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PETA ISSUES WARNING TO KENTUCKY HORSE RACING

Posted by on May 11, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

PETA ISSUES WARNING TO KENTUCKY HORSE RACING

 

Insider Louisville: After horse’s death at Keeneland, PETA issues warning to Kentucky

SOURCE: Lexington Herald-Leader

Animal activists have a message for Kentucky horse racing: They are watching.

“PETA is putting Kentucky on notice,” warned a statement from Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has been protesting at Santa Anita in the wake of 23 horse deaths related to the track.

Now, PETA is turning its attention to the Bluegrass state in the wake of the death of a horse Saturday at Keeneland.

“No horses died during Santa Anita Derby weekend, which seems to show that the track’s new rules — while not as strong as PETA would have liked — are a lifesaving step. Now, all eyes will be on Kentucky, where Churchill Downs — home of the Kentucky Derby — has the second-worst death rate for horses in the country,” Guillermo said in the statement. She said PETA would attend the Churchill Downs Inc. annual shareholders meeting later this month “to question the company’s executives.”

In California, The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita as well as Pimlico, where the second jewel of the Triple Crown is run, announced a set of new rules including limiting the use of furosemide, known as Lasix, and the use of whips. Protesters demonstrated outside Santa Anita on Saturday.

“At nearby Keeneland, Thoroughbred Cathedral Reader broke a leg and was euthanized on Saturday, and today, 2-year-old horses will be made to run faster than they ever will for the rest of their lives, risking injury and death to fetch a high price at the Keeneland April Sale,” Guillermo said. “Change is overdue, and for the sake of the horses, it needs to come now.”

The April 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale is taking place this week at Keeneland, which is also the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house. Horses ran timed sprints Monday and will be offered for sale Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Association of Racing Commissioners International issued a statement clarifying that horses treated with bisphosphonates, a controversial osteoporosis drug, may be denied entry into races while the organization formulates a policy to recommend to states.

The drugs have come under increased scrutiny by veterinary and racing organizations as deaths mount. Last year, Kentucky saw an unprecendented 80 percent increase in equine fatalities during racing. Bisphosphonates, which are recommended for navicular bone disease in older horses, are suspected of interfering with proper bone formation. Racing and sales officials have called on the industry to stop using them in horses under the age of 4.

Bimeda, the maker of Tildren, one of the medications, said in a statement to the Herald-Leader that they “welcome the recent partial bans proposed by racing organizations in the United States and Canada, regarding bisphosphonate use in young horses, and we are committed to research which will provide a better understanding of these important equine pharmaceuticals.”

Dechra, which makes the other drug, Osphos, pointed to another potential concern in an email: “There are two generations of bisphosphonates, non-nitrogenous (non-nitrogen containing) or nitrogenous (nitrogen-containing). Osphos is a first-generation non-nitrogenous bisphosphonate. This is the least potent class of bisphosphonate.

“There has been evidence of the non-approved and FEI-banned nitrogenous bisphosphonate zoledronate being compounded and used in horses. The nitrogenous bisphosphonates are not approved for use in the horse and work on a more complex pathway with a myriad of side effects as seen and documented in human medicine literature.”

The racing commissioners said that “bisphosphonate use in a racing environment is already prohibited and, if found, the trainer is subject to significant fine and suspension and the horse will be excluded from competition for at least 30 days to one year. The extra label use in any horse younger than 4 years of age of any bisphosphonate is prohibited.”

The racing commissioners, who recommend model rules for states to adopt, is considering a policy “that would disallow any horse from being entered in a race that has been treated with bisphosphonates prior to age 4 or for reasons not specifically cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as appropriate use. Owners and potential buyers of young horses are advised to insist on complete disclosure of any bisphosphonate treatments administered to horses they are considering for purchase.”

Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton and Ocala Breeders’ Sales last month announced a ban on the use of bisphosphonates in young horses. The sales companies said that buyers will be allowed to request horses be tested and that the sales could be rescinded.

However, it is unclear if current testing would be able to detect the use of the drugs after more than three months.

