Dr. Jeff Blea

Light Up Racing Webinar Set For Tuesday

FanDuel TV racing personality Christina Blacker will host a webinar for Light Up Racing (LUR) members Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. During the 1 1/2-hour session, entitled 'This Derby, what horse racing questions did you struggle to answer?' a panel of industry experts including Blacker, Dr. Jeff Berk, Dr. Jeff Blea and Dr. Scott Hay, will address and help participants navigate questions most frequently asked by outsiders surrounding this year's Kentucky Derby. To sign up for Light Up Racing, click here. Existing members may join by...

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CHRB Advisory Warns 'EPO'-Labelled Supplement Contains Caffeine

In an advisory issued to trainers just before Christmas, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) warned that caffeine had been detected in two supplements marketed to performance horses analyzed by the Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Lab at UC Davis. "As such, Horsemen are advised to exercise extreme caution when using these products in close proximity to a race," the advisory states. Under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), caffeine is a Class B controlled substance, which comes with a possible 15-day suspension and $1,000 fine for a first offense....

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Breeders' Cup Veterinary Team Conducts Enhanced Pre-Screening

The Breeders' Cup Veterinary Review Team has conducted the first stage of an extensive assessment of the veterinary and treatment records associated with more than 200 potential contenders for the 2023 Breeders' Cup World Championships, it was announced Tuesday. The 2023 Breeders' Cup World Championships, featuring 14 Grade I races and $31 million in purses and awards, will showcase the best Thoroughbreds from around the globe Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park. Working in conjunction with Dr. Jennifer Durenberger of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), Dr. Will Farmer...

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Joint Injections: “Litmus Test” for HISA

Last month, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) chairman Greg Ferraro scratched a persistent industry itch. While discussing his thoughts on the rollout of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act's (HISA) drug control program, Ferraro shared his fears that the new federal rules on joint injections were weaker than had previously existed in California. "It's a step backwards," Ferraro said. And this regulatory reshuffle, he added, could lead to an increase in California of irreparable musculoskeletal injuries, especially of the fetlock joint. "California is the point of the spear in terms...

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Blea on Del Mar's Churchill Shippers, Wakanaka Scratched from Matriarch

In the midst of the Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) outbreak at Churchill Downs, Del Mar had accepted three shippers from the Louisville track Tuesday, Nov. 29, the same day a horse at Churchill first showed symptoms of the contagious disease. One of the horses, Bill Mott's MGSW Wakanaka (Ire) (Power {GB}), had a suspicious test and will not be permitted to start in Sunday's GI Matriarch S. She was 5-1 on the morning line. Dr. Jeff Blea, the equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), released the following...

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No Matter Which Way HISA Goes, CHRB Confident on Rules Consistency

Despite a near-term national forecast clouded with uncertainty over last week's United States Court of Appeals order declaring the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) to be unconstitutional, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) commissioners on Tuesday expressed confidence their state will be able to weather the projected turbulence over HISA's in-limbo legality better than other jurisdictions. The reason, according to staffers and commissioners who spoke during the Nov. 22 monthly meeting, is that the CHRB has been proactively advancing safety and medication rules for the past few years, and a...

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“Horrifically Wrong”: California VMB and Equine Practitioners at Odds

Last month marked the resumption of business as usual for Jeff Blea, back as California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director after an eight-month plus enforced hiatus due to the California Veterinary Medical Board's (VMB) controversial step of suspending his license. In a settlement with the medical board, Blea agreed to continuing education classes in record keeping, a remittance to the VMB of $131,464 for the investigation costs, and a three-year probationary period. Those believing the return of Blea to his prior role would bring an end to the...

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Blea Officially Returns As CHRB Equine Medical Director

Jeff Blea formally resumed his duties as California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director Wednesday, more than eight months after being sidelined from the post due to a rare and controversial move by the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) to have his license temporarily suspended for what transpired to be minor infractions. "What I've been through, I've learned a lot," Blea told the TDN over the weekend. "I need to get back to work for the CHRB because they've been extremely supportive. The horsemen, they've been extremely supportive. They...

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Amended Accusations Set Ball Rolling Towards Blea Hearing

In an amended accusation, the California Veterinary Medical Board has revised its original set of complaints leveled against California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director, Jeff Blea. The additional information, however, mostly "fine-tunes" what was included in the original accusation against Blea and doesn't change the "big picture," said George Wallace, Blea's attorney. According to various leading veterinary medical experts, that big picture is one largely of lax record keeping. What the amended accusation does, however, is set the ball rolling on a rough time-table leading to a full...

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Blea's Interim Suspension Hearing Plays Out

In the formal hearing Friday morning of the Veterinary Medical Board's petition for an interim suspension of California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director Jeff Blea's medical license, both sides laid out their arguments. In short, the deputy attorney general Elaine Yan representing the veterinary board took a procedural defense of the petition, arguing that the allegations against Blea amount to violations of standards of practice within the veterinary community as codified in the veterinary medicine practice act. "These guidelines emphasize the importance of examinations and diagnosis," said Yan,...

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Equine Medical Director Blea Placed on Administrative Leave by UC Davis

Jeff Blea, California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director, has been placed on administrative leave by UC Davis pending a formal review of his veterinary license, according to Blea's attorney, George Wallace. The story was first reported by the Los Angeles Times. The California Veterinary Medical Board last week announced that an emergency hearing had resulted in an interim suspension of Blea's veterinary license for a number of alleged offenses, including purportedly administering "dangerous drugs" to racehorses without a prior examination, without forming a diagnosis and without medical necessity....

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Blea Suspension: Medical Necessity Or Political Theater

Given Jeff Blea's high-profile position as equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), news last week that the California Veterinary Medical Board had issued an interim suspension of his veterinary license set the latest alarm bells clanging across the industry. Certainly, the accusations leveled against Blea appear a damning indictment of his veterinary bona-fides. According to the veterinary board, Blea presents a "danger to public health, safety and welfare," due to his oversight of the investigation into the death of the Bob Baffert-trained Medina Spirit (Protonico), the...

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