7 comments on “Time for racing leaders to get their heads out of the sand

  1. Thank you for your excellent article. No drug is in it of itself therapeutic. As you explain, it is the context in which it is given which makes it so or not. I given the diagnosis in the case of Coronado heights, no therapeutic plan could be developed that did not include rest until the signs of joint injury had resolved without the need for continued medication either into the joint or systemically.

  2. The debate about drugs seems to leave out two important constituencies whose interests coincide: the fans and the horses. The fan needs to know as much as possible about a horse entered in a race. The information about drugs is hidden and, therefore, cannot be part of the handicapper’s analysis. Moreover, if the horse suffers an injury or fatality during a race, the fan loses. The animal is not available for racing again, making the competitive fields smaller. From the horse’s standpoint, it is better to live and run. Both of these constituencies would be better served by a rule banning the use of all medications during racing season. If the horse is lame, he should not race. If the horse is sick and needs medication, he should be allowed to recuperate fully. Involving the federal government does nothing positive. At its worst, it is an opportunity for political mischief, probably to the detriment of horse-racing. At its best, it is useless, adding another intrusion and layer of expense to our lives. The proposed rule would have done nothing to preclude administration of Solu Medrol. Any veterinarian could justify its use medically, but it would still be damaging to the horse in the long run. It is about time for the people who run racing to take the interest of the fans and competitors into consideration. Without them, there will be no sport.

    • “At its best, it is useless, adding another intrusion and layer of expense to our lives. ”

      I agree completely. This law could ensure that someone who knows nothing would be in charge of determining ‘need’.

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