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ONE RACE HORSE DIES EACH WEEK AT PENNSYLVANIA RACE TRACKS

Posted by on May 2, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

ONE RACE HORSE DIES EACH WEEK AT PENNSYLVANIA RACE TRACKS

PENNSYLVANIA EQUINE SAFETY RECORD UNDER MICROSCOPE

 

May 2, 2019
Article written from an article in the Paulick Report

According to an article by David Wenner of PennLive posted in the “Paulick Report”, The bad news about Thoroughbred racing in the PennLive racing facility is that a recent report report on racing fatalities showed that roughly one horse dies each week at the Pennsylvania racetracks. However, the good news is that the state’s fatality rate is down from previous years and slightly below the national average.

Pennsylvania made headlines several years ago in connection with an FBI investigation and subsequent race-fixing charges related to illegal medication administration. The state’s racing commission says it has made positive changes, such as making its rulings publicly available and searchable and implementing out-of-competition testing.

However, Dr. Kate Papp, a rescue advocate and veterinarian, said there are still changes to be.made like Pennsylvania condition books still show a problematic unbalance between slots-infused purses and claiming prices. Papp is also convinced trainers and backstretch employees witness cheating but are afraid to testify about it. The remedy may be increased security cameras.

A portion of one response to the article said, “In my view the article brings into focus further evidence that horse racing is truly in trouble. The overwhelming majority of the general public increasingly see it as a drug-laden, cruel undertaking whose day has come and gone. The powers-that-be in the industry would be wise to take to heart the harsh lessons of the greyhound racing industry, which has seen voters in numerous states make greyhound racing illegal over the past couple of decades.”

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SANTA ANITA HORSE DEATHS OVERSHADOW REFORMS ELSEWHERE

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

SANTA ANITA HORSE DEATHS OVERSHADOW REFORMS MADE ELSEWHERE

The following article was posted by
STEPHEN WHYNO AP Sports Writer

April 30, 2019

Linda Gaudet can’t watch the replays.

Even after 47 years in horse racing, she turns away from any video showing one of the 23 fatalities over three months at Santa Anita Park.

“It was just devastating,” Gaudet said. “I still can’t stomach it.”

Neither can many others around horse racing. The alarming rate of horse deaths at Santa Anita plunged the industry into chaos and was a major blow to the sport’s public image going into Triple Crown season.

The tragedy was all too familiar for those who were around for spates of breakdowns years ago in New York, New Jersey and Maryland, and many are still perplexed that officials at the California track didn’t act more quickly on proven reforms that had been previously recommended across the country years ago.

Those East Coast states had investigated, diagnosed and successfully begun to solve similar issues with a series of effective reforms.

“Why they took so long to get on top of it is beyond any of us,” said Alan Foreman, chairman and CEO of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and co-author of the 2012 New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety.

“When you see spates of breakdowns like this, which are very unusual, you know something’s going on and something is impacting it. Certainly here we would’ve thought that based on the work we did in 2011-2012 that they would’ve grabbed on to this thing much sooner than they did, and that’s part of the tragedy here.”

Much like the 21 horse deaths at Aqueduct in New York in 2011-12 that led to the task force, many believe the situation at Santa Anita was something of a perfect storm: a combination of a rainy winter after years of drought that affected the surfaces, pressure from ownership on horsemen to fill fields and possibly problems with medications used on horses. After the fatalities began Dec. 26, Santa Anita closed for almost all of March and has seemed to get the problem under control since reopening , though it already has hurt racing there.

“They’re seeing an exodus of horses, they’re seeing an exodus of horsemen, they’re now being forced to reduce racing days, they’re running short fields and they’re in deep trouble,” Foreman said.

Horse racing officials from the Mid-Atlantic region, which consists of tracks in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Illinois, feel the findings of the 2012 task force provided a roadmap for Santa Anita. Since the recommendations from that task force were put into place, breakdowns in the Mid-Atlantic region have been reduced by 35 percent.

Foreman said last year the Mid-Atlantic was at the national average of 1.68 fatalities per 1,000 starts, which he called “unacceptable.” He and Gaudet believe the magnitude of the fallout at Santa Anita could have been avoided.

“This thing with Santa Anita, it is chaos because they’ve not done the proper investigation, the protocols,” said Gaudet, who has been with the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association since its inception.

“Most of the things that they want to do in California we’ve already done here. We’ve been doing it. It’s nothing new. It should’ve been done a long time ago.”

In a statement to The Associated Press, the Stronach Group said it, along with industry partners in California, “took the bold and necessary steps to begin to modernize and reform our sport for the betterment of horse and rider welfare. This industry-led initiative, successfully gained approval on groundbreaking Lasix reforms from California’s regulatory body for horse racing, the California Horse Racing Board. While steeped in both history and tradition, the sport needs to be modernized in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of horses and athletes first and foremost.”

The Stronach Group said it is forging ahead with “progressive reforms ranging from medication overhaul to training protocols” and added that horses at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields race “under the strongest medication regulations in the United States.”

California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Marten outlined that Santa Anita instituted medication limits and provided additional track veterinarians to monitor training hours and the board increased veterinarian, steward and investigator staffing time.

One issue that continues to be debated is the use of Lasix — a diuretic given to horses on race days to prevent pulmonary bleeding. The Triple Crown races are planning to phase out the use of Lasix over the next few years, even though independent regulators have found it is unrelated to horse deaths.

After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for an investigation amid the breakdowns at Aqueduct, the task force cited issues other than Lasix as causes for fatalities, including oversight and use of medicine, track safety and purse structure.

East Coast officials have been more focused on other practices by racing offices, owners and trainers, including the use of non-steroidal drugs that help a horse’s joints being administered too close to races. Foreman, Dr. Mary Scollay, New York equine medical director Scott Palmer and former jockey Jerry Bailey discovered horses were being overmedicated during their 75 interviews and months of work on the task force.

Bailey said in an effort to speed a horse’s recovery for the next race, some trainers were medicating horses with anti-inflammatories so often that it masks pain or an injury a horse might be feeling.

“These practices and the medications these trainers were giving them were way too close to race time,” said Bailey, a six-time winner in Triple Crown races who’s now an analyst for NBC Sports.

“Once we made the recommendation along with our competition testing to make sure that these trainers were adhering on medication and more transparency with veterinary records to make sure the vets weren’t doing it on their behalf, then we saw a change.”

Scollay, the equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and co-author of the 100-page New York task force report, said one lesson to be learned from the situations in New York and California is that cutting down on fatalities is a collaborative effort. She said front-office executives, who portion out the money that can be won in races, must be involved.

When casino revenue started pouring into New York earlier this decade, purses skyrocketed and that had unintended consequences. In claiming races, where any horse can be bought afterward, the incentives were so intoxicating that owners and trainers were willing to risk entering races with inferior or potentially injured horses for a potentially big payday.

“That commoditized the horse and established sort of a day-trading environment where you went all-in for that one big return and it didn’t matter after that because it wasn’t going to be your asset for very long,” Scollay said. “It sets horses up to be at substantially increased risk.”

Sometimes the track itself is a risk, which was believed to be a cause of 19 horse fatalities at Saratoga Race Course in 2017 and played a role at Santa Anita.

In an effort to address the track issue, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association contributed a $100,000 grant for the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory run by Dr. Mick Peterson at the University of Kentucky. The lab is developing technology such as sensors that can read moisture content of a track in real time and attempt to make the surface as consistent as possible.

While the lab testing and other initiatives are in the works, Foreman doesn’t believe the industry is doing a good job of informing the public of what it’s doing to try to prevent deaths. He also is discouraged that various jurisdictions have chosen to adopt different rules to combat the issue.

The proposed solutions in California and even at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, are very different from the policies that have been effective in the mid-Atlantic.

“What’s distressing to me is that here’s an opportunity for some consensus-based best practices and everybody’s going on their own, trying to do better than what the other guy did,” Foreman said. “That helps to create an atmosphere of industry dysfunction.”

___

Follow Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SWhyno .

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A FREE REPORT ON HOW TO MAKE A CLEAN CUT IN THE CUTTING ARENA

Posted by on Apr 19, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MAKING A CLEAN CUT IN THE CUTTING ARENA?

NCHA CUTTING FUTURITY AND WORLD CHAMPION LINDY BURCH WRITES ABOUT THE SECRET TO MAKING GREAT CUTS IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS – AND IT’S FREE!

April 19, 2019

Former NCHA Futurity and World Champion Lindy Burch reveals her own techniques on making good cuts in  a free book titled “5 Steps to Making Clean Cuts and Maximizing Your Score.”

The book includes six bonus tips that will help you improve your scores in the show pen, how to better understand the NCHA rules on cutting cows so you can eliminate frustration and embarrassment and the most important one: How to impress the judges from the moment the clock starts ticking down!.

AND IT’S FREE!

Simply go to: cutting.chtolive.com, fill in your name and e-mail address. Then click on: “Yes! Send Me This Free Report.” The free report will be sent instantly to the email address you submit. You are welcome to share the report with your friends.

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IS THERE AN EXTORTION RACKET IN THE HORSE INDUSTRY?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 10 comments

IS THERE AN EXTORTION RACKET OPERATING IN THE HORSE INDUSTRY?

 

THE LATEST GIMMICK INVOLVES THE POOR HORSE, ANIMAL RESCUES, DONORS AND KILL BUYERS

 

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
For all about cutting.net

April 14, 2019

EXTORTION BUYING:

It seems, if there’s a new scam that’s been derived, in the horse industry, to separate folks from their hard earned money.  The latest gimmick involves the poor horse, animal rescue operations, donors and “kill buyers.”  The scheme is quite unique in that it fulfills all the requirements of the definition of extortion:  More specifically, Extortion (also called shakedown, outwrestling and exaction) is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property or services from an individual or institution, through coercion.  Coercion is defined as “the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats”.

Another extortion tactic they use is: “The extortionist tells the donor that the horse is already on the truck headed to Mexico, but $200. will turn the truck around.” Still another extortion tactic they use is: “They will tell the potential donor and buyer that the horse has already been separated, sorted and chipped for shipment to the slaughter plant on a certain date.  The seller then jacks the price up on a previous $750. horse, for example, to a new asking price of $1,500 to cover the sorting and the chipping.

“Horse Kill Buyers” have enacted and perfected their presentation of an extortion operation which is offered to the general public in order to double their profits on selling horses, with the aid of phrases such as: “This horse was just rescued from the kill pen and if it doesn’t sell within a specified time frame, it’s going to the slaughter house!”  (Threat). 

Louisiana law enforcement has caught on to this unscrupulous and illegal tactic and is actually doing something about it by investigating “horse kill buyers” where in some cases the offender is actually arrested and prosecuted.  However, this unsavory extortion tactic isn’t unique to just Louisiana.  The same basic principle can be found throughout the United Sates where “horse kill buyers” are located and they use the same extortion tactic to sell excess horses for double profits on the internet or social media sites.

A more aptly applied moniker for what their doing is often referred to as a “shakedown racket”.  Simply stated, its akin to an individual telling a person, “unless you pay me so much protection money, I won’t burn your house down. In the case of the “horse kill buyer” they use a similar tactic by saying, “Unless this horse is sold out of the “kill pen” within a certain time frame, it’s going to the slaughter house!” (Threat). This illegal activity is designed to induce an immediate response from donors and horse rescues alike by invoking an individual’s sense of caring to save the poor horse.  My observed responses depicts a bidding war among rescues and donors alike.  

All-in-all, this bidding interaction can sometimes drive the price of the horse above the initial asking price.  The end result is that donors are eager to save a life and cough up their hard-earned money in the process. This perfectly-devised plan further enriches the seller.  So are horse rescues and money donors actually saving a life or are they enabling the “horse kill buyer” to further his or her extortion operation by using the donor funds to return to the local auction, buy more horses for the extortion operation and start the process all over again?  Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding “yes” and “no”.  Case in point:  Most all “kill pen brokers” already have existing contracts with horse slaughter plants across the international border of the United States.  These contracts usually require a “kill pen buyer” to fulfill a certain number of horses per contract, e.g., 200.  In all probability, the “kill pen buyer” has already fulfilled his obligation to the horse slaughter plant or the horse slaughter plant will find someone else to fill the contract, which leaves the original broker out in the cold, so-to-speak.

In all probability, the horse that’s being marketed as being “in dire straits,” in a “do-or-die situation” really isn’t in dire straits at all, never was intended for the slaughter plant and is being sold off to double his or her profits. Especially when they are usable riding horses.  That’s just a fact.  This illegal tactic is just really a very effective and fraudulent way of selling a horse and enriching ones bank account. One key way to verify this is to be cautious of photographs of horses with saddles on them, ready to ride. Usable horses aren’t the ones that make it to the horse slaughter plant. Unusable, unstable, mean and wild horses are the ones that usually make it to slaughter.

For the record, horses end up in the horse slaughter pipeline for all sorts of reasons, whether its because of economic down-turn, a death in the family, a non-performer in the show pen or on the race track, etc. Furthermore, it’s not against the law to fill a trailer full of horses and export them to a foreign slaughter house.  However, the unlawful tactics that are being employed today to sell horses allegedly, in the “kill pen” by “kill buyers,” is most certainly illegal. It’s just a SCAM program that’s been used effectively for a very long time in the horse industry.

Furthermore, it’s just an effective extortion tactic to double an investment. After all, let’s face it, “kill buyers” have found a very effective niche in the industry to double their profits by selling usable horses in this fashion that they’ve picked up at a bargain price at the sale barn. After all, no one wants to buy an emaciated horse or a horse in poor health and neither does the slaughter plant. This type of horse just isn’t fashionable or sellable. 

HOW PROFITABLE IS THE EXTORTION TACTIC?

Let’s just introduce a hypothetical into the extortion tactic equation and  see how it all shakes out. For example, a “kill buyer” attends a local auction he or she buys horses based on the horse-slaughter plant paying him or her 40 cents per pound per slaughter horse.  Therefore, he has to purchase a horse below this figure in order to sell the same horse to the horse slaughter plant for a profit.  In the meantime, he or she buys some usable riding horses for the same below market price at the same sale.

Bear-in-mind that the “kill buyer” (who is engaged in selling horses using extortion tactics) is buying horses for two purposes: the unusable horses for the slaughter plant to fulfill the contract and the useable riding horses that are sold using the “in-dire straights” moniker. In order to make a substantial profit, the “kill buyer” markets the usable horse to the general public at let’s just say, 80 cents per pound, yielding double profits or even $1.20 a pound or more, which may yield triple profits.  When the horse sells because of the illegal extortion tactics being used, the horse brings a substantial profit to the “kill buyer”, which in turn allows him or her to restock and start the process all over again.  In fact and reality, if the usable horse isn’t sold at one location, the horse is just moved to another selling location to start the bidding war all over again. It’s the sad reality of the situation.

HORSE RESCUES: 

As the old saying goes, “there are horse rescues and then there are horse rescues.” Horse rescues are comprised of two categories: “legal and fraudulent.” Unfortunately, for the novice, it’s hard to distinguish between the two.  As a primer to the novice, rescues usually occupy the category of either being a Non-Profit or a 501 C (3) Non-Profit. The difference between the two are:  The State Non-Profit has to abide by certain disclosure laws of the State of Incorporation as well as Federal Taxing laws.  

The 501 C (3) Non-Profit has to abide not only by the Federal Non-Profit guidelines, but the State of Incorporation tax guidelines, as well.  The State Non-Profit has to afford the general public a financial disclosure.  The Federal 501 C (3) Non-Profit has to afford the general public a financial disclosure in the form of an IRS 990 which is loaded on Guidestar.org.  Donations to the 501 C (3) are tax deductible.  Donations to the Non-Profit aren’t always tax deductible.

Before donating to an individual posing as a horse rescue, it’s always advisable to conduct a cursory background check, including references and a document request, or you could be donating your money and your horse to an individual whose posing as a rescue but in fact and reality is a “kill buyer” and the only loving home your horse will ever see is on someone’s dinner plate in Europe.  Donors beware!  

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS: 

As with horse rescues, the same can be applied to alleged animal-rights activists. The legitimate horse rescues perform wonderful work; however, unfortunately there are individuals on social media who pose as animal-rights activists, but in fact and reality are just “cyber bullies” and extortionists or social-media extremists whose mindsets are border-line terrorists, as I like to refer to them. Their modus operandi (MOS) is to launch an attack on an individual not in their favor and to ruin that individual at all costs while using lies, half truths and distorted facts to accomplish their mission.  

To reinforce their self-worth and legitimacy, they usually post headlines from news articles generated by other news outlets concerning abused horses or other matters of interest but they usually can’t post anything pertaining to anything they actually accomplished on their own to contribute their actually providing their personal accomplishments in making a horse’s life better. Therefore, one should be careful with whom one interacts with on social media and the Internet. As the Trojan adage goes, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!”

