Gina Rarick writes at New York Times' The Rail about the attitude toward Lasix in Europe compared to the attitude in the United States. One comment that keeps appearing in the debate is that Europeans do use the same drugs just not on race day, writes Rarick.
“This is completely, 100 percent false,” said Christiane “Criquette” Head, president of the European Trainers Association and a top name in French racing for years. “I don't use Lasix in training and no one I know uses Lasix in training.”
Head continued: “Racing is about natural selection. In the United States, there are stallions that shouldn't be stallions, but you never know because the performance was achieved with medication. It is seriously affecting the breed.”
Due to style of racing and breeding in Europe, writes Rarick, bleeding is less of an issue. If a horse does bleed it is handled by cutting out oats the night before a race and leaving half a bucket of water rather than a full bucket. If the horse has a more severe problem it is retired or sent to the United States to race.
Rarick writes: “It's interesting that a big argument for allowing the medication in America is that it keeps the little guy in business. In Europe, smaller owners are not willing to pay vet bills for unnecessary or prophylactic treatment.”
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