The old adage says "you don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been."

So at the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn., several of the organization’s past presidents covered controversial industry topics in a “Lessons Learned” session from. Tom Brokken, DVM, AAEP’s president in 2006, reviewed evolving medication regulations in horse racing. Brokken is a partner with Teigland, Franklin & Brokken, DVMs, P.A., in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Brokken began by outlining the AAEP-sponsored Racehorse Medication Summit which took place in 2001. The goal of that first meeting was to create overall uniformity within the racing industry, Brokken said. At that meeting the group agreed on a need for:

  • Medication regulation uniformity;
  • Medication policies that considered the integrity of racing, health and welfare of horse and human participants, and long-term interest of the breeds;
  • The creation of a national advisory body to develop medication policies;
  • Education; and
  • Broad-based funding to support these initiatives.

In 2002 the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium was formed (RMTC) with AAEP as a founding member. The Consortium’s mission was “to develop, promote, and coordinate, at the national level, policies, research, and educational programs that seek to ensure the fairness and integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants, and to protect the interests of the racing public.”