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!”

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Managing Member
Phone: (985) 630-3500
Email: richardedennis@outlook.com
Web Site: http://www/richardedennis.net

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ANIMAL ACTIVISTS HAVE A MESSAGE FOR KENTUCKY HORSE RACING!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 1 comment

ANIMAL ACTIVISTS HAVE A MESSAGE FOR KENTUCKY HORSE RACING: THEY ARE WATCHING!

 

April 11, 2019

“PETA is putting Kentucky on notice,” warned a statement from Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has been protesting at Santa Anita in the wake of 23 horse deaths related to the track.

Now, PETA is turning its attention to the Bluegrass state in the wake of the death of a horse Saturday at Keeneland.

“No horses died during Santa Anita Derby weekend, which seems to show that the track’s new rules — while not as strong as PETA would have liked — are a lifesaving step. Now, all eyes will be on Kentucky, where Churchill Downs — home of the Kentucky Derby — has the second-worst death rate for horses in the country,” Guillermo said in the statement. She said PETA would attend the Churchill Downs Inc. annual shareholders meeting later this month “to question the company’s executives.”

In California, The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita as well as Pimlico, where the second jewel of the Triple Crown is run, announced a set of new rules including limiting the use of furosemide (known as Lasix) and the use of whips. Protesters demonstrated outside Santa Anita on Saturday.

“At nearby Keeneland, Thoroughbred Cathedral Reader broke a leg and was euthanized on Saturday, and today, 2-year-old horses will be made to run faster than they ever will for the rest of their lives, risking injury and death to fetch a high price at the Keeneland April Sale,” Guillermo said. “Change is overdue, and for the sake of the horses, it needs to come now.”

The April 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale is taking place this week at Keeneland, which is also the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house. Horses ran timed sprints Monday and will be offered for sale Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Association of Racing Commissioners International issued a statement clarifying that horses treated with bisphosphonates, a controversial osteoporosis drug, may be denied entry into races while the organization formulates a policy to recommend to states.

The drugs have come under increased scrutiny by veterinary and racing organizations as deaths mount. Last year, Kentucky saw an unprecendented 80 percent increase in equine fatalities during racing. Bisphosphonates, which are recommended for navicular bone disease in older horses, are suspected of interfering with proper bone formation. Racing and sales officials have called on the industry to stop using them in horses under the age of 4.

Bimeda, the maker of Tildren, one of the medications, said in a statement to the Herald-Leader that they “welcome the recent partial bans proposed by racing organizations in the United States and Canada, regarding bisphosphonate use in young horses, and we are committed to research which will provide a better understanding of these important equine pharmaceuticals.”

Dechra, which makes the other drug, Osphos, pointed to another potential concern in an email: “There are two generations of bisphosphonates, non-nitrogenous (non-nitrogen containing) or nitrogenous (nitrogen-containing). Osphos is a first-generation non-nitrogenous bisphosphonate. This is the least potent class of bisphosphonate.

“There has been evidence of the non-approved and FEI-banned nitrogenous bisphosphonate zoledronate being compounded and used in horses. The nitrogenous bisphosphonates are not approved for use in the horse and work on a more complex pathway with a myriad of side effects as seen and documented in human medicine literature.”

The racing commissioners said that “bisphosphonate use in a racing environment is already prohibited and, if found, the trainer is subject to significant fine and suspension and the horse will be excluded from competition for at least 30 days to one year. The extra label use in any horse younger than 4 years of age of any bisphosphonate is prohibited.”

The racing commissioners, who recommend model rules for states to adopt, is considering a policy that would “disallow any horse from being entered in a race that has been treated with bisphosphonates prior to age 4 or for reasons not specifically cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as appropriate use. Owners and potential buyers of young horses are advised to insist on complete disclosure of any bisphosphonate treatments administered to horses they are considering for purchase.”

Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton and Ocala Breeders’ Sales last month announced a ban on the use of bisphosphonates in young horses. The sales companies said that buyers will be allowed to request horses be tested and that the sales could be rescinded.

However, it is unclear if current testing would be able to detect the use of the drugs after more than three months

Editor’s Message: Allaboutcutting.net warned about using drugs on race horses previously in the attached article:  The Mechanical Horse,” written by Rick Dennis.

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