Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher signs emergency equine drug regulation
Limit on race day medications to become effective Sept. 7
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher has signed amended emergency state regulations to limit drugs and medications that can be administered to a horse on race day in Kentucky. The regulations fulfill a promise by Governor Fletcher to move aggressively to address issues such as race day medications which affect the integrity and perceptions of horse racing in the commonwealth.
Governor Fletcher signed the regulations three days after the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority (KHRA) voted to approve amendments to the current regulation that many believed had been administered in a manner too lax. Governor Fletcher applauded the KHRA, and its chairman, Bill Street, and the Equine Drug Research Council (EDRC), and its chairperson, Connie Whitfield, for their work in preparing the amended regulations.
“This is a critical step in ensuring the integrity of Kentucky’s signature industry,” said Governor Fletcher. “This high ethical standard will help us promote Kentucky as a model state for the regulation of the horse racing industry.”
The EDRC had recommended that the KHRA adopt a model drug rule promoted by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
“The health and welfare of racing in Kentucky is directly related to the integrity of the sport,” said Street. “The new rules advance the integrity of racing in our state.”
“Finally, the regulation of the horse racing industry in Kentucky will be approached with clarity, impartiality and transparency that had been missing in previous administrations,” LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) said.
Under the regulations race day medications will be limited to Salix and one adjunct bleeder medication. The administration of a single, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) will be limited to 24 hours prior to post time. The old rule allowed multiple NSAIDs four hours prior to post time.
“The adoption of the regulation will advance the trust of the betting public, create a level playing field for racing participants, as well as protect the health of the horse and the safety of the rider,’ said Whitfield.
“The new rule improves the perception of Kentucky racing, both nationally and internationally,” said Jim Gallagher, executive director of the KHRA. “It will be a positive factor in preserving Kentucky’s status as the leading state for the breeding and selling of thoroughbreds.”
The emergency regulation becomes enforceable on Sept. 7 at the opening of thoroughbred meet at Turfway Park. The KHRA will file permanent amended regulations with the Legislative Research Commission and will take public comment on the rules.