03/04/2013 11:55AM

Darley executive resigns from Breeders' Cup board over furosemide policy

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Oliver Tait, the chief operating officer of the international breeding and racing operation Darley, has resigned from the board of the Breeders’ Cup, citing the organization’s decision last week to suspend the expansion of a policy banning the raceday use of furosemide in Breeders’ Cup races.

In a statement, Tait said the board “stepped back in time” with the decision to suspend the policy, which was first adopted in 2011. Under the policy, raceday furosemide was prohibited prior to any of the event’s 2-year-old races in 2012, and that policy was set to expand to all 14 races this year (the Breeders’ Cup last week also dropped one race from its lineup, the Juvenile Sprint).

“A true world championship, to be enjoyed and admired by all, needs to be medication free,” the statement read.

Asked if Tait’s resignation would impact whether Darley horses would be entered in this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Jimmy Bell, the president of Jonabell Farm, Darley’s operation in the U.S., said: “Any and all decisions regarding horses running in the Breeders’ Cup have been and always will be made by Sheikh Mohammed.”

Darley is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who races the majority of his horses under the Godolphin banner. Darley has horses in several European countries, and it also manages the racing operations of several members of the Maktoum family.