Call Issued for Major Changes in Racehorse Drug Policy

One attorney discussed how federal intervention could help resolve racehorse medication issues.
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Federal intervention is the only way horse racing can resolve issues surrounding equine medication use, drug testing, and sufficient investigatory programs, an attorney said May 2 during the University of Kentucky Equine Law Conference at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington.

Ned Bonnie, also a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) with experience in racing and the horse show world, indicated he was involved in preparation of legislation that would provide federal regulation of horse racing in regard to medication and drug testing. His talk came a day after several members Congress announced plans to introduce a bill the week of May 5.

Bonnie said that about 30 years ago he lobbied federal lawmakers not to get involved because the industry can regulate itself. He said the industry’s track record has proved him wrong, yet most industry groups oppose involvement by the federal government.

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Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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