Vet who testified before Congress embroiled in legal battle

by | 07.25.2012 | 4:52pm

Sheila Lyons, the veterinarian whose July 12 testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation was critical of current medication and veterinary practices in the horseracing industry, is engaged in a legal battle with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the board of directors of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation that she claims to have founded.

In December 2011, Lyons filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleging, among other things, trademark violations, copyright infringement, misappropriation of intellectual property, loss of business opportunities, libel, slander, and intentional infliction of emotion distress.

Named in addition to the two organizations is Dr. Robert Gillette, Director of the Richard G. and Dorothy A. Metcalf Veterinary Sports Medicine Program, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University.

Click here to read the complaint.

The defendants in the lawsuit have filed motions to dismiss, but Judge William G. Young has yet to rule on those motions. The defendants have not filed a response to the complaint.

A public war of words began following the Senate testimony by Lyons, who was educated at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University and describes herself as the “founder and director of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.”

On July 18, a letter signed by the board of directors of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, based in Fort Collins, Colo., stated: “The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation that is recognized the AVMA does not have any professional affiliation with Sheila Lyons.”

The board (Linda Blythe, Hilary M. Clayton, James L. Cook, Robert L. Gillette, Kevin K. Haussler, Andris Kaneps, C. Wayne McIlwraith, Joseph J. Wakshlag, and M. Christine Zink) said the statement was released “in response to recent inquiries regarding Sheila Lyons, an individual veterinarian who has stated in various contexts that she represents an identically named organization.”

The announcement acknowledged that the ACVSMR “is currently in litigation with Lyons over her use of the name.”

In response to the release from the ACVSMR, Lyons distributed a statement that said, in part, “I suppose it was naïve of me to expect that there wouldn't be some criticism from certain vested interests within the veterinary and horse racing industry who have a very strong financial interest in maintaining the status quo.

“Since providing testimony to the (Senate) Committee,” the statement continued, “I have been called names on the radio and in the press and received e-mails from horse owners, trainers, veterinarians and even some complete strangers warning me that rumors are being circulated in an attempt to discredit me personally. Most of these personal, ad hominem attacks have focused on me personally and failed entirely to respond in any way or provide a credible counterpoint to the substance of the testimony it was my privilege to give to the Committee in support of this important legislation (Interstate Horse Racing Improvement Act of 2011).”

Attempts to discredit Lyons are at the heart of the lawsuit as well.

According to the complaint and her statement, Lyons created the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1995 to “raise money and promote research and education in what at that time was the emerging field of equine sports and rehabilitation medicine.”  She conducts research at her Homecoming Farm in Massachusetts, a 501(c)3 organization that, according to its website, was “created to bring together experts from the human and veterinary medical and general sciences professions to establish a newly recognized specialty field in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation to benefit all animals.”

Lyons said she is the registered owner of the trademark for “The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation” and owns several copyrights related to research conducted in the name of the organization, and also owns the internet domain name

The complaint says Lyons approached the AVMA in 1997 to set the wheels in motion to get the organization's approval and endorsement for educational and certification programs. Two years later, the complaint continues, Lyons met Gillette at a veterinary conference and told him of her plans for the ACVSMR, and that Gillette was eager to work to get the AVMA endorsement. In 2000, Lyons said, she invited Gillette to join an organizing committee.

Four years later, when the full organizing committee held its second formal meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., Lyons said she was “forced out” by Gillette and others because “unnamed individuals” in Massachusetts had filed complaints against her.  Lyons said Gillette and the other organizing committee members refused to disclose the identities of the accusers.

In 2011, however, Lyons learned the names of the two individuals, who had also filed the complaints with attorneys general in two states, the Internal Revenue Service, and veterinary boards in multiple states. One of them, Ellen Asack, is described in the lawsuit as someone with “a criminal history and a habit of filing false and malicious claims and threatening to physically harm and ruin the personal and professional reputations of others.”

Lyons said Asack and a second woman, Betsy Erickson, had orchestrated “a campaign of sending email messages containing false, defamatory and hostile accusations,” and that one of the recipients, Gillette, “communicated” the accusations to “each member of the organizing committee and to the AVMA as if they were true.”

“In each and every case, “ the lawsuit states, the “allegations were investigated, found to be baseless and Doctor Lyons was fully exonerated of any wrongdoing.”

Gillette, the lawsuit states, “knew or should have known that these allegations were false but nevertheless used these baseless allegations as a pretext for removing Doctor Lyons from the organizing committee and the theft of her ideas, trademark and copyrighted work product.”

What does Lyons want from the suit?

“I have worked 20 years to create this,” she said. “I want it to be official that I am the one that created this, not for ego reasons, but the specialty I created and continue to offer, is one that is based on the strict adherence to the standards of practice and based on the structure and the offerings in the analogous human specialty field.”

  • Watcher

    It’s nice to see your investigative skills at work, Ray.  Now that you’ve dusted them off maybe you can apply them to some of your advertisers.

    How about a series on “Drug Use, Invasive Veterinary Procedures, Kickbacks and other shenanigans at two-year-old sales?”

  • Denise Rolfe

    Any of those who have threatened Dr. Lyons as a result of her sworn, honest testimony should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • LongTimeEconomist

    A real cat fight!

  • Vertigineux04

    Well Ray,
    You were right about one thing. Dr. Lyons IS controversial. But I guess not only about her opinions on the practices at 2-year old sales. Interesting piece you have written here. I am still trying to find a vet in the New England area that knows of Dr. Lyons or her “College”. Still no-one…. 
    I did manage to find out that she is NOT listed as a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. (AVMA) Now I guess I know why.
    I am still very curious about ALL the  research on Lasix that Dr. Lyons has done , now, more than ever, and why she was chosen to speak to the Senate Committee.
    One has to wonder… when did she have time to do anything at all, with all the time and effort she has put into clearing her name and promoting her business?
    Lots of smoke here … and you know what they say about that…
    I do not yet believe, as you do, and as you posted yesterday  ” that she has the credibility to be heard”, because until I find someone that knows of her, for me, the jury is still out.
    But kudos for exploring and reporting on this subject.

  • Marc

    If the allegations set forth in the complaint are true, I have no doubt that Dr. Lyons will prevail. The fact that she has had to endure false accusations and attacks upon her integrity lends credence to the old adage, “No good deed goes unpunished”.

  • FE Davidson


    To expand upon your story, you may want to take a look at the pending proceedings before the US Patent & Trademark Office.  Objections and a Petition for Cancellation of Lyons’ trademark have been filed on behalf of the purported Board of Directors of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, which reflects a Ft. Collins, CO address; meaning that it’s likely being driven by, or at least has the integral involvement of, Wayne McIllwraith who, of course, is already referenced in the MA federal case.

    The plot thickens.  And, the USPTO documentation gets into the alleged basis of Lyon’s severance from the original committee.

    Regardless of these collateral issues, she was impressive at the hearing and appeared to be armed with the techinical expertise to justify her appearance, regardless of whether one agrees with her position or not.

  • FE Davidson

    In Dr. Lyons’ own words to the USPTO,

    “The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation is a Mark that I own and have continuously used since 1995. This Mark is currently on the Supplemental Register, with a registration date of May 2, 2006. In 2010, I discovered that another party was using my Mark without authority, and on September 20, 2010 I sent a cease and desist letter to the infringor. They did not respond to my cease and desist letter, but instead, on April 25, 2011 this party filed a petition for cancellation with the USPTO against my Mark. Then on June 2, 2011, they created a corporation under the laws of Colorado using my Mark as their corporate name. I beieve that the petition for cancellation is without merit and entirely frivolous. I intend to file a petition to make special for this application to have my Mark included on the Principle Register. I have also retained legal counsel to oppose the petition for cancellation and intend to take whatever legal steps are necessary to enforce my legal rights against the infringors of my Mark.”

    Apparently, the USPTO matter has been suspended, pending the outcome of the MA federal lawsuit.  It should be rather interesting, particularly due to the Board’s dilatory approach at legitimizing the use of the name, coupled with Dr. Lyons’ continual use since the mid-1990s.  Given her opposition, it won’t be an easy fight and will most likely cost a fortune to litigate.

  •  Hehehehe;-)   501c 3 .  Milking suckers for donations to support herself and not pay any taxes.  NPO’s the last refuge of scoundrels. 

           Like the Barbaro Foundation.  Rockefeller heirs begging money from poor people . AmaZing.

  • Equisponse

    I have yet to speak with anyone who knows anything about her.  She likes her name in headlines and is clearly a grandstander. QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!!! If it talks like a duck, walks like a duck and acts like a duck??????????

  • Caroline

    Has Dr Lyons ever published a peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal and if so what was the subject matter?  

  • Caroline

    I ask because the value of intellectual property rights appear to be a cornerstone of this complaint (and I read the whole damn thing) and yet it is very unclear exactly what the value of those rights might possibly be in this field of study. 

  • Black Helen







  • Black Helen

     Did u actually watch the hearings?? her testimony was brilliant!!
    All of her points were well articulated and valid. She has excellent ideas for improving “transparency” and making information available to the public. She is trying to protect the horse.

  • Attention all supporters of federal regulation of horseracing.  Now that committees from both the house and senate have both heard allegations of wrongdoing with regard to illegal drugs from Dr. Lyons and others, is anyone aware of any investigation being conducted by either body?  Of course not.  They are preoccupied with getting re-elected.  That will almost always be the primary goal of any elected official.  Those who seek federal regulation do so only out of desperation.  I can understand the desperation because it is quite obvious that state regulation, as a whole, is terribly lacking in effectiveness.  The system is not the problem.  The problem lies with those presently in place to administer the system.  Any fair minded observer can certainly discover that fact.  

  • samm

    she is self promoting… she wants to conduct a study… sell us her Tracking software and make money… When talking to people that have been in the trenches you should have someone highly respected in “our” field…. she has yet to disclose one single TB that she has “treated” while racing… that would give her some credibility… Her “scope” in “our” field is extremely limited to say the least!  Her “study” is a 3 paragraph abstract…. on 12 horses… that is it!  She even states in the Abstract that further study needs to be done…  I watched the entire hearing even recorded it…  she presented herself as having already done the extensive study…

  • samm

    the answer is a resounding…. NO

  • samm

    check how they voted on horseslaughter….

  • Vertigineux04

    For those interested, here is the link to the Press Release from the ACVSMR.

