Race-Day Medications: AQHA reiterates position on race-day medication use.
On March 14, a press release from The Stronach Group announced that its California tracks, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, would implement a zero tolerance for race-day medication. The sole race-day medication permitted in California is Salix, also commonly called Lasix.
These are the first Thoroughbred racetracks in North America to implement such a ban.
The American Quarter Horse Association is opposed to federal legislation that would implement a ban of race-day medication.
“While we share their heart break over the high incidence of fatalities at Santa Anita, we feel it is imperative to protect our right to give certain therapeutic medications, most notably, furosemide,” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “We are here to serve our membership in protecting the horse’s welfare. I work to maintain open communication with regulators, sharing my years of experience as a horseman.”
VanBebber has represented the Quarter Horse industry in getting breed-specific legislation passed with the Association of Racing Commissioners International, including strengthening medication violations for medications such as clenbuterol and albuterol.
AQHA representatives continue to work to educate legislators in Congress regarding medication regulation, including Salix.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners supports the use of race-day furosemide.
Los Alamitos, located in Orange County in California, has announced it will continue allowing race-day medication use.