Sales Companies Jointly Announce Strengthened Medication Policies

Enhanced medication policies will be in effect at all the major auctions in the U.S. beginning July 1, leading North American sales companies Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton Company and Ocala Breeders' Sales Company jointly announced Tuesday morning. The changes were made in an effort “to safeguard the welfare of the horse while creating greater clarity and consistency among the nation's three major U.S. Thoroughbred auction houses,” according to the release, and are the result of meetings between the three companies begun last October at the behest of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

The new rules enhance current medication policies, reducing the number of permitted therapeutic medications while increasing the number of prohibited medications to include all substances currently banned under HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control program. The penalties for violation of rules will also be increased.

Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin, Fasig-Tipton President Boyd T. Browning Jr. and OBS President Tom Ventura said in a joint statement:

“We continue to refine our policies with the goals of protecting the well-being of the horse and providing our customers with transparency and the best opportunity for success at the race track. Horse safety and welfare must be a collaborative effort across our sport, which includes the sales ring. We take our leadership roles toward that mission seriously and remain united in our advocacy to serve the best interest of the horse.”

Among the listed highlights of the new medication reforms: no non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be administered to a horse within 48 hours of an under-tack performance; no NSAID may be administered to a horse after 6 p.m. the day prior to sale; NSAIDs permitted for use on the sales grounds are Phenylbutazone (Bute), Flunixin Meglumine (Banamine) and Ketoprofen (Ketofen), at or below manufacturer's recommended dosage (MRD). Only one such NSAID can be administered at any one time (stacking is prohibited).

No corticosteroid may be administered to a horse within 48 hours of an under-tack performance. No corticosteroid may be administered to a horse within 24 hours of the start of the session in which that horse is scheduled to sell.