think that sports (pretty much all sports) has become business for some time.   The old adage, money corrupts, says it all.  Horseracing is no longer a sport even though that term is sprinkled in now and then.  It is a business and too many owners watch their bottom line (profit).  They buy a horse for somewhere around $35,00 and sell it for $10 million.  Sure there are lots of expenses but, come on, these owners make a bundle and sell their horse to the highest bidder.  Some say that’s their right since the horse is their property.  But, that’s feeble.  There are groups in our society that once were considered “property” of others.  Today, we find that thought abhorrent.  I wonder if, in the not-too-distant future, members of our society will think of our generation the same way in that we did not do more to safeguard the horses that entertain us.

    But, I cannot believe that all owners, trainers and their connections are gutter-dwellers.  I have to believe that there are honorable ones as well.  I just wish they would make more noise about those “others”.

  • Drfenger

     The science is simply not on your side.

  • PeteyGreen

    All these equine groups are playing the violin while the industry around them is burning. The Thoroughbred business model in Kentucky is hopelessly broken and flawed, leading important end-users like Tommy Simon and Dr. Ira Mersack to pull out. In 10 years, when the business becomes even more fragmented and unstable, professional horsemen will have no one to blame but ourselves. We can’t get our sh#t together enough to agree on anything, from expanded gaming to medications and dozens of other issues in between. No wonder it’s impossible to entice new blood to invest in this game – what sane person would want to wade into this cess pool of constant conflict and discord.

  • nu-fan

    Excellent counterpoint.  Well made.  And, you’ve got it pared down to the basics.  Others may muddy the waters with lots of different scenarios but it does come down to starting with the idea that, perhaps, horses should not be given anything more than water hay and oats on race day.  Then, move on to other uses/misuses/abuses of drugs in horseracing. 

  • Tinky

    Right. That’s why Lasix is considered “performance enhancing” by the Olympics, every other major sporting body, the Mayo Clinic, etc.

    Wait – let me guess: it’s “different” for racehorses.

    Oh, and speaking of science, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of physics understands why a lighter chassis – whether on a race car or racehorse – coupled with the same engine, is a performance advantage. 

  • SteveG

    Mr. Hiles follow-up is anemic. 

    If Kentucky’s overwhelmingly negative (and reactionary) vote was “about the health & welfare of our horses”, the implication is, by default, that national model rules would somehow put horses at risk. 

    It defies logic that the more permissive model being stubbornly upheld by Mr. Hiles in his statement (& the minions who voted for the status quo) is safer for the horse when it’s patently obvious a more conservative, tightly controlled & uniform model serves the horses’ best interests.

    Further, to invoke the tired analogy to human medicine where a grievously ill human is treated aggressively with an array of meds to justify wholesale administration of meds to healthy, racing horses, is simply dumb.


  • nu-fan

    Hi Ray.  You and I exchanged a couple of emails a month or so ago.  I was trying to find out why five horses died, with a 2-week period, at Del Mar at about that time.  You suggested that I contact the state’s horseracing association in Sacramento to see what their investigations yielded on these deaths.  Now, today, there was that passing to not allow trainers’ vets to administer furosemide on race day.  Do you think that, perhaps, my voice was among those others that finally got them to act?  I’d like to think that fans do have the right to voice concerns and that we will be listened to as well as others.  It so, it might encourage others to also make more “noise”.

  • nu-fan

    SteveG: Sometimes, you’ve gotta say it as you sees it.  Well done–and you didn’t mince words.

  • nu-fan

    Lisa, no.  This isn’t big brother at work. It’s a simple matter that the federal government should set standards for the entire country rather than on a state-by-state basis.  That’s why we are named the “United States” of America.  The standards and values that we have need to be applied to all states, not on a pick-a-state-that-fits-your-convenience basis.  I do agree that the punishment for cheating is not nearly tough enough. 

  • Sevencentsstable

    If this is the case, please tell me why Devil His Due was not more successful? He made over a million and only ran on Lasix his very last start, never on bute. I liked the horse when he went to stud, said to myself “Finally! Here we go!” Yet, he has only been moderately successful at best and the Euros and Asians didn’t fall all over themselves for him, either. They seem to prefer our “drugged” horses. Why is that?

  • Sevencentsstable

     I am not sure what to make of the “3rd party” veterinarian scenario. First and foremost it is a lovely ideal to hold up for John Q Public to admire. The reality of it would be quite different, though. In “disallowing” adjunct bleeder medications the rule would merely open the door for the “bravest cheaters” to run their horses on adjuncts and further defraud the bettors, who then would not know which horses were on adjuncts. I cannot see very many of the cash-strapped jurisdictions being able to afford to test for all adjuncts in addition to the serious Class Is and IIs and IIIs they need to test for, and all the therapeutic overages they test for. I cannot see them being able to pay for the security to monitor every horse that is in that day, either. There is a limit to the available monies. Anyone who has had to run out of 4 hr detention barns knows that that is NOT horse-friendly AT ALL – horses often spend most of those 4 hours washing out, or pacing, or otherwise fretting themselves out of a good performance. Not good for bettors who are not privy to the detention barn antics of the runners. Add to all of that scenario the fact that many adjuncts are best administered at 6hrs and the waters muddy even further. I would liken this rule to the whole “gun control debate” – those who are using either drugs or guns for nefarious purposes will continue to do so, while those who play by the rules will be steamrolled.

    I am 100% in favor of “One and You’re Done” on Class 1 violations. I am 100% for stricter penalties, better testing, more immediate suspensions, less appeals, rulings coming down harshly on the repeat violators, and for owners bearing some of the brunt of major or multiple infractions. But I am not sure all the time and money spent on the Great Lasix Debate is worth a tinker’s damn.

