15 February 2009


...all is not lost

This is an interesting article from the 2008 AAEP convention. Some excerpts:

  • One attendee noted that pharmaceutical companies know which veterinarians or clients might be ordering too many equine medications, just as they track abuse of human pharmaceutical prescriptions. "We can say we don't know who the abusers are, but really we do," she said amid applause.
  • "I think the changes you're making are very good thing, but regulations have to be severe and uniform. Most of our trainers train very well without medications; all they're asking for is a level playing field. They don't want people winning because they have the best vet, not the best horse."
  • The interesting thing, he noted, is that the more people know about racing, the less they believe it to be a sport of integrity. When asked how serious the issue of performance-enhancing drugs is in horse racing, nearly one-quarter of casual fans rated it a 10 out of 10 (very serious). Nearly 42% of core fans rated it a 10, while more than half (52%) of industry stakeholders scored it a 10.


G. Rarick said...

I'm not sure if that's hopeful or depressing. Everybody KNOWS about it, everybody SAYS it should stop, and yet it continues because everybody just keeps wringing their hands and nobody DOES anything.

G. Rarick said...

Actually, I just got a chance to read the whole article. It is worse than I thought. Rather than realizing that these "therapeutic" medications are unnecessary, Robert Lewis says the public needs to be "educated" about the difference between therapeutic and performance-enhancing drugs. He apparently sees legal drugs in U.S. racing as nothing more than a perception problem that can be corrected. There was no international representation on the panel to explain how training might be accomplished WITHOUT drugs. I am giving up hope for change.

Amateurcapper said...

I agree w/ G.Rarick.
IMO, horse racing is like a drug addict that hasn't found the "bottom".
You'd think that the BIG BROWN fiasco would have been racing's wake-up call.

Wind Gatherer said...

Thank you both for checking in.

I agree with both of you. My only reason for drawing attention to the article, was the realization of all parties that the game is no longer able to get away with business as usual, from a public relations standpoint.

Before this, these conventions might have spun things the same way but I don't know that they would have acknowledged the crisis of confidence of the public.

I am a hay, oats and water believer and if the industry can wrap its head around the fact that fans will leave...perhaps...

Thanks again for checking in.

Janine said...

I have a problem with no "drugs" ever. If your horse gets scraped up in a race, you're not going to use Bactine or equivalent on the scratch? Or if he's hit in the eye by a chunk of dirt, you can't give him a tab of bute?

Not every ding or bruise requires a trip to the farm for recovery. Saying you can't keep them comfortable or prevent infection for the day or two it takes to recover is ridiculous.

There are legitimate reasons for therapeutic medications, this is different from cheating. Saying no "drugs" ever is animal abuse.

G. Rarick said...

Janine - No one who is opposed to medication is opposed to it ALL THE TIME. It's simple. Your horse has a problem. You treat it with whatever drug is necessary. When that problem is gone AND THE DRUGS HAVE CLEARED THE ANIMAL'S SYSTEM you can return to racing. That has nothing to do with whether the horse is sent back to the farm or stays on the track. Nobody is against good vet care, but bute and lasix on race day is indeed inhumane.

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