August 30, 2012

Contact: Hallie Lewis (859) 224-2848


The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission recently approved regulations based on the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Model Rules. The regulations concern major medications reported to the public in racing forms. These model rules, which incorporated broad industry input, were originally developed by the RMTC.

Simply put, the model rules:

• Limit race-day medications to furosemide (Lasix), the only medication shown conclusively to reduce exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH);

• Limit administration of race-day furosemide to non-practicing veterinarians to restrict access to in-today horses; and

• Reduce the threshold for the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) phenylbutazone from five micrograms per milliliter to two micrograms per milliliter of plasma or serum in post-race samples, minimizing the action of this medication during pre-race examinations.

The Kentucky HPBA recently challenged those regulations before members of the Kentucky Legislature.

According to RMTC Chairman Dr. Robert Lewis, “The RMTC-recommended model rule on race-day medication was developed by the RMTC after thorough analