At the March 12 meeting of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, the commission voted unanimously to prohibit the use of albuterol in American Quarter Horses.
The new rule, 71 IAC 8.5-1-2.2 states:
“No Quarter Horse participating in a race shall carry in its body albuterol in excess of the threshold provided in section 4.2(2) of this rule. A finding by the chemist or commission designee that albuterol in excess of the threshold is present in the test sample shall be prima facie evidence that albuterol was administered and carried in the body of the horse while participating in a race.”
Albuterol will be a level of detection drug meaning any detected amount of albuterol in the horse will be considered a violation. If a violation is found, either pre-race or post-race, the owners or lessees of the horse from which the specimen was obtained shall forfeit any purse money and any trophy or award. If the winnings are associated with a qualifying race, a positive test for albuterol shall render the horse ineligible for any subsequent related race.
Earlier in the year the commission asked horsemen to voice their opinions on the possible rule change. Dianne Bennett, the Executive Director for the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) voiced the QHRAI board’s support of the rule change, saying “The QHRAI board supports the policy proposed to prohibit the use of albuterol in Quarter Horses.”
Owner Pam Hann was also in favor of the rule change. “It is frustrating as an owner to see abusers win races, then continue to be allowed to race,” she says. “I’m in favor of stiffer fines and penalties to discourage trainers from using both clenbuterol and albuterol.”
The new change is in place in time for the 2019 race meet at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana, where a total of 19 stakes races totaling more than $1.5 million in purses are on the calendar. The season will begin April 16, with first post at 2:15 pm.