03/26/2015 3:07PM

Barretts, CHRB to launch pilot test program with May sale

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Juveniles offered at the Barretts May Sale of 2-year-olds in-training at Del Mar on May 28 will be subject to pre-sale testing as part of a pilot program between the sale company and the California Horse Racing Board.

Hair, urine and blood samples will be collected from horses catalogued for the May sale, according to a statement released by the sale company on Wednesday. The statement indicated that the results of testing will not affect the conditions of sale.

Kim Lloyd, the Barretts general manager, said on Thursday that testing before the sale, or out-of-competition testing, is expected to become commonplace in the juvenile sale market nationwide.

“We’re at the forefront of this and we want to be at the forefront,” he said. “It will happen everywhere. We felt it was important that we be part of the process and we can inform our buyers, consignors and practicing veterinarians to know what to expect.

“What we do here is what will happen everywhere in the country. “

Dr. Rick Arthur, California’s equine medical director, said the pre-sale testing this spring could provide considerable data.

“What we’ll be doing is out of competition testing in different formats, including hair, urine and blood testing,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “We’ll be doing a survey of the type of drugs that are used in sale horses and horses in training sales to determine what kind of strategy (to use) going forward.

“What we hope to find is nothing. I don’t expect that.”

Arthur said the testing could reveal whether medications such as anabolic steroids, clenbuterol, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory use are administered to sale horses.

The May Sale will be the first juvenile sale for Barretts at Del Mar. The company is no longer using the sale venue in Pomona, Calif., and has shifted its sale operations to the San Diego county fairgrounds at Del Mar.

Later this year, Barretts will have three additional sales at Del Mar – the Paddock Sale of horses of racing age on July 25, a select yearling sale on Aug. 15, and a fall yearling sale and horses of racing age sale on Oct. 28.