UC Davis

California First to Sign Voluntary Agreement, Pay HISA 2023 Fees

The Golden State is the first jurisdiction in the country to sign a voluntary agreement with the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) to continue performing a host of vital roles when the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act's (HISA) drug control program goes into effect Mar. 27, according to a statement Friday by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB). In another first among the nation's racing jurisdictions, the CHRB also agrees to pay HISA's 2023 fee assessment. The total figure for the state is more than $6.7 million. However, after...

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Study on the Impact of Training on Bone Robustness in Racehorses

University of California Davis released new research in the journal Scientific Reports exploring the relationship between training and bone health in racehorses in the US. The study reports that high-speed and intensity exercise may be associated with more damage and reduced robustness in injured lower leg bones in racehorses. Among the findings, UC Davis's Sarah Shaffer and her colleagues explored the relationship between exercise and bone damage, while examining the proximal sesamoid bone (a bone in the lower leg) during the necropsy of 20 racehorses. The authors examined the fractured...

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Gregson Foundation Awards Five Scholarships at Annual Meeting

The Edwin J. Gregson Foundation awarded 25 students--including five for the current 2022/23 school year--academic scholarships during the organization's annual board meeting held Dec. 2. The five new students, who attend a variety of schools including the University of California at Davis, were awarded a total of $23,000. The new scholarship recipients join the 20 students already in the program and who were given continuing grants for the current year. Those students, who are studying at such universities as Cornell, Iowa State, the University of Oklahoma, Stanford, Tulane, and UCLA,...

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Wednesday Hearing on Stay of Blea Suspension

California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director Jeff Blea, sidelined from that role since early January, is headed to Los Angeles County Superior Court Wednesday, seeking a stay on the California Veterinary Medical Board's interim suspension of his veterinary license. If the court doesn't grant a stay on the interim suspension--pending a formal hearing on the merits of the veterinary board's accusations against him--Blea asks the court to determine whether in the interim he can resume his duties as equine medical director and as a member of the Anti-Doping...

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Blea Seeks California Superior Court Relief From Suspension

Sidelined California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director Jeff Blea has filed a writ of mandate with the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles seeking to lift the California Veterinary Medical Board's interim suspension on his veterinary license. The court filing, dated Feb. 24, also seeks declarative and injunctive relief, arguing that the position of equine medical director does not require an active license, and that Blea, UC Davis and the CHRB will continue to suffer "irreparable harm" if California horse racing's head veterinarian remains unable...

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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 Vet License Remains Suspended, Per Judge

The veterinary license of California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) equine medical director, Jeff Blea, remains suspended pending a full administrative hearing, according to a ruling by administrative law judge Nana Chin. In a 15-page document dated Friday, Jan. 28 but posted to the Veterinary Medical Board's website Wednesday, Chin wrote that despite Blea not currently practicing veterinary medicine, this still "does not ensure" public safety. "As long as Respondent's license to practice is active, he is free to return to the practice of veterinary medicine at any time. Permitting Respondent...

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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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Jeff Blea Named CHRB's Next Equine Medical Director

Dr. Jeff Blea will become the veterinary voice of the California Horse Racing Board upon the long-planned retirement of Dr. Rick Arthur from the position of Equine Medical Director (EMD). Dr. Gregory Ferraro, chairman of CHRB and a former equine veterinarian himself on the southern circuit, described Dr. Blea as "a nationally known and widely respected equine veterinarian" and said Blea "is recognized for his clear thinking and fairness in his decision making." Under contract arrangements between the CHRB and the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) at the University of...

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No Bug, No Problem for Ferrin Peterson

When Ferrin Peterson came to Monmouth to ride this spring, she expected that she would have nine months as an apprentice rider to get her feet under her. And if she hadn't been so good, she would have. Last weekend at Monmouth, Peterson not only lost her bug after winning her 40th race Saturday, but went on to have the most successful weekend of any rider at the track, with four wins, five seconds and five thirds. Three of those wins came without the seven-pound allowance with which she had...

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Are Krone and Peterson an Unbeatable Team?

From the TDN LOOK Passion is a funny thing. What is it, you wonder, about one place or another, one person or another, one career or another that is so compelling that the person caught in its grip will do anything to have it? Ferrin Peterson can't exactly tell you why she will at least temporarily put aside the eight years of study and sacrifice that earned her a veterinary degree from UC Davis, one of the top schools in the country, and a lucrative-and safe-career as a large-animal vet....

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