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UK Jockey Club Slams US On Drugs

Thursday, 15th September 2005

Meanwhile "a tightening of the rules over the use of raceday drugs in Kentucky has been damned with faint praise by the British Jockey Club after its welfare director Dr Peter Webbon insisted the US remained badly out of step with the world's other major racing authorities," reported racingpost.co.uk. Webbon was responding to a report in the Thoroughbred Times that the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has moved to reduce race-day medication to: Salix (formerly Lasix); 1 drug designed to prevent bleeding; & a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (such as bute & flunixin) 24 hours before post time. Previous regulations allowed multiple medications 4 hours before a race & the changes "were trumpted in Kentucky as improving integrity, safety of jockeys & the health of the horse". However Webbon "was not impressed" & declared: "It is progress of sorts & brings Kentucky into line with 15 other American states. But it's still a long way away from what virtually the remainder of the racing worlds thinks is the proper way to go. We in Britain require horses running free of any affects of drugs. That is the policy of virtually of every other racing country outside of North & South America. Essentially, what we believe is that horses should be free of the effects of medication; but if you give the horse the drugs that American authorities are suggesting, they will still be affected by those drugs on the day of the race, & particularly affected in the lead-up to the race. We would not be happy to allow that. They are moving in the right direction, but have still got quite a long way to go before they fall into line with Britain, France, Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong or anywhere else."

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