    Think I will see if the name LooksGoodOnPaper is available for my yearling…..

  • Arnfull62

    While I have not read one shred of the volumes of research probably out there on the efficacy of adjuncts I WILL say that, from my own experience, I have had great luck with a few adjuncts and would actually prefer to run on them instead of Lasix, if I can. I have seen adjuncts stop not only “tricklers” from bleeding through, but a “gusher” as well. All of those horses I have had WERE given 30-60 days post bleeding to recover before being raced again, but would not have “held” with Lasix alone (and I won’t “up the Lasix”, we stay at 2-3cc and add adjuncts).

  • McGov

    Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe he no like mares?… not that there’s anything wrong with that  ;)

  • Concerned observer

    Well ask any trainer. There are always about 3 or 4 vets sitting in their truck outside the receiving barn at any KY track waiting to administer lasix. That is their primary source of revenue. I won’t name names here, but they are well known to everyone.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Nu-fan, and I suspect you are not “new” at all (though I can’t say for sure as you hide behind a screen name). I stated my support for uniform drug/medication standards. I am also in favor of clean racing. I am NOT in favor of anyone telling me who can treat my horse or have contact with them. I do not need a “police state” surveilling me to keep me honest. This is a “consider them guilty until proven innocent mentality”.
    You are welcome in my home but stay out of my bedroom!

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Beautifully stated and definitely on the money!

  • Lisa Wintermote

    If not, try DiversionaryTactic! ;-)

  • Garrigan

     I owned and trained, and I don’t like drug use on race day. Salix does help with bleeding, but if your horse doesn’t bleed and you use it, you get the advantage of the water weight loss at the very least.
     I agree with the idea of putting the 20 or so pounds back on the horse in the form of the jockey carrying additional weight. That would at least level the playing field.
    Also, Salix does move a horse up. It did for me, and it did for Wayne Lukas when he won his first race at Saratoga this year with a horse who had raced previously unsuccessfully without it.
    I predict racing will become nothing more than what boxing has become – a fringe sport, where only a handfull of participants will get all the money. Also, the states will claw back the inflated purses and those at the top know it and are trying to get all they can right now.
    New york is especially precarious, as no money from the slots was earmarked for drug testing OR marketing.
    What does that tell you about the NY horsemen’s priorities?

  • marilyn

    the industry has now graduate from shooting itself in the foot to shooting itself in the head; neanderthals are taking the industry down. it is pathetic.

  • nu-fan

    But, then, the cheaters:  Can’t they also hide behind the “stay out of my bedroom” argument?  Think of it as a business owner.  Doesn’t the government have agencies to be able to come in and make sure that the employees are working in a safe environment?  You don’t have to be a dishonest business for them to do so.  The government applies this evenly and everyone benefits from it. When horseracing became a “business” it changed the rules for everyone.  Having uniform standards doesn’t mean that everyone will follow them.  Only the honest ones will.

  • nu-fan

    Maybe, not neanderthals.  That implies they haven’t evolved enough to think intelligently.  Instead, these individuals probably see how the change might affect their wallets.  That’s greed.   Hope that isn’t what homo sampiens will be defined as.  Of course, I am not an anthropologist.  Just wait, now, we’ll hear from them and get a lengthy dissertation! 

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Then u punish the cheaters! Punish them severely enough to act as a deterrent to those tempted to do the same. You have no right to tell me how to raise my child …but you can jail me if I abuse him. You have no right to breathalyze me every time I head for my car…but you can take my license if I drive drunk. You have NO right to be my moral authority, EVER!
    Look, you can’t prevent every incidence of cheating no matter how hard you try. You’ll simply knock yourself out trying. Spend the money wisely by developing more thorough and comprehensive testing methods. Test more horses while you’re at it but the route you’re taking is simply going to alienate many who would otherwise support you.

  • Convene

     “Further, to invoke the tired analogy to human medicine where a
    grievously ill human is treated aggressively with an array of meds to
    justify wholesale administration of meds to healthy, racing horses, is
    simply dumb.”

    Exactly! No one is protesting meds for the ill or injured; I think that’s what drugs were created for. It’s their use in healthy animals that’s the problem. It sounds to me as if Mr. Hiles hasn’t gotten the point yet.

    If they need meds, they should be resting up and healing until they don’t need ’em any more!

  • Convene

     Right on! Seems to me a few days to heal might work best of all. Sorry if downtime costs money. I have sympathy. I just have more for the bute-treated horse who doesn’t “save” his tender limb because he doesn’t know there’s anything wrong – till it dumps him and his jock on the racetrack.

  • nu-fan

    Got any idea on how to find them and gather the necessary evidence?  No?  Didn’t think so.  It’s a matter of using band-aids or preventative solutions.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Reading comprehension 101: “spend the money wisely by developing more thorough and comprehensive testing methods. Test more horses while you’re at it…” can help you with the big words.

  • nu-fan

    I’m sorry that you have issues.  But, you really need to learn civility if you are commenting online.  At this point, this is my last reply to you.   And, your assumptions are a clear indication of who you are.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    You don’t know me at all. Your sarcasm prompted my response.
    I am for clean racing. I am also in favor of lowering the allowable level of bute. I support (albeit w/ misgivings) eliminating Lasix.
    I do NOT support mandatory surveillance, observation barns, or edicts controlling who has access to, or treats, my horse. In other words, KGB type tactics.
    I value my personal freedoms as an American and I always will. I have no desire to roll over for Big-brother.

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