Time Frame for Intra-Articular Injections in NY Could Double

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Sarah K Andrew

By T. D. Thornton

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) on Monday advanced a proposal that would move back the allowable time frame for intra-articular injections in Thoroughbreds from seven to 14 days prior to a race.

According to a brief written by NYSGC general counsel Edmund Burns that was included in the informational packet for Monday’s meeting, “The purpose of the proposal is to enhance the protection of Thoroughbred race horses by allowing a greater time frame following the administration of any intra-articular joint injection.

“A 14-day waiting period would provide more time for a horse to be worked out at speed, providing a fuller opportunity to evaluate the treatment,” Burns continued. “This increased opportunity would allow ample time for a diagnosis to be determined, other beneficial therapy to be administered, and the horse to be evaluated…all of which would better ensure that the horse is fit to race.”

Burns added that, “The largest effect of the proposal on routine horse care will be to preclude a horse from racing within 14 days after the administration of hyaluronic acid or its derivatives by joint injection.

“Hyaluronic acid is a joint lubricant in the synovial capsules surrounding a horse’s hock, knee and ankle joints,” Burns explained. “Synthetic hyaluronic acid is administered to restore joint fluid and facilitate better joint movement. This proposal would in no way prevent the use of hyaluronic acid and other disease modifying agents; it only would provide a time frame for their use that would protect the horse. Hyaluronic acid could continue to be administered by other means (e.g., orally) until 48 hours before racing.”

The online audio stream was unavailable for most of Monday’s NYSGC meeting. TDN confirmed the passage of the measure with the NYSGC press office. The proposal now advances to the public commentary period before a final vote on it will be taken.

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