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3 Top US Owners Lobbying For Federal Drug Ban

Thursday, 5th May 2011

Meanwhile a trio of high-profile US thoroughbred owner/breeders "is lobbying for support of a federal ban on performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing" reported bloodhorse.com. Arthur & Staci Hancock of Stone Farm, Roy & Gretchen Jackson of Lael Stable, and Augustin Stable owner George Strawbridge issued a headline-grabbing statement overnight "appealing for widespread support" for the historic legislation introduced into the US Congress by Senators Tom Udall & Ed Whitfield. The letter from the Hancocks, Jacksons & Strawbridge emphasises the "use of therapeutic medication in racing has not helped the sport", noting: since 1960 the average number of annual starts has fallen from 11.31 to 6.11; the average number of lifetime starts has fallen from 45.2 to 12.97 since 1950; & the pari-mutuel handle has dropped 24.42% in the last 3 years. Their letter declares: "With precipitous declines in both attendance & wagering at our tracks, compounded by the plummeting bloodstock sales, it is apparent that thoroughbred racing is at a crossroads. The industry has suffered a loss of confidence & respect with its fans & the general public. In our opinion, this (the drug-ban legislation) is the only way to end this terrible blight on American racing & to bring us in line with the rest of the world. We have been disappointed time after time over the years by promises, platitudes & good intentions. Now, here is a way to stop the madness once & for all."

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