Kentucky Horsemen Prepped on New Racehorse Drug Rules

Kentucky horsemen March 14 received an overview of impending equine medication changes along with a few tips to avoid headaches when the new regulations take effect later in the spring.
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Kentucky horsemen March 14 received an overview of impending equine medication changes along with a few tips to avoid headaches when the new regulations take effect later in the spring.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) plans to adopt the national model uniform drug rules already in place in a few states. The rules include threshold testing levels and withdrawal times for 24 legal therapeutic medications commonly used by horsemen.

Kentucky, however, also has opted to provide "guidance" to horsemen on about 30 other substances and their withdrawal times. Policy on such substances differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

"It's not a matter of 24 medications and nothing else," said Mary Scollay, DVM, equine medical director for the KHRC. "We will have uniformity on the 24 substances, but for other substances guidance will continue to be available

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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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