  • Herewego

    Great question others on this forum should be asking it as well but are too busy drinking the Udall Kool-Aid to seek the truth. As Samm correctly points out the answer is NO.

    I’ve spoken to many of the most respected scientists involved with horse racing and to a person NONE haed ever even heard of her prior to the Senate committee hearing.

    She was clearly a witness hand-picked by Udall. Unfortunately for Senator Udall this move is likely to backfire as her lack of knowledge on many of the issues she spoke is already being exposed.

    However, she does have her supporters like BLACK HELEN TYPING IN ALL CAPS for whatever that is worth.

  • Cliff

    Even if Dr. Lyons wins, she’s a college of one. How’s she ever going to get peer reviewed if the discipline she “founded” and trademarked kicked her out. It doesn’t make her wrong, it means she’s just another expert with an opinion. Not some leader of a scientific body.

  • Cass

    If someone files a complaint with the IRS about an individual,  then, in my opinion, it is to do intentional harm to that person.  For some reason, this group (acvsmr) is out to get this Dr Lyons.  I do not know anything about her but I understand she was brilliant in the Federal hearings.  Dr Lyons must have some sort of impressive credentials to be picked to speak in the hearings in the first place.   Before hanging her, I believe the situation needs a lot more investigating.  If she ever goes missing ….

  • Pennell Hopkins

    Well! Well!  I like Dr. Lyons’ spirit.  And she can talk circle around her opponents.  I dare say I don’t know the whole story, but it sounds as if the good ole boys have once again circled the wagons against a perceived interloper who may actually accomplish positive change in the industry.  

  • Herewego

    Helen, please provide me one shred of evidence that this point is valid. Dr. Lyons claimed during her testimony that she “found over 200 peer-reviewed papers that link the increased risk of fracture to Lasix use.”  

    I have yet to be able to find even one such peer-reviewed paper let alone over 200. Dr. Lyons to this point has not provided any of these papers to the Senate Committee either.

    Helen I very much look forward to you pointing me in the right direction on these 200 plus peer-reviewed papers and when you do then we can further discuss the validity and brilliance of Dr. Lyons testimony.

  • Mike Cadiz

    It’s a fine, detailed article, but it is only told from one person’s point of view–the lady vet’s.  What was the nature of the complaints filed with the state Attorney General?  You only document the vet’s response, but typically people ask state AG’s to intervene when there are disputes or complaints about the running/conduct of charitable or tax exempt organizations.  You give the impression that she is being righteously persecuted.  But there are many reasons, not all of them pure, for filing, e.g., trademark infringement lawsuits against more established or wealthy organizations/businesses-I don’t know what the reasons may be, but your article is incomplete in that respect, it just quotes from allegations she makes in her court-filed documents.  Be interesting to see what the defense alleges.

  • Mhm1015

    Peer reviewed research is the cornerstone of science.  Lacking that means that Dr. Lyons’ opinion was offerred as a substitute for science.  This does not take away her valid points:  reduced to a central core, that horse racing has become a drug centered sport rather than a horse centered sport.  Veterinarians are at the center of this use of drugs, and ought to be working hard to change their practice.  Therapy should be applied after the event, not before.

  • Bernieinocala

    Her testimony was brilliant.”  Where are those 200 peer-reviewed research papers on the damage Lasix causes to horses , like fractures?  As “brilliant” as she is, she has never produced ONE scientific, peer-reviewed research paper in her career!  Guess you don’t have any problem with the facts getting in the way of a good “story.” Where in the world did Christain Fjeld dig this one up from? Was the Octomom or Casey Anthony not available?

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

    This is just another attempt to discredit Dr. Sheila Lyons. Read the complaint and the timeline of her creations and events. There is no question in our opinion that she has been wronged and her ideas and work stolen. She thought these people were acting in good faith which any person with any honesty or integrity would.  She is a brilliant, caring individual and it is a travesty and injustice what has happened to her.  She has a strong case and hopefully will prevail.
    Our organization that has also been wronged by some within the industry who we also thought were acting in good faith,  our creations taken or copied by others , we can relate to what has happened to Dr. Lyons.  The truth will always prevail in the end.

  • Lory

    McIlwraith, a University Distinguished Professor, has made significant strides
    in advancing the Orthopaedic Research Center Laboratory’s reputation through
    publications, scientific presentations at key meetings throughout the world,
    and fundraising efforts. He is a Past-President of the American College of
    Veterinary Surgeons and the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and a
    recognized leader in the field of equine orthopaedic research and surgery. He
    consults worldwide as a specialist equine surgeon and has received national and
    international media attention for his contributions to joint research. Dr.
    McIlwraith is the co-author of five textbooks, over 400 textbook chapters and
    refereed publications, and has given 600 presentations and workshops

  • Lory

    Dr. Haussler obtained a Bachelor’s of
    Science in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1984. He
    graduated in 1988 from The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary
    Medicine, followed by a small-animal internship at the Sacramento Animal Medical
    Group in 1989. Dr. Haussler was a relief veterinarian for multiple small animal
    practices, emergency clinics, and humane societies from 1989 to 1994, when he
    became interested in pursuing further specialized training in the diagnosis and
    management of pain and musculoskeletal disorders in animals. He enrolled in
    Palmer College of Chiropractic – West, a human chiropractic program, to learn
    how to apply human chiropractic techniques and principles to the treatment of
    animals with musculoskeletal-related disorders. He started veterinary
    chiropractic practice with equine and small animal patients in 1992, and
    graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from Palmer College of
    Chiropractic – West in 1993. He obtained a Ph.D. degree in Comparative Pathology
    from the University of California – Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine in
    1997. The focus of his Ph.D. research was the evaluation of the anatomy,
    pathology, and biomechanics of the lower back and pelvis of Thoroughbred
    racehorses.He completed post-doctorate position investigating in-vivo
    equine spinal kinematics in 1999 at the Department of Anatomy, College of
    Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University. As a Lecturer at Cornell University
    until 2005, he was responsible for teaching equine anatomy, biomechanical
    research, and initiation of a clinical Integrative Medicine Service at the
    Cornell University Hospital for Animals in both the large and small animal
    clinics that provided chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy services.
    Dr. Haussler’s research studies included evaluation of in vivo equine spinal
    kinematics, paraspinal muscle morphometry and histochemistry, and the initiation
    of equine chiropractic research assessing pain and spinal


  • Lory

    Linda L. Blythe, DVM, PhD, in recognition of excellence in teaching and dedication to the veterinary medical profession and all the animals it serves. Blythe is a founding professor at the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine and an expert on equine neurological disease. Blythe earned her DVM degree in 1974, completed a large animal internship in 1975, and received a PhD in comparative pathology in 1979, all at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.Blythe is a founding faculty member of Oregon’s veterinary school, where she has also served in leading administrative roles. Blythe’s teaching focuses on neuroscience and sports medicine. She received the prestigious Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986 and 1992 in recognition of her ability to combine basic instruction with clinical application for her students.Blythe’s research into equine neurological diseases led to her discovery of equine temporohyoid osteoarthropathy, a disorder that can predispose horses to fracture along the base of the skull or one of the bones of the throat. She also explored the role of vitamin E in equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy, a now preventable disease of young horses. Blythe is also interested in greyhounds and canine physical rehabilitation; she is the lead author of two books on the care of the racing and retired greyhound. Blythe received the Pfizer Research Award in 1996 and was inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 2010. She has authored more than 100 scientific articles. Among her contributions to the profession, which include involvement in the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Blythe has been instrumental in the development of a new specialty organization, the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

  • Old Timer

    When you stack a deck in your favor, at the very least, make sure you have your Aces up, and not some joker for your opponent to get a hold of lol. The ignorance of Udall’s ability to “cheat” is hilarious. As one can image being an old timer, one of the best lines I ever heard about politics or the world is simply “If your going to cheat, cheat good”, and boy oh boy did these idiots cheat bad!

    I guess the only thing I did miss, is whether at this time any one has actually verified that “Dr. Lyon’s” is in fact a VET? Hell she could be like the guy who just died in Nevada, I believe, who’s name got put on a diploma he never actually earned. Now that would take the cake ehhhhh. Just curious, thanks…..

  • Lory

    whats up Ray just posting the sorry folks that oppose hers credentials. just looked at 4 of them horrible people especially Dr.C. Wayne McIlwraith .too bad some of the posters don’t look up these miscreants . this poor fellow is hard to find as he runs all over the world .writes textbooks etc. actually the only vet in the southwest i really trust in a joint.

  • Lory

    this lady is really dumb -can’t stay in her field has to run off and rersearch AIDS .
    Professor and DirectorDepartment of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology Professor, Department of Pathology & Department ofMolecular Microbiology and Immunologyat Bloomberg School of Public Health733 N. Broadway, BRB 819410-955-9770443-287-5628(Fax)[email protected]

    HIV, the agent that causes acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS), is a lentivirus that causes persistent infection, immunosuppression with resultant opportunistic infections and chronic disease including encephalitis and pneumonia in humans. One of the important characteristics of lentiviruses is their ability to replicate in macrophages; replication in these cells is linked to the development of neurological disease and pneumonia in infected individuals. We study the SIV/macaque model of HIV infection to understand how HIV causes systemic and tissue-specific diseases. We have demonstrated that SIV replication in the brain induces the expression of chemokines, particularly MCP-1, that recruit lymphocytes and macrophages to the tissue. This influx of cells results in inflammation within the tissue, which may have both beneficial and detrimental effects. On the one hand, the inflammatory cells may include specific immune cells that can kill virus-infected cells and lower viral load. On the other hand, some of the inflammatory cells may themselves be infected, resulting in an increase in viral load. How these two scenarios play out in the tissue probably determines the outcome of infection.We have recently identified an antibiotic that is inexpensive (patent has expired) and completely safe that suppresses replication of HIV/SIV and significantly suppresses the encephalitis and neurodegeneration associated with HIV/SIV infection. We are currently examining the mechanism by which this exciting drug functions in the CNS.We also are performing pre-clinical testing of a number of other drugs that have shown neuroprotective activity in high throughput assays, treating SIV-infected macaques with these drugs to ameliorate the effects of SIV replication and the resulting inflammation on the brain

  • Lory

    i don’t think i will bother looking up rest of them. seems like Mz.Lyons resume is far better than any of these Jokers. sarcastic yep  ! world renowned  and super intellegent everyone of them

  • Lory

    HE HELEN why don’t you google the names of those folks then google Dr LYONS ? valid question >

  • Lory

    this is DR LYONS BIOGRAPHY -written by Dr LYONS herself no doubt
    Dr. Sheila Lyons
    Dr. Sheila Lyons began her international equine sports medicine private practice following graduation from Tufts Veterinary School in 1985. As a lifelong equestrian, Doctor Lyons developed an in depth appreciation for the unique physical challenges of sport horses, and in practice she confronted the limitations of the state of the science regarding rehabilitation in equine veterinary medicine by undertaking a three year post-doctoral fellowship in the human medical specialty of Physical Medicine in Rehabilitation with a focus on Sports Medicine. Doctor Lyons is the only veterinarian to have undertaken this unique and specialized post doctoral education.
    Dr. Sheila Lyons
    Dr. Sheila Lyons began her international equine sports medicine private practice following graduation from Tufts Veterinary School in 1985. As a lifelong equestrian, Doctor Lyons developed an in depth appreciation for the unique physical challenges of sport horses, and in practice she confronted the limitations of the state of the science regarding rehabilitation in equine veterinary medicine by undertaking a three year post-doctoral fellowship in the human medical specialty of Physical Medicine in Rehabilitation with a focus on Sports Medicine. Doctor Lyons is the only veterinarian to have undertaken this unique and specialized post doctoral education.
    Dr. Sheila Lyons began her international equine sports medicine private practice following graduation from Tufts Veterinary School in 1985. As a lifelong equestrian, Doctor Lyons developed an in depth appreciation for the unique physical challenges of sport horses, and in practice she confronted the limitations of the state of the science regarding rehabilitation in equine veterinary medicine by undertaking a three year post-doctoral fellowship in the human medical specialty of Physical Medicine in Rehabilitation with a focus on Sports Medicine. Doctor Lyons is the only veterinarian to have undertaken this unique and specialized post doctoral education.Doctor Lyons’ international private consulting practice includes elite race, dressage, show jumping, combined training, endurance and polo horses. Proactive injury prevention and performance optimization for patients is achieved through in depth physical examinations which include biomechanics, whole body musculoskeletal analysis, exercise physiology and sport specific strengthening through physical medicine methods in practice and sport specific training techniques. A health care team is created and protocols developed to assist each horse to reach its optimal sports potential safely and reliably. A health and wellness centered training program is implemented for each sport horse which eliminates setbacks in racing and competition schedules. Doctor Lyons consults for Olympic Equestrian Teams and has provided expert testimony to sport horse regulatory agencies and other authorities on the topic of equine welfare, safety and medication.

  • Marc

    Dr. Lyons complete written testimony is available at the website for the Senate Commerce Committee. Rather than engage in a bunch of irresponsible gossip and unsupported conjecture about legal matters you know little about, share instead the benefit of your vast knowledge of racing and equine veterinary care. I urge you to reference Dr. Lyons’ testimony, line by line, and tell us where she is in error.

    What I’m reading in the majority of these comments is a bunch of unqualified nonsense and mean-spirited character assassination from people who’d rather kill the messenger than consider the message.

    If Dr. Lyons is wrong about racing, wrong about the negative effects of training and racing horses with potent painkillers, wrong about Lasix, wrong about the manner in which veterinarians routinely violate standards and practices to enable racehorses to work when they need to recuperate, then please share your wisdom. Inquiring minds want to know.

    I suspect that the actual reason why no one has taken issue with Dr. Lyons’ specific points and veterinary judgments is because her statements are “spot on” correct.

    If you truly care about racing, if you care about horses, then you ought to focus your attention on how to make the sport safer for horses and jockeys, and more appealing to potential fans.

  • Caroline

    To clarify, my question was directed to the claim of some lost value of intellectual property rights in the complaint, and not intended to reflect on any other recent activities of Dr Lyons. It is very unclear, for example, what the incremental value of the research and other activities and reputation of Dr Lyons has been relative to those of individuals actually running the organization that she claims has been “stolen” from her during the past several years. Knowing what her research output has been, and its impact for the field via published citations, would help.    

  • oky

    Can you prosecute people whose threats occurred in someone elses fantasyland?

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    “If it talks like a duck, walks like a duck and acts like a duck??????????”   In todays world of genetic engineering it is probably a cow….

  •   Now thats funny. LOL. I knew I liked you ShelterDoc regardless of if we agree or disagree.

  •  Did you expect Udall to be intelligent ? :-)  The Udall’s are more severly inbred than most horses are. LOL.  Thats not a joke.

  • FE Davidson

    Well put.

  • admirer of Bsb Jaws

     I just hope somebody calls the poor naive innocents at the Jockey Club, TOBA, including their “Fab 40.”  We’ve got to look out for them.

  • Susan

    A total embarrassment to the Fab “40”, the JC and TOBA. Who “vetted” this woman out?  What a joke.

  • Warren Eves

    Isn’t it remarkable you elect to take shots at a lady whose work, if you bothered to do some research, is complete with on the job examples of an industry that refuses to get serious about a plethura of drug related issues.  I have found her comments, and her suggestions, to be positive and constructive. At least she makes her views known using her real name.  And if you would have taken time to read or to listen to her testimony at the Senate hearing on the 15th you might have some idea what this lady is all about.

  • Marc

    Okay, Lory, you’ve proven to us that you can cut and paste. Big deal. 

    Now let’s see if you can think. Why don’t you analyze Dr. Lyons’ written testimony and give us your detailed, well-supported rebuttal?

  • Stanley inman

    The argument has been beat to death;
    The raceday meds apologists have spit the bit;
    They have dropped down to their last 15 minutes of grandstanding
    They choose to
    Mug the messenger.
    Dr. Lyons will be their Joan of arc,
    Someone get a torch.

  • Stanley inman

    We appreciate your kind thoughts;
    Rumor on the street is that TOBA is
    Converting their dungeon into studio apartments;
    Killing all their apologist prisoners
    Get a head start out of town, if you wanna…

  • samm

    oh please…. if she ever goes missing?  You know the saying… the proof is in the pudding?  Dr. Lyons has no pudding!!!  while I totally agree that there are changes to be made… breeding practices in the US have degraded the breed.. if you know your TB history you will understand what I mean (if you don’t… start with Glynne Cain’s “Home Run Horse”)  Stop drilling babies!!  When you go to breed they ask up front “are you breeding to race or sell”?  they are treated differently…  Yes there are “cheaters” real ones… less than 1%.  If you really think you should cut out some meds… give horsemen solid scientific study to back it up…  and for the love of god… learn the difference between “juicing” and treating!!!!!

  • Caroline

    Really hope that Dr. Lyons doesn’t suffer from Founders’ Syndrome. If the organization the existence of which she allegedly initiated is successful in achieving its original goals without her – then that should be sufficient reward, particularly in the non profit field. The timing of formation of a board of directors with the right to remove a member via majority vote is unclear from the complaint. Being a founder doesn’t give someone an automatic right to “run” an organization. Who knows what this is about. I’m none the wiser after reading all of this. Anyone can register a website domain. And let it sleep indefinitely. 

  •     You sound like a NY times reader.  Bute is not a *powerful pain killer * any more than Ibuprofin is a powerful painkiller.  Its a mild anti-inflamatory . Unlike me who is a powerful inflamatory . Hehehe.

  • Black Helen



  • May Flower

    Well said.

    Good: the administration of genuine physical therapy using –along with patience, horsemanship and veterinary expertize– excellent therapeutic meds as intended to cure ailments in ethical and transparent fashion.

    Bad: the expedient, greedy, corrupt, destructive and potentially lethal abuse of therapeutic meds administered behind the dirty trainer-vet “privacy-shield” to provide financial therapy to owners, trainers, vets, tracks and states by masking secret diseases and injuries, boosting performance, deceiving horses, regulatory vets, jockeys and gamblers.

  • cliff

    She testified before Congress under the guise of being an expert in a specific field when the facts of this legal case call that into question. She is a practicing veterinarian with her own vested interests (including attracting clients). Her research is sparse and not peer-reviewed.
    She has provided previous testimony for PETA that was not acted upon by law enforcement.
    She may well be “spot on” in what she testified, but she does not have published scientific background to stand upon. In the end, it was her educated opinions. The committee did not hear from any other veterinary experts and thus were not fully informed of other possible opinions because she was billed as an unbiased scientist/researcher. That’s all fine for winning votes in political campaigns, but it is no way to craft legislation.

  • May Flower

    Treating benefits horses.

    Juicing benefits people and hurts horses and riders.

    The chemically achieved illusion of health, fitness and soundness to continue training and racing mismanaged, immature, unfit, exhausted, sick and injured horses is unethical and dangerous.

    Juicing includes the abuse of therapeutic meds administered in secret orally, IA, IM and IV to reduce inflammation and kill pain, dilate lungs, boost red blood-cell
    levels and muscle-mass, burn fat, control depression and nervousness, stimulate appetite and energy,
    dehydrate, lower blood pressure, etc.

    No scientific studies (biased or not) are needed to see the destruction caused by the commercial breeding and raising of babies for sale, the pinhooking and breeze-sales and drug-abuse to train and race horses, just honesty, basic common sense, ground zero observation and testimonies.

  • herewego

    Of course you hadn’t heard of her before you watched the hearing, who had.
    Again you say she is speaking the truth about the damage done by people drugging horses but you have never responded to my questions regarding the following statement made during the hearing, Dr. Lyons claimed during her testimony that she “found over 200 peer-reviewed papers that link the increased risk of fracture to Lasix use.”
    I have yet to be able to find even one such peer-reviewed paper let alone over 200. Dr. Lyons to this point has not provided any of these papers to the Senate Committee either.

    This is laughable, one of Dr. Lyons “suggestions” just happened to be a national reporting system, what she failed to mention during her testimony is that she just happens to be marketing or plans to bring to market a software product which could fulfill her national reporting suggestion. It appears Dr. Lyons may be the one trying to promote her own financial interests in her testimony. I am unaware of the rules for testiftying before Senate committees and this may be a completely acceptable practice in this case but I can tell you that in many circumstances this kind of testimony without disclosing your potential conflicts in strictly forbitten. This is done for transperancy purposes.

    In short Helen you seem well intentioned but you appear to be very short on facts and are blindly accepting Dr. Lyons testimony as being 100% correct and non-self promoting, which I think I have accurately pointed out are two very dangerous assumptions to make.

  • Mikepage, old IP lawyer

    Dr. Sheila, based on the complaint you filed, I don’t think you have a case; you might want to get an informed second legal opinion to protect yourself from fines/sanctions.  First of all, the statute of limitations on your claims has come and gone a long time ago; you’re probably barred as a matter of law from seeking any relief.  Second, you don’t have any trademark rights in “Veterinary Science Medicine College, . . . .etc. or combination of same”  Those are generic terms, you can’t get rights in them absent near universal recognition; that’s why they only let you register on the supplemental register initially.  It would be like Mr. Paulick trying to sue people to stop them from using “Report.”  You can’t bar people from using generic/descriptive terms or you would lock up the whole English language. 
    Also, you can’t sue someone for stealing the “idea” of starting up a veterinary specialty or college.  Copyright only protects “expression of ideas,” and the people you are mad at don’t seem to have done that (even without seeing their response, just based on your court documents reported here).  The idea you say they stole isn’t patentable, it’s a pretty obvious idea, would have and has occurred to lots of people.  I can see from reading the complaint that you are angry and hurt, but seriously, your lawyers are not doing you a service by letting you proceed with this case.

  • John McEvoy

    What Senate committee staffer vetted this vet with the questionable credentials?

  • Maureen

    That is the truth!  That is what, judging by all the comments I’ve read on this forum, most racetrackers do not want to admit.  Drugs -legal, therapeutic drugs – are being misused to abuse horses.  Anyone who speaks out against such use of therapeutic drugs is criticized and discredited by “legal” cheaters.

    And that is exactly why racing needs oversight.

  • Maureen

    Those who deny that abuse of legal drugs is cheating love to discredit those who speak up for what is right.  Dr. Lyons is a veterinarian, and in any society, that makes her an expert on veterinary medicine.  If she works with racehorses she is an expert on racehorses.  I suggest anyone who doubts this look up the definition of expert.  She may not be a published expert, and she may not be a famous expert.  But so what!!!!  Those who have differing opinions from the establishment – in any medical field – are treated like poor step children, idiots, morons, etc.  UNTIL time proves them right. Dr. Lyons major problem seems to me to be a trust in human nature which is totally misplaced.  Her honesty and purpose has met the selfish crooks, and as is so often true – they have come out ahead.  If her ideas and her work are so meaningless and stupid – why did they want to steal it from her??? Ask yourselves that.

    There is no more successful establishment than the veterinarians who work at racetracks administering therapeutic drugs for reasons they well know are not in the horses’ best interest.  Standing up against them is not easy, and clearly opens one up to derision and attack.  Kudos to Dr. Lyons for being brave enough to speak up for what she believes in.  It certainly takes more courage than all of you on this forum who continually defend the abuse of horses.

  • Lory

    marc. i simplym was pointing out that Dr Lyons may have been padding her resume and rather than being the expert she professes to be may be a hack. now the one Vet i know of that she is in this mess fighting  is Dr.McIlwraith
    who practices at Co. State. He is an extremely well respected Surgeon and has operated on some of my horses. To say i am impressesed with him is an understatement. I have seen many very good Vets as well as quite a few hacks so while i am not juding the testamony of Dr.Lyons i am taking her testamony with a lot of salt due to thinking she serves a poor master ! PETA is a very extreme organization that while they claim to be a welfare agency has a very simplistic vision. one that will virtually end all domestication of animals . this is not welfare it is distruction. i wonder is she truly what she says ?

  • Oscetra


  • samm

    so ACVSMR put out a press release because people like me were looking into who she was… thinking that was the group she was affiliated with.. I asked for at least one TB that she treated during its racing career… I received no response.. 

  • samm

    I’m juiced… just took two alieve!!

  • samm

    we all want change… its about what and how… and I’d love to have her on It’s Post Time with the vets that do treat racing TB’s!!!

  • samm

    so ACVSMR put out a press release because people like me were looking into who she was… thinking that was the group she was affiliated with.. I asked for at least one TB that she treated during its racing career… I received no response.. 

  • samm

    Helen… my husband was a very good trainer and did use drugs theraputically… I personally know of about a half dozen of his old horses who are very healthy older horses with second careers… none have reported ANY ill effects from what he used on them while racing… WE LIVE IT!!  btw… the Paulick report did a story recently on one of them!!

  • samm

    I asked for ONE name of a TB she treated during its racing career… I did not get a response…  I was not out to discredit… but to back up what she testified to!  

  • Vertigineux04

    Apparently you have not been keping up with this. Dr. Lyons is a veterinarian, who is not a member of the AVMA, and so far, no one has come forward to say that they actually know of her, or her college, in the New England area. What racetrack has she worked at, and for how long? The only research she has done , is an abstract on 12 horses. It appears that her contemporaries, who are KNOWN and well -respected, do not want to have anything to do with her. I would think that you would want expert veterinary opinions on anything to do with your horses, not bloviating from someone who claims a lot of things, but is mostly tied up in a legal battle to prove that her ideas were stollen.
    To have someone like this appear in front of the Senate, was an embarrassment to the Anti-Lasix crowd that she represents.

  • Larry Ensor

    I beg to differ though I agree it is not a “powerful” pain killer but to say it is the same as Ibuprofen is only true in the fact that both are nonsteroid anti inflammatory drugs. But the similarity stops at that. It is hardly as innocuous as Ibuprofen. But certainly has its place when used with discretion.
    A few descriptions of Bute by Veterinarians;

    “Phenylbutazone (Bute) is an analgesic (relieves pain) and anti-inflammatory medication.”

    “Phenylbutazone is a powerful pain reliever that will provide respite for your horse within 1-2 hours of administering the drug if given orally, quicker if given intravenously”

    “It’s called Phenylbutazone but most horse owners know it as bute. It is one of the most common drugs prescribed for horses and has been used with much success for decades, particularly in the treatment of pain from lameness”

    “It is not an anaesthetic and will not deaden pain completely, but it certainly has a powerful analgesic, or pain-easing, effect.”

  • Maureen

    Clearly, like many on this forum, you prefer to hear only what you want and create the illusion of reality rather than face facts.  A brief google search reveals that Dr. Lyons spoke at the New York State Board for Veterinary Medicine in 2010.

    And that she was featured on the cover of The Blood-Horse (Sep 27, 2008)

    If you read many studies conducted on horses, seldom is the number high, as horses are expensive to obtain and expensive to house and care for. Unlike lab rats. 

    I am not surprised her contemporaries are not fond of her.  They make millions of dollars a year “treating” racehorses.  They are unethical, and if veterinarians have to take the Hippocratic Oath, they are certainly not abiding by it.

    The truth, born out by thousands of years of history, is that those with vision and looking for better ways, new ways, etc., are vilified – most especially by their peers.  Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, the Robert Fulton, the Wright Brothers to name a few.

  •   I didn’t say it was the same as Ibuprofin.  I said it was an anti-inflamatory like Ibuprofin is.  

        Now let me tell you a little story .  I once had to disarm a homicidal maniac armed with a baseball bat that was intent on murder. I took 33 whacks before I could do it, 3 to the head. I had lots of broken bones by the time I chased him off and it hurt. (not at the time but afterward) No amount of Ibuprofin or phenylbutaZone would have dulled that pain.Not even a little bit.  It took real pain killers like morphine & codiene to make it only hurt real bad for 6 months.

          Now you and your ilk can make up stories of how its a painkiller ,buttZ … that doesn’t make it true. No matter how many times you say it.  Painkillers block the brain from knowing it hurts. Anti-inflamatories reduce inflamation . Two different things.  

  •     Maureen , I’m an expert carpenter & fisherman.  I know a lot of other carpenters & fishermen . They aren’t all experts.  You pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down ?

  • Maureen Tierney

    I do.  But isn’t she really being challenged as an expert because people don’t want to hear what she has to say?  Using your analogy, there are many trainers, vets, etc. that I wouldn’t classify as experts.

    I repeat my question. If her ideas were crap, why bother to wrest control of her organization from her?  Why not just walk away?  If I think someone is not an expert, and her ideas are stupid or worse completely wrong, I wouldn’t be interested in her business, certainly not enough to go through machinations to get it.

    Of course, I agree with Dr. Lyons.  She is right.

  • Sevencentsstable

    A veterinarian who goes before a legislative committee and commits perjury, which would be the case if none of her “200 peer reviewed studies regarding lasix use and fractures” can be verified, should not be held aloft or in great esteem by anyone. She should, possibly, be prosecuted. I do feel that someone lauding themselves as an expert in a field should be accountable and able to prove their testimony.  That should not be too much to ask.

    If she truly is a PETA nut and the Senate is taking her word as gospel we are all in trouble. Racehorses will be the ONLY ATHLETES in the world required to perform without the help of theraputic medications. Talk about abusing horses! And, for the crowd who loves to yelp “It’s not the same because the horses can’t CHOOSE to run, human athletes can!” – I call you out. Anyone who could make that statement has NEVER been around racehorses very much. A horse who doesn’t WANT to run will NOT run. A lot of horses, when whipped, will stop running. A racehorse to be even moderately successful must WANT to race. I have been in the trenches since I was a teenager and have seen many horses who said “No” to racing and the owners who insisted on perserveering with them were embarrassed at post time. They wind up in other careers pretty quickly.

    Show people can force a horse to do a lot of things, but no racehorse trainer can force a racehorse to compete if they dont want to.

  • samm

    yes she’s being challenged for what she said!!  We know we have issues… we know there is cheating however not on the whole!!!  less than 1% yet we are all labeled if we use anything!!!  As a parent… I make choices for my children… some parents lose their children because they refuse to have their children treated with drugs… some for abuse… it doesn’t mean the majority of parents are bad… I treat my children and my horses with the same care and consideration!!!

  • Bernieinocala

    Christian Fjeld.

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    Anyone who has ever taken bute knows it is NOT a “powerful pain reliever.”  

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    Me too…took 1 gram of bute paste 3 hours ago.  [It has yet to ease, much less kill the pain caused from spending 9 hours yesterday pulling & hauling t-posts.]

  • Larry Ensor

    That was basically what I was trying to say. In fact it was developed for human conditions I think in the 20s for relieve of arthritis, etc. but taken off the human market I think in the late 40’s due to detrimental side effects, The same that horses can and do develop with prolonged unprescribed used.
    Though as you can see from the quotes I posted by Vets they seem to feel different. I suppose because that’s what the “book” says.

