This weekend’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships – racing’s most prestigious global event with 13 Grade I races and purses and awards totaling $26 million – will for the first time be held under newly enacted national uniform medication reforms adopted in California and currently in the process of being adopted and implemented in other racing jurisdictions across the United States.
Breeders’ Cup runners will compete under California regulations and house rules that enforce three of the national reforms regarding medications, furosemide (Lasix) administration and accredited laboratory testing. Effective October 1, California adopted the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule establishing permitted thresholds for medications that have been recognized as necessary for the routine treatment of illness or injury in the horse. Protocols will be in place again this year requiring third-party administration of furosemide as well as enhanced security – limiting access to the horse on race day. Post-race testing of Breeders’ Cup runners will be conducted at the internationally renowned University of California-Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory – an RMTC-accredited facility.
“We commend Breeders’ Cup Limited, the California Horse Racing Board, Santa Anita Park, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the entire California racing industry for taking these important steps, and we look forward to the day when every jurisdiction in the country will have enacted these important reforms,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC).
The RMTC consists of 23 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.
For additional information, visit the RMTC website at rmtcnet.com or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC director of communications, at (859) 224-2848.