01/24/2014 4:32PM

National Steeplechase Association adopts medication rules

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The National Steeplechase Association has adopted the uniform rules document making the rounds in Thoroughbred racing states that limits horsemen to the use of 24 therapeutic medications, the steeplechase group announced.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the rules on Jan. 17, according to Bill Gallo, the group’s executive director. Prior to the vote, the board heard a presentation about the rules from Alan Foreman, an attorney who has been pushing U.S. racing states to approve the rules for the past six months.

The National Steeplechase Association is a regulatory body that has the power to enforce its own rules for the conduct of racing outside of licensed racetracks. Prior to adopting the rules, the group had used the model rules approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International for the conduct of its independent meets, Gallo said.

The new rules prohibit private veterinarians from administering the anti-bleeding drug furosemide on raceday, which Gallo said will require a “big change” for trainers of steeplechase horses and the the steeplechase group. As a result, the steeplechase group will need to begin to enforce rules that require horses to be on the grounds of a race meet by a specific time in order to regulate the raceday administrations of furosemide through designated veterinarians, as called for by the new rules, Gallo said.

“We’re obviously going to have some implementation issues to work out,” Gallo said. “So that’s going to be a big change for us, just like it’s been a big change for a lot of other jurisdictions.”

The new uniform rules have been adopted in nearly a dozen Thoroughbred racing states.