10/02/2012 1:47PM

Quarter Horse trainer Heath Reed banned for 21 years for medication violations

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Heath Reed, a leading Quarter Horse trainer, has been suspended 21 years by the New Mexico Racing Commission because of four positives for the banned painkiller dermorphin and two positives for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

Reed is the latest in a long line of trainers to be handed lengthy suspensions for positives for dermophin, an opioid derived from a substance secreted by some species of South American tree frogs that began showing up in post-race tests for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds this summer in several racing jurisdictions. Many of the New Mexico horses tested positive after winning trials for the $600,000 Ruidoso Futurity.

At the same time that it issued the 21-year ban to Reed, the New Mexico commission also banned another Quarter Horse trainer, Carlos Sedillo, for 10 years after two of his horses tested positive for the drug after winning trials.

Late in September, the commission also issued a 10-year ban to Quarter Horse trainer John Bassett for two dermorphin positives.