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Kentucky governor overrides committee decision, new medication rules go into effect Sept. 4
By Matt Hegarty
LEXINGTON – Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has overridden a recent decision by a state legislative committee to strike down several new medication rules, his office said late on Thursday.
Beshear’s decision to override the committee’s 19-1 vote means that two of the rules, a ban on adjunct bleeding medications and a reduction in the permissible level of the painkiller phenylbutazone, will go into effect on Sept. 4, according to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The other rule, which restricts the raceday administration of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide to state vets, will go into effect on Oct. 5, the KHRC said.
Marty Maline, the executive director of the KHBPA, said on Friday that he was “shocked and frustrated” by Beshear’s decision. He said that the horsemen have not yet decided if they will challenge the governor’s override, which could take the form of a request for a temporary injunction.
“I’m terribly frustrated that the governor would make this move without talking to us and giving us the opportunity to provide evidence and proof of what we presented in front of the committee,” Maline said. “But other than that, it’s too soon to comment on what action we might take.”
The committee’s vote to find the rules “deficient” was supported by the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. Officials of the organization had testified in front of the committee, which had not announced that the rules would be up for a vote prior to conducting the hearing on Monday.
Following the vote, several racing organizations urged Beshear to override the decision, including the Jockey Club, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, an industry-wide coalition of groups that developed the rules as models for racing jurisdictions. Similar rules to those that were rejected by the Kentucky committee have been adopted or are in the process of being adopted in most major racing states.
In a note to the Legislative Research Commission, Beshear said that he overrode the decision by the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations because the rules had been endorsed by a committee of the racing commission before the commission also approved them.
“The interest of the industry demands that these well developed and full vetted regulations go into effect as promulgated,” Beshear said.
good for the governor. If a horse requires large amounts of bute then maybe they shouldnt be racing. And maybe we need less racing. Do we really need over 260 days of virtual year round racing in NY, Fla, California, Louisiana, Pennslyvania and Kentucky. I dont think so. Toss in tracks like Penn National, Presque Isle, Finger Lakes, Northern California meet, and the numbers are even higher in many states.
How do each of you plan to adapt your handicapping to the new medication rules for Bute that KY and other states are adopting? These are pretty huge reductions, horses will get less than half the amount they have in the past. I would expect sharp barns to be dropping horses right and left hoping to get a win and lose the horse if it falls into the category of runners who wont do well with lower levels of pain killers. You also should see horses moving to circuits with unchanged levels of bute if sales can be arranged because, simply put, those horses are worth alot less without their meds. One thing is for sure, the races you see in the past performances will all have been run with the higher drug levels. Those who just expect those performances to be repeated without that medical assistance are gonna get creamed. What will you do to take advantage of this?
I hate to say it, but the industry's lack of acceptable self regulation, has brought about regulation brought about by ongoing disasters of good horses breaking down and jockeys getting injured in spills.
I do not see this helping Kentucky Racing at all. I think tracks in PA and NY are going to need to prepare for an influx of horses who used to run in KY. The purses are not that great in KY (other than Keeneland twice a year), now the medication rules are very strict, why would any owner or trainer want to race there anymore?
It's about time we return the good old days when the past performances truly reflected a horses ability to win or lose without being masked or manipulated by medications.
look at all of the tendon and soft tissue injuries this year. lasix draws the electrolytes right out of the horse and makes them more vulnerable to these injuries. lasix draws out around 16 pounds of fluid. a gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds. so give your horse 2 gallons less water within 24 hours of the race.
Its about time the U.S. tracks get on the right path. If no drugs are allowed it will eliminate if not all, most of the cheating. These guidelines should be nationwide. It will take some time but will make the U.S. bred thoroughbreds stronger in the end. These guys have been so self serving for so many decades.
Splat!!! Blood in the eye! Great lets breed horse so they can sit in a stall all day..
Thank you governor. Common sense prevails. The horses have a voice. The public can breathe a sigh of relief. Less bute and no adjunct meds equals cleaner racing. Sounder horses. A victory for racing.
There was a time when a horse actually had to be a bleeder to be put on lasix.
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