  • Larry Ensor

    You know you have real knee jerk defensive attitude problem. Which is why you come off like such a jerk. There are some worthy comments in your posts but they take some extrapolating. If you bothered to engage your brain, read and digest, before putting fingers to the key board you might have realized that I for the most part agreed with you. See my reply to AngelafromAbilene these Vet statements are the fundamental difference between some veterinarians and those of us that work with horses in the real world.
    And what exactly is my “ilk” ? I have been posting on the PR since it’s inception and starting using my real name shortly there after. We have more then 40 horses on our farm at any given time from foals to racers. I deal with a multitude of different issues, on the ground and on their backs on any given day 7 days a week 365 a year. The precious free time I may have some of which is used on this forum mainly to correct misinformation, offer up an opposing view, opinion based on 56 years of growing up with and working with horses as my MAIN and ONLY life’s work. On the business end and in the stalls. You and others may not agree with everything I have to say, fair enough but only a foolish person would dismiss a persons lifetime experiences. I have walked the walk and put my money where my mouth is.
    Do us and yourself a favor and tone down your “I’m a bad ass” attitude and compose worthy comments that you seem capable of with out extrapolation

  • Dianne

    Controversial indeed!  I did see the Senate Hearing and will admit that ANY doctor, DVM or MD, who reads another doctors notes on a patient and feeds the media with the information on her negative thoughts is at best not ethical.  She read reports on a horse which she had never seen, never examined and gives comments as if she had seen the horse.  This is not the action of a “Brilliant” DVM…is she credible? I don’t think so

  • Lory

    i hurt my back once and as i fear any heavy duty pain med. i quartered up a bute pill filed off rough edges and took a quarter each morning and evening for 3 days. my chiropractor had been unable to adjust me. the pain was dulled somewhat but after 3 days i was finally able to take an adjustment. possibly tyelenol would have worked in time but it was not helping. i believe the bute took away the inflamation and really helped.  the leading authority at that time on bute was the Colorado State Vet. Dr. Bierhouse (sp) he maintained a stable that was used as test subjects .

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Remember Alley Oop Genie when she saw a stick?? Lol!

  • Diogenes

    If you read Dr. Lyons’ complaint and tetimony, as I have…you’ll see that she does NOT refer to herself as a “licensed veterinairan”, yet she refers to her attackers as “licensed”.  Odd?  Tricky- you bet!  A search of Massachsetts vets indicates that she is not licensed there.  Has anyone even asked her if she is licensed anywhere?

    And as for her being “spot on”, while I am no fan of Dr. Bramlege, he was spot on in his critique of her quote in the NY Times.  Lyons can’t have spent much time around thoroughbred race horses if she believes that it’s unusual to see arthritic changes in three year olds. 

    It seems obious to me that she is a glib, brilliant, delusional self-promoter…most successful con-men are just that, so why not this woman too?

    Finally, it’s also obvious that the Senate, just like PETA and the NY Times, brings in whatever so called “experts” they can dredge up to parrot what they, the Senate, may wish to hear.

  • Sevencentsstable

    Ali Oop was nothing compared to Sheza Drummer – that mare came to grinding HALT if the rider so much as showed her the whip. Not a slow down, a dead freaking STOP!

  •   Okay Larry, I’m certainly not a badass.  I’m 6’2” 155lbs . My indian name is Noass because I don’t have one. :-)  I didn’t say it was the same. Believe me the only reason that happened was because the guy was trying to kill people and I didn’t want him to.  *Your ilk* was probably a bad choice of words. I apologiZe for that.  Still the main point was its not a powerful painkiller.

  • Georgie Porgie

    Some carpenters and fishermen possess unique abilities that surpass those of all others;within the professions and beyond.

  • Georgie Porgie

    It is difficult to give much credence to any vet who performs on the public stage.  They speak from self-interest, whether those interest may be perceived as positive or questionable.

    The best vets generally go about their business outside the public eye and express their “expertise”  through professional and proper care of  the animals in their charge.

    Personally, I could care less what any of them say in Congress or on TV.  I just want them to do their job ethically and skillfully.

  • Georgie Porgie

    Aha, the moment of truth.  The question is not the qualifications of those giving testimony, but of those on the other side of the microphone. 

  • Aron Boy

    In many states even moderate use of the whip is discouraged or illegal.

  • desertrailrat

    Wherever Nucky is these days, remember “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story kiddo”.  Or something like that.  Nucky, miss your one liners!

  • desertrailrat

    Monkeys just flew out of my butt.

  •  * its not the same because horse can’t choose to run… * 

            Excellent point 7cent .
         I lived near SA for a long time and I used to go to the track at 6am drink coffee ,read the form and enjoy the horses running for fun.  I didn’t clock them . There are plenty of guys doing that.

            I wouldn’t want to pull a number out of the air ,but a lot of horses don’t really want to go back through the chute . They’d rather go around again because they LOVE to run.  I hate it when people say they are being forced to run. My eyes tell me that isn’t true. Just about every horse on the grounds wants to run even more than they are allowed.

  •   Yes they do

  • You should have that checked by a vet rattrail ! :-)

  •   My other hobby is watching C-span . I’m a C-span junkie. (ya, I know I do everything;-) I’ve watched a ton of hearings and nobody gets in any trouble for telling lies. The witnesses and Senators or Reps. tell lies with impunity. Thats their job. Its up to the watcher to sniff out the liars.  

  • desertrailrat

     There are some excellent vets down here in Ruidoso which is only 2 hours, I Did you ever check out that surf rock band The Halibuts? 

  • Larry Ensor

    “Still the main point was its not a powerful painkiller.” My point also, but I suppose my reply was a bit cryptic.

    I have the same thing, with yearlings it is called, “noassatall”. It can be fixed in humans these days with butt implants. I think they are working on the same for yearlings. Another thing buyers will have to be on the look out for.

  • Diogenes E. Fecate

    It appears that her brother is counsel of record.  Seems like they both may live in fantasyland!

  • Lory

    MZ hellen do you reall think this bunch of elite professionals would bother to steal something from Dr Lyons ? to think that is silly. she has little practical experience and few credentials compared to the least of the people named.

  • Lory

    i think rather than accept your statement all should check out the Colorado State venue where C. Wayne McIlwraith dvm is located-oh by the way it is in ft collins,co. this is a teaching vet college-hands on with a large # of equine patients going thru there on a yearly basis. this is an elite program and hard to get into. one of my best friends (with a photograpic memory) graduated there. my current Vet was also a grad. his daughter with impeccable grades and experience was not accepted. this vet is not just a teacher but his program for students will rival any human medical teaching college . he also is internationally known and is regularily called in world wide to consult or operate on top flite equine athelites of any disipline

  • Lory

    maureen she is not an expert.she may be a vet but i do not see her as an expert.

  • Lory

    name a few real racehorses she has expertly worked on please !

  • Aunt Bea

    And Uhh, what’s this got to do with horses running on bute, banamine, DMSO, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, triamcinalone, prednisolone, aminocaproic acid, glycopyrrolate, silver salicylic acid, xylazine, dormosedan, clenbuterol, hyaluronic acid, ketoprofen, etc. that American racehorses can get within 48-72 hrs of racing??? Oh yeah, the veterinarians like to “lay low” about it.

  • Sevencentsstable

    Very scary looking list of medications you are ranting against! BUT, can you tell me what each is for, why it would possibly used? And, while you are at it, please explain to me how xylazine or dormaosedan (common tranquilizers) given IV (generally used method, by a vet) 48-72 hrs before a race could possibly affect performance?? If a horse is bad to shoe, for example, and is given .15cc of dormosedan (yes, POINT 15 cc)or 1 cc of xylazine 45 hours out and stands peacefully to be shod that is somehow a “bad thing”? Better he should run with a loose or missing shoe, or struggle with the shoer and possibly tweak his back or hurt the shoer?

    The allowable levels of bute, banamine, triamcinalone, ketopofen, dexamethsone and other anti-inflamatories are low enough to warrant 24-72 hour withdrawl times. Are you going to tell me that if you injure yourslf or are muscle sore from a hard workout that one Tylenol or Advil will keep you “feeling no pain” for 72, 48, or 24 hours?  Nope.

    Hylauronic acid is naturally found in the joints of every mammal and probaby reptiles, too. Aminocaporic acid is strictly to help horses who bleed and has no sde effects, compared to lasix which has side effects, some detrimental. It is also NOT allowed pre race in many jurisdictions. Saliciates are from the aspirin family.

    Clenbuterol use is restricted further than 72hrs in many states because of reported anabolic tendencies. Myself, I have never witnssed anabolic effects in horses using it at the reccommended dosages, but the reports came from somwhere so there might be something to that. The bronchodialotor effects do not last over 12h, however, and that is what clenbuterol is for. So, again, if you have allergies you should be able to take one Benadryl and be congestion free for 3 days? The horses do that NOW, but they should be denied an antihistimine for 30 days prior to running?

    Spouting off scary souning names of common thereputic medications may further the anti-medication, anti-racing crowds’ cause with the public who has no clue, but it really is not helpful to the horses.

  • Cass

     I disagree.  I think Bute is a powerful pain killer and woefully overused in racing.

  • Cass

     Are there any thoroughbreds in Colorado?  Certainly there is no racing.  Where does this hands on college get its eperience with Thoroughbred racehorses?

  • Aunt Bea

    Dear Sevencentstable:
    if you don’t know why racehorses get tranquilized so close to raceday, (and I give $1K you do), and if you really think all that crap is necessarily “therapeutic”, I’d recommend that you leave the business immediately. To maintain self-respect for no other reason.
    Why is it you people are aroused by a Stat like: Dead horses up 100% over last year??

  • Cass

     Horses used to stand for the blacksmith without the use of dermosodan but then again horsemanship was important in those days.  As for clenbuterol, having  witnessed the use of this drug in many barns on the track and in the show world,  I decided to check into it and see what this clenbuterol really does to a horse.  Besides its bronchodilator effect it has many other effects, such as lean muscle building,  so unless almost every horse on the track  and the show grounds has allergies, then clenbuterol is being used for its other properties.  To get into these other properties  would take way too long here but anyone interested should investigate the present studies being done on horses rather than on rats etc.  (rats and mice not being as sensitive as horses to clenbuterol).  It is not an innocent drug just being used for a horse that has trouble breathing, it is costing owners a fortune and is being way overused.

  • Cass

     perhaps you should read some TB history also.  You will find out what happened to a female vet that tried to let the world know what went on in New York.  Many of us still remember

  • Cass

     as for cheaters being less than 1% I truly believe you are way off on that one and I really do think I understand the difference between juicing and treating but it is a very close line.  Are you a horseman by any chance? 

  • Cass

     Maureen,  Dr Lyons also was a finalist for the Bayer Animal Health award given to veterinarians for outstanding care to unwanted horses.  This to me tells us a lot about her character.  I see she has also provided free equine care.  Very few vets do that.  I have worked for veterinarians in the past and as you say, many of them are certainly unethical but Sheila Lyons seems to care

  • Maureen

    The drug issue is not just about cheating by using completely illegal drugs – it’s about the abuse.  And abuse is widespread.  Anyone who doubts that is naive or refuses to face the truth. 

  • Maureen

     If racehorses are in such dire need of so many drugs, they need help – not racing.  Please do not play innocent.  Who do you think you’re kidding?

  • Aunt Bea

    Haha, settle down ya idiot! Nobodies gonna come take your guns a d drugs away!!!

  • Maureen Tierney

    It doesn’t matter what racehorses she has worked on.  Nor do I know or care.

    The point is that a horse is a horse.  If something is bad for a HORSE, it is bad for racehorses.  Let’s stop excusing abuse of horses because they are RACE horses.

  • Maureen Tierney

    And you are right.  It IS a painkiller, and I have given an example of just how good it is.  However, no one wants to hear that because so many want to believe it’s nothing, so they feel good using it.

    If it wasn’t an effective pain killer it wouldn’t be in use! 

  • Maureen Tierney

    You might check your facts before stating things. There certainly is horse racing in Colorado.  Arapahoe Park in Denver.

  • Maureen Tierney

    You are absolutely right.

  • Maureen Tierney

    What happened?  I would like to know.

  • sceptre

    How is it that Dr. Lyons was the ONLY vet invited to testify? It seems rather transparent that the Bill’s proponents took full advantage of the naievete of other members of Congress. So, is this the negligent method by which all legislation is considered?

  • Sevencentsstable

    Honestly, I have not seen a stat claiming death rates have doubled for TBs, little in QH racing would surprise me, so if you are combining #s from mixed meet tracks and not discriminating by breed that could double #s.

    Some folks do like to inject joints at 3 days, old time vets swear by 10 days out. I am just saying that screaming about current legal medications having performance enhancing or pain blocking effects 2-3 days after administration is ridiculous. In many of those cases our withdrawl times are no different than everybody’s favorite place to vaunt as Pure As The Driven Snow – Europe.

    Athletes, regardless of species, are going to get more care, more maintenance, and more medications than their more sedentary counterparts.

    I agree alot of horsemanship has gone by the wayside, but not all. And if you think Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Kelso, and all the greats of yore ran on hay, oats, and water I have some property I would like to sell you.

    I am all for increased testing and incresed penalties, but not for abolishing legal meds at low levels that serve a theraputic purpose.

  • Sevencentsstable

    If you are going to call someone an “idiot” please check your own spelling and punctuation first. Thank you!

  • Sevencentsstable

    The theraputic medications do help. Along with hydrotherapy, linements, poultices, icing, proper conditioning, and bandaging.

    Racehorses have a job to do. They work for a living. As a whole they are treated better than any other group of horses out there. They don’t have to stand in hot pastures fighting flies, they eat better than most people, and their every need is catered to. Someone who knows what they are looking at checks their limbs and bodies every day for the slightest change. They have chiropractors, accupuncturists, and nutritionists. Find me a group of horses outside Olympic competitors wo receive that kind of care.

  • Hopefieldstables

    I cannot think of a single tested for drug that the withdrawal time is “no different” than Europe (or Hong Kong, Australia etc). Perhaps you can enlighten me.

  • Maureen

    That is bunch of crap.  You might try studying what horses really need. And don’t need – as in stalls – which have been proven to be an unhealthy environment.  Shoes – those ice cold legs are not natural – healthy barefoot horses have warm legs, as there is actual blood in them.  Everyone is so worried about bleeding – but no one hesitates to get water on a horse’s face.  And it’s been proven that bathing reduces the horse’s ability to absorb vitamin D.  Not to mention being in a stall limits his exposure to vitamin D in the first place.  Ulcers come from stalls and stress.  Cribbing and other vices come from confinement and grain.  Horses are social animals and need contact with other horses – and friends.  Given a choice (how shocking), horses do NOT choose stalls, and they choose to roll in the mud, not have baths.  They enjoy being outside.  And there are plenty of people who have horses who treat them far better than racehorses are treated.  Many, many get chiropractic and massage, etc.  And in addition, they get respect and love.

    Please do not talk to me about how great racehorses are treated.  99% are much happier when they leave the track and have a real home.

  • Hopefieldstables

    Well said Maureen. They get ulcers simply by feeding them grain. That is not “eating better” that is eating to do the work forced on them for sport. Maybe IHA got all his Vit D from his 15 IV injections in 17 days. Some life.

  • Hopefieldstables

    Most “therapeutic” meds have a role to play in an ailing horse, but unless you understand the difference between disease modifying drugs and symptom modifying drugs, your statement “theraputic (sic) medications do help” is at best misleading, at worst delusional. Administering symptom modifying drugs, at any time, for no other reason than there is an upcoming race is malpractice. (and illegal in nearly every major racing jurisdiction in the world).

  • Hossracergp

    Where has it been proven that putting water on a horse’s face when you bathe him causes a vitamin D deficiency? 

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Does anyone ever read through an entire thread on here? It would seem as though most are only interested in proving their own point. Is being “right” more important than learning or finding a solution?
    For racing to move forward there will have to be compromise and hard decisions. Everyone can’t win people and the most we can possibly hope for is that the horse comes out somewhere near the top.
    I truly do not understand the bitterness and meanness in people’s posts. Can’t you argue your point of view without resorting to personal attacks on those who have a different view of the subject at hand?
    I have had many discussions with Tinky and while I may not always agree with him, I have learned from him and though he can be caustic at times he always makes an intelligent case. Mr Ensor has my respect as well, his years in the business earn him that due. Mr Jaws actually shares a great many key points that I have made in the past despite his boorish demeanor and I have a feeling he may yet prove to be a voice worth listening to and a nice guy. SevenCentsStables I’ve called a friend for a over 10 years and almost as many states. I PROMISE you there is not a better horsewoman alive. She found homes and second careers for her horses BEFORE it was fashionable! Her rate of breakdowns is almost nil and she has managed to make something out of nothing more times than I would’ve believed possible. Mr Irwin may come off as a jerk but there’s usually value in the underlying message……

    My point (yes, I have one) is that nearly everyone on this board has something worthwhile to contribute. We all bring personal experience, observations, education, and passion to the discussion. Just because someone does not agree with you doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them. It does not make them less intelligent or wrong– it just means you disagree!

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Aunt Bea,
    I would be interested in the source of the figures you quote. Where might I find the material showing a 100% increase in fatalities over the previous year? Are you referring to a single track? Nationwide? Thoroughbreds? Quarter horses? Standardbreds? All racing breeds?
    If you are correct, that is extremely alarming. If you are mistaken, it was a very inflammatory and irresponsible statement to make.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Seven Cents actually makes a well reasoned argument here. She is also correct in her usage and dosage of the listed medications. To respond with a grade school taunt really does nothing to further your side of the discussion.

  • Maureen

    It’s bathing that keeps horses from absorbing vitamin D. 


    But many horses suffer from respiratory infections – from such things as stalls, but think about it, how many horses get water down their nostrils from being bathed and hosed.  Water that finds its way into the lungs.  There is actual scientific research out there on what is good and bad for horses.  It’s free and it’s on the web.  There’s no excuse for people relying on crap made up in the old days.

    Not to mention common sense.  Oh … but maybe we don’t like the truth.

    I tell all my clients to put themselves in their horses’ place when doing things.  You mentioned icing a horse’s legs.  I suggest you try it yourself.  See how much you like it, and see how your legs feel after.   

  • Sevencentsstable

    Pasture life is fine for some horses, but TBs are bred to do a job and most prefer to have one. Maybe not all, but most. I have rehomed horses into pasture pet lives and had to go rehome them again, a year later, because they were not happy. Put them in a barn w/ turnout AND a daily job and they were great.

    So, by some of your comments, grain, clean stalls, bathing, shoeing, and cold legs ar abuse, too?

    How much racing experience do have, please?

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Horses do not get water in their lungs from being bathed! I’ve seen horses get water in their ears when improperly hosed but I would suspect that water occasionally gets in their ears when outside in a downpour as well.
    As far as being outside, one of my boys, Hollywood, will actually jump a fence if left out after dark. You will find him in the shed row waiting to be let into his stall. All 3 of my horses couldn’t be pulled out from in front of their fans on a hot afternoon if you used a Mack truck! All 3 are stabled at a racetrack for 5-6 months a year and are home the other months. None have ulcers, crib, weave, or have nervous mannerisms.
    Horses, like people, vary wildly in personality and needs…..
    What works for some is at the far end of the spectrum from what works for others.

  • Maureen

    That’s another myth.  TB’s are horses and they want want all horses want.  Unfortunately, all people do not know how to show a TB he/she CAN relax.  Many horses who come off the track are in a state which, if they were humans, would require psychological counseling.

    I currently have 7 TB’s ranging from 24 to 2.  Two are in training, and they live in the herd with the other 5, along with the 4 non-TB’s.  I am a hoofcare professional and see many happy TB’s who are in pastures.  I have not seen one unhappy one.  I have owned 10 other TB’s, all of which at least 8 hours of turnout a day, none of whom were unhappy to have a good life.

    I started with racehorses at age 15, and bought my first TB at age 19.  I got my trainer’s license at 26.  I trained only my own as I have never wanted to be a public trainer.

    No grain is not abuse, but neither is it actually good for horses.  There is much research done and being done on this subject – available on the web and other places.   It has been proven that even the cleanest stalls have ammonia at a level high enough to be a problem, and also dust particles, and other particulates are the cause of respiratory problems.  Shoes create cold legs, among a lot of other problems and while not abuse, are used in ignorance and disregard of the function of the hoof. 

    And let me state that “racehorse” experience is not the be all and end all of horse experience, or horse knowledge.  The fact is that most people who limit themselves to racing have less actual knowledge of horses than many one-horse owners who have their horse in their backyard.  Because those people care enough to keep up with research.

