Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton are instating new restrictions on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and bronchodilators, including Clenbuterol, for all horses sold at sales conducted by the two major Thoroughbred auction houses effective immediately, officials from Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton announced Thursday.
These latest reforms are in addition to restrictions put in place earlier this year for 2-year-old sales held at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton, and follow action in 2009 to ban the use of anabolic steroids in sales horses and last year's ban on the off-label use of bisphosphonates in horses younger than four years old.
Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason and Fasig-Tipton President Boyd T. Browning Jr. said in a joint statement: “We remain united in our advocacy to serve the best interest of the horse. The use of medication is the most critical issue facing the Thoroughbred industry, and one that threatens the confidence of both the marketplace and the public. These reforms continue to promote transparency and integrity, and in doing so, strengthen the entire auction process.”
The following changes in the medication rules will govern all future sales at Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton:
- All horses except 2-year-olds and horses in training – No more than one NSAID administered within 24 hours prior to sale.
- 2-year-olds and horses in training – No NSAIDs administered within 24 hours prior to sale.
- All horses except 2-year-olds and horses in training – No more than one corticosteroid administered within 14 days prior to sale.
- 2-year-olds and horses in training – No corticosteroid administered within 14 days prior to sale.
Bronchodilators (including Clenbuterol)
All horses with exception of broodmares, broodmare prospects, stallions and stallion prospects–Bronchodilators (including Clenbuterol) prohibited within 90 days of sale. The administration of a bronchodilator for valid, on-label purposes prior to July 1 of a horse's yearling year is permitted, but must be disclosed in the Repository with a note of explanation from the treating veterinarian.
Buyers may now elect to have post-sale testing for anabolic steroids, bisphosphonates, bronchodilators and the use of NSAIDs and corticosteroids in violation of the Conditions of Sale.
Trainer Mark Casse, who has been pushing for the ban of clenbuterol throughout the sport, said he was pleased by the new restrictions and that he hopes and expects to see the policies go even further in the future.
“I was extremely happy to see it happen,” Casse said. “I think it was a big step. I realize that this year this was the best they could do because they need to give people time to make adjustments if need be, but I'm hoping that next year they'll go to zero tolerance, and I think that's what they've talked about doing. I've harped on this, but [clenbuterol] has been abused at every level and the bad far outweighs the good.”
Casse added that he applauds the sales companies for being proactive in more strictly regulating drugs, and is waiting on racing jurisdictions to follow suit.
“It's great that the sales companies have stepped forward,” he said. “Now it's time for all of racing to step forward.”