  • Maureen

    Do you know that for a fact?  And how would you know?  I merely suggested it as a possibility – and it is.

    As for your horse who wants to be in after dark.  Is he out alone?  Some horses do not feel secure without a group.  And I agree most horses want to be in the shade and away from the bugs in hot weather.  But that doesn’t mean they want to be in stalls.  If the fan were in a run-in shed, they would want to be there.

  • Sevencentsstable

    I actually have to regularly ice my knees and my wrist. Helps a bunch. In my barn anyone hosing a horse’s head gets one warning and fired, most barns bathe the horse using a hose but SPONGE  their heads.
    Stalls are necessary. Sorry, but they are. When we all fly away on a spaceship to Planet Perfect there will be enough rural areas for all horses (and dogs) to live on spacious farms with plenty of room to run. Until then many horses have stalls and those of use with the luxury give them some turnout time as space and time allows.

  • Maureen

    That’s not quite the same as standing in ice for an hour, is it?  And then, having to go exercise at maximum level.

    I agree, better/smarter people sponge heads – but not all by any means.  And some sponge so vigorously it’s like being hosed.

    I agree, we don’t live in a perfect world, and real estate is pricey.  Not every owner is able to provide an alternative to stalling.  But they do not have to be dark and poorly ventilated.  And they could be larger.

    The point of my post was not that we live in horse Eutopia, but that racehorses are not treated wonderfully.  And they’re not.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    I too have argued that “a horse is a horse” BUT horses do not all want the same thing. My 3 are all out of the same mare. Hollywood is a stone cold workaholic (he’s 12). Pacific, 6, is a solid guy. He’s never going to do more-or less- than what you ask. Jäger just turned 4 in June and he’s still a total brat! They’re brothers yet their work ethic and temperaments run the gamut!
    A cold blooded Belgian does not have the same needs as a Thoroughbred. A 2 yr old has different wants than a 20 yr old….
    A horse is a horse of course BUT they really aren’t all the same!

  • Sevencentsstable

    Went to your Brandenburg link. Reading for comprehension is a BEAUTIFUL thing. He states that SOAP and sprays can limit a horse’s ability to absorb vit D through sunlight, SUGGESTS rinsing them with WATER. He also sells quite a few supplements for hi performance horses including AmpFuel paste and feed through. Bet that feed through goes n GRAIN. http://www.brandenburgequineth…. H

  • Sevencentsstable

    So, you don’t train publicly, but have clients? I am all for people doing whatever they feel is right by their stock. I am against people trying to force their Holier-Than-Thou theories down others’ throats. Trainers are people. There are good and there are bad and there are many, many more in the middle. I am against things that block pain (NSAIDs do not block or numb), narcotics, or use of things with long term detrimental effects, but approved meds used properly are not “evil”.

    Your horses must be able to be stalled to race, you surely don’t hold them outside the paddock for 6 hours at the track before your race? 

  • Lisa Wintermote

    He’s not alone. He’s with his 2 brothers, he just thinks he belongs in a stall after dark AND I might add that his paddock is about 12 acres beautifully mown with 4 board fencing, 2 automatic waterers, both salt and mineral blocks, and has two 14×24 run in sheds. The lower shed has electricity and does have an overhead fan. He prefers his stall as does his brothers. They go out in the morning about 6:30am and by 11am they are all 3 standing at the gate nickering to come in! They go back out around 4pm and come in about 8pm. You’ll never meet happier horses! Oh and if you want to take away their grain, I’ll let you explain it to them! ;-)

  • Maureen

    All horses are horses.  Just like all dogs are dogs, and all humans are humans.   Then of course they are individuals within that framework.  I totally agree.  What I said was that it was a myth that TB’s all want and need to have a job – because the implication is they must work for humans.  That is not true, and fewer want jobs than just want to be horses. Every horse in a herd, HAS a job. Many many TB’s really just want to be pets, and thrive with a relaxed lifestyle.   

  • Sevencentsstable

    “I cannot think of a single tested for drug that the withdrawal time is “no different” than Europe (or Hong Kong, Australia etc). Perhaps you can enlighten me”

    Okay, According to the medication rules published by the Racing Commissioners International, allowable levels of theraputic drugs require the same withdrawl times as the rules most US trainers opperate under, Lasix would be the exception.

    Looking at the British Racing Authority’s website, their withdrawls for most NSAIDs are about 24 hours longer than ours, but their withdrawls for prednisolone, lidocaine and mepevacaine (blocking agents), and acepromazine are much SHORTER than ours. Detomedine (Dorm) and Ketoprofen (NSAID) are the same.


  • Maureen

    It sounds like they have a good life.  They are lucky.

  • Maureen

    I just included a couple links from different sources.  If you do a search, you’ll find many many sites with the same information.  It is not Brandenburg’s theory.  I forgot where I originally read it. It may have been The Horse, it may have been Kentucky Equine Research.

    Like so many on this list, you pick on one irrelevant tangent and ignore the real point.  The real point is that little regard is paid to what horses really need when it comes to racehorses. 

    If I were to state that the sky is blue, I’m sure many would post an argument.

  • Hopefieldstables

    No, not the same at all. Bute detection time is 7 days. Banamine detection time is 6 days. Ketoprofen detection time is 4 days. It is recommended to add a MIN of 40% to detection time to arrive at a safe detection time. That gives 6 days for ketoprofen.

  • Hopefieldstables

     sorry that should read 40% to arrive at a safe withdrawal time

  • Hopefieldstables

    You are confusing detection time with withdrawal time.

  • Maureen

    I didn’t say I had owners.  I believe I stated I am a hoofcare professional, hence clients.

    Someone has to speak for the horses since they cannot speak for themselves.  Those who disagree call us holier-than-thou.   If you want to lie to yourself that Bute does not have any effect on pain, you go right ahead.  But that IS a lie. And perhaps you can explain to all of us why vets prescribe it for pain.

    And just because some drugs are currently legal doesn’t mean they’re good, or that they are used as intended. 

    Yes, when they go to the track to work or race, my horses will be in stalls.  But they do not have to LIVE in stalls. A few hours is not a big deal.  They know it’s temporary and they will get to go home and be with their friends.

  • Hopefieldstables

    Lidocaine, Mepivacaine had DTs of 3 days giving WTs of 5 days +. Most states in the US are 4 days.

  • Hopefieldstables

    See – “How to extrapolate a withdrawal time from an EHSLC
    published detection time, P L Toutain Equine vet. J. (2010) 42 (3) 248-254

  • Hopefieldstables

    For drugs of high variability in pharmacokinetic parameters WT is double DT.

  •  I heard them playing one time from my boat at a festival in Long Beach. There was another fish band called The Fabulous Dorado’s but I don’t know whatever happened to them .

  •  Its not a painkiller , buttZ… even if it was why shouldn’t someone or some animal have a painkiller if need be.  I laugh pretty hard at people that are on this tangent because they themselves can’t get through a day without Vicadin ,Oxywhatever , lipitor, the little purple pill yada yada yada. When it comes down to it everything ,buttZ… that stuff for Restless Leg Syndrome should be mandatory . I’don’t want the restless leg syndrome stuff in racehorses because I WANT the horses I bet to have restless legs :-) You know what I mean ? LOL.

  •  Thats pure bullspit Maureen.  As I told you before I’ve been around horses. I’ve seen the way all you pleasure horse lovers love your horses so much. Horses stink when clean & they’ll gag a normal person when dirty.  No shoes is for the peta tofu crowd . Very few racehorses don’t have a PET of their own. Its an out and out lie that there are plenty of pleasure horse owners treat their animals better than racehorses get treated. Admit it Maureen ,you’ve never made a bet in your life and know nothing of racehorses. If you don’t bet you don’t get a vote. Simple as that.  Thoroughbreds are not wild mustangs or burros. They need pampering or they’ll die. Why don’t  you go watch Electric Horseman again and have a nice salad ?  

  •  Aaaaaaaanndy !! Thats a meaningless stat . Like murder is down in L.A. by 30 % over last year. There are not that many murders and there are not that many racetrack fatalities . Next year they might be down 100% . If thats not just a number you pulled out of your coulo .

  •  LOL . Larry . funny.

  •        TiZnow on tranquiliZers  struggles in 3rd.  TiZnow on Vodka eats their lunch .

  •      Lisa,the boorish demeanor is a bad habit. Most of my 7 siblings would agree with you on that point.  I have a nice moment every now & then :-)  You don’t have to call me Mr Jaws. BSB is good enough.  I speak from a players point of view and despite what some people think ,no player, no game ,no horses. I don’t think race trackers should give in even one inch to the Anti- crowd . This whole thing is Hegelian theory . Push from above & below.  Thesis/ anti-thesis/ synthesis.  I’m not for that at all. If lasix gets banned I’ll quit & there goes the purse money for a 20000 claiming race with me. I won’t be the only one.  Like I said , I get what I get out of racing honestly. Nobody is paying me just to show up. I have to earn what I get out of the game and pay for taking the chance. I won’t pay to bet horses with the built in excuse that they bled. It opens up the game to more chicanery than is already in it.  I really don’t care what a bunch of foreigners want to do. I don’t bet  foreign races. Most of them are boated. Most intelligent speculators don’t want to bet a 10 horse field with two 4 prong uncoupled entries owned by a sheik & a bookmaker. So I’ll fight to the bitter end with words to see that that doesn’t happen here and if I lose I’ll vote with my feet.

  • Maureen Tierney

    If it’s not a painkiller why do vets prescribe it for pain?

    I have no problem with horses receiving pain killers if they need them.  Nor does anyone else who wants drug-free racing.

    What we don’t want is the abuse of drugs.  This is clearly where the disagreement is.  What constitutes abuse?  Abuse is when a horse is given drugs purely to help him get to the track.  When he does not get the rest and treatment he needs to become healthy BEFORE going to the track.

    And I’ve heard all the economic reasons, yada-yada-yada, as you would say.  The bottom line is that the racing public doesn’t want to hear weak justifications for the abuse of horses.  Many of us involved in the industry do not want to hear it either.  We want fit horses racing – who are not pumped full of drugs – legal or not.

    It’s that simple.  All the rhetoric about what’s a painkiller and how we should be good to our horses by giving them drugs is just crap so that those who rely on drugs instead of horsemanship can feel good about the fact that they are abusing horses.  And a hopefully unsuccessful attempt to maintain the status quo in racing.

  • Maureen Tierney

    You’ve been around horses.  What does that mean?  Are you an owner, breeder, trainer, rider?  Doesn’t sound like you  care much about them, but I am glad for your honesty.  The hypocrisy that so many people have of saying how much they love horses and then treating them like an object is the problem.

    It is not a lie that private horse owners treat their horses better.  I could list over 100 people I’ve met personally who go out of their way to spend money and time so that their horses can have a good life.  To start, many buy property so they can have their horses at home. They research hoofcare. They research feeds, etc.  They have chiropractors and massage therapists for their horses.  They train their horses in a way that allows them to have a fulfilling relationship with them.  If their horses are older and have arthritis they give them joint supplements, and if they need joint injections, they get them – so they can feel good, not so their owners can attempt to profit from it.  They love their horses and sacrifice other things for them. 

    I have made bets in my life, though I am not a bettor.  I have owned and run horses.  I own TB’s now, as you should know since I’ve stated it enough.  I have a blog, http://www.theracehorseexperim… where anyone can read about my horses and see photos of them.  I have two horses I am currently preparing to race. 

    If racehorses get any more of what you consider pampering racing will be outlawed by public demand.

  • MIke

    Lyons a confirmed ‘loon’ clueless with regard to the reality of racing and investment in thoroughbreds.

    A PETA lackey!

  • Lisa Wintermote

    I would agree with you that bettors are greatly undervalued in this ongoing dialog. As to the Hegelian Theory, opinion would vary according to where you believe we are. Do you consider NYRA capitulating in the mid ’90’s to be the first phase or the second?
    If Lasix free racing was the first phase then racing with Lasix was the second and a compromise would fulfill the third law.
    If, however, you discount the first 200 years of racing Lasix free in the US and consider the implementation of allowable Lasix to be the first phase, it would then follow that we will indeed abolish Lasix as the antithesis and somewhere down the road– a compromise will be found to allow the pendulum to rest in the middle.
    A curious but very appropriate question, where are we indeed? One could conceivably make a case for it either way.
    Personally, I feel we can make it work with or without lasix. A built in excuse of bleeding could be countered by the amount of horses that “thump” from a potassium imbalance due to the use of Lasix. Point/Counterpoint ad infinitum…. What I fear the most is that we will debate this issue all the way to extinction!

  • Lisa Wintermote

    I enjoy intelligent discussion and I want to be clear that I am truly interested in your opinion here. I’m not being facetious in any way.
    I would tend toward discounting the first 200 years of racing here because there was no conscience decision NOT to use Lasix, it simply was not known/available. Based on that opinion, it would seem as though the decision to allow Lasix would indeed be the thesis. If the Hegelian law holds merit, race day meds will now be abolished to fulfill the second law, antithesis. I wonder if racing will survive to see synthesis?
    There has to be a certain amount of fluidity for evolution to occur. I believe that to survive, you must evolve whether you speak of a business, sport, or animal. If you are not growing/evolving, you are dying. To that end, racings byline of “we’ve always done it this way” must be abandoned.
    Just my thoughts…

  • Hossracergp

    It’s hard to imagine anyone who is a “hoofcare professional” with any knowledge of anatomy making an equitable comparison between  human legs and horse legs. Everyone  is entitled to their opinion, but having a blog doesn’t make you more credible or even accurate in your perception of race horse care and management. I tend to disagree with the conclusions you reach, irregardless of the medication issues.

  • Maureen

     I don’t remember comparing human legs to equine legs in this discussion.  My perception of racehorse care began long ago, when I got my first racehorse.

    didn’t buy him to race, but saw him in his stall and fell in love with
    him.  I told his owner/trainer to call me
    when he broke down.  I got a call in
    April of 1976.  He had suffered a
    suspensory injury at Suffolk Downs.  This
    shows on his pp.  Planning to just have
    him as a riding horse, I purchased him for $300, and proceeded to care for
    him.  He got no drugs, no veterinary treatment,
    etc.  I merely took normal care of him,
    kept him stalled (it was all that was available for boarding) and massaged his
    leg every day.  I don’t remember when
    exactly I began riding him, but he went very sound and I enjoyed riding
    him.  In late July, his previous
    owner/trainer stopped by to visit and when he saw him suggested I run him at
    the Fairs in August (yes, it is low level racing – on a bull ring).  I thought I would try it, as he never showed
    any sign of favoring that leg.  One race –
    to see what would happen.  If he didn’t
    do well he would come back home.  I
    proceeded to gallop him at the farm where I boarded.  In mid August I took him to the track, where
    he did live in a stall, naturally.  He
    was shod, as well, I had yet to discover much of what I know today.  In
    his first race for me, Marshfield Fair, he was running really well, was third
    or fourth, and then on the far turn, as he was making a move, he stopped. 
    I can’t describe what a horrible feeling it was, or the horrible guilt I felt,
    but then I saw he had stopped because the horse in front of him had stopped,
    when he was clear he started running again, finishing fourth.  It was my
    very first race and I was so happy I cried.  I was so proud of him.  You
    can look up his past performance (Calculated Gambler) and see that he raced 8
    times from August 21 to September 21, finishing, in order, 4th, 3rd,
    3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 6th,
    and 3rd.  On a bull ring, with
    its sharp turns.  I went partners with
    him the following year – which was an error in personal judgement for which I
    will always be sorry.  But he ran at the
    Fairs again and raced 6  times between August 20th and
    September 17, finished 7th, 2nd, 1st, 1st,
    1st, and 3rd.  He did additional racing – not my
    idea – but I was solely responsible for his conditioning until after his race
    at Great Barrington.  So I would say that
    I know something about horses – and keeping them sound.


    I will say that I am an expert in hoofcare
    and (unfortunately) know a great deal more about horses’ feet and how to keep
    than healthy than most vets or farriers.

  • Cass

     I stand corrected

  • Sevencentsstable

    While I understand marriage could change your last name, if you took your trainer’s lic out at 26 yrs of age, why does Equibase only show you as having 1 lifetime start, in 2010? They go back to the 1950s for trainer stats?

    Again, if someone is a self-described expert credentials should be available. This is not meant to be snarky, just an honest question.

  • samm

    who me?  if so YES!  Born on a human racetrack… switched to equine…

  • Don Reed

    Me, too!

  • Maureen

    I fail to see why everyone else should  prove their credentials while you hide behind a pseudonym, but I am not hiding so here goes.  I raced Calculated Gambler when I was 25, under may married name of Maureen Luba.  The man who sold him to me saddled him for me, as trainer. I got my trainer’s license the following year (1977).  However, though I am down as trainer that year, my “partner” got his trainer’s license at the Fairs, and was listed as trainer there, though he literally knew nothing about training – and I was the one who actually trained the horse. As well as the mare Cinnamon Brandy. My training regimen was to ride Ugly on the trails during the winter and spring – to keep those tendons sound – then gallop prior to racing.  The whole thing is a long story – and was the result of my own naivete and stupidity.  I had nothing to do with the horse after Great Barrington in 1977, until Paul Vecchione gave him back to me – with road founder (from lack of conditioning those tendons) and I had to have him put down.

    I decided then that I would give up racing.  And I did, until 1985, when I decided to race a horse I had bought that spring.  My name then was Maureen Gould – as I had remarried.  I raced another horse, who I bought as a yearling and who turned out to be a roarer.  In 1989, one of the vets at the track told me that racing was “chemical warfare, and if you don’t want to play you should go home.”  So I did.  Racing is a dirty industry, and I wanted no part of it.  My horses had a good life, they were on a farm most of the time, with turnout, and trail riding, and friends.  But seeing all the horses at the track was very hard for me, and I really didn’t want any part of it.

    In 2009 I moved to Kentucky and offered to trim racehorses for free if anyone wanted to try barefoot.  Of course no one did.  After a while it dawned on me to race a barefoot horse myself.  So I looked around for a horse that had won but was now runnning poorly – and who was free or cheap.  I found one at Suffolk Downs (on the CANTER website) and bought him from his photo, for $1000 and had him shipped to Kentucky.  His last win was in 2008.  In 2009, when I moved to KY, I took back my maiden name of Tierney.  I raced Money Talkin (Chance) just once, as he is a horse who likes to race, but is older and smart and doesn’t really work.  It was his first start in a year, his first start on synthetic, and I knew he wasn’t fit.  Still, I was happy with the outcome.  I do believe the competition at Turfway is stiffer than at Suffolk Downs, and he finished as well as he had been doing there.  More importantly, he justified my theories that drug free, tongue tie free, barefoot, and herd living with minimal grain worked.  Despite the fact that most people wouldn’t have thought him to be sharp, living out 24/7, he broke first.  Most importantly, he actually came back from that race feeling better than before.  Which was exciting.  Unfortunately, that was a week before the end of the meet and I didn’t get a chance to run him back.  In 2011 I was depressed due to my living situation, and by a miracle, last October I bought a farm of my own.  Things have been going well, and my plan is to run him at Kentucky Downs in September.

  • Cass

     Dr Lyons is not living in Fantasyland. Whether she has personally worked on a thoroughbred that is racing or not is irrelevant.    A person has to be naive to think it is all a level playing ground on the racetrack and that is the person living in fantasyland.  There are several vets and trainers that have no morals and please no one try to tell me again that it is only 1% of them that are cheaters,  thats also fantasyland thinking. 

    I mean no disrespect to the vets that truly mean to help the horse and thank heavens for them. 

    My admiration goes out to the trainers and veterinarians that  daily fight this fight by using the best of their abilities to win a race honestly,  even though they know that others are cheating.   They are the ones that will keep this game going.  The Graham Motions of the world come to mind


  • Joe S.

    Yes, they do “lay low about it” because if they don’t they may not be working. I believe the trainers have way tooo much power in this business and way tooo little accountability.  I have seen some very questionable incidents first hand. There are too many wealthy absentee owners in this business and many are not very knowledgeable re horses. Unfortunately some trainers take advantage of this.

    When I questioned a vet. as to why my horse was given certain medications that I considered inappropriate the answer was the trainer requested them…need I say more !   

  • Marc

    Lack of knowledge on your part concerning Dr. Lyons’ impressive credentials is of little consequence. Read her Senate testimony. If you can point to a single inaccuracy – just one – then maybe you’ve got something useful to say. Otherwise, your just blowing secondhand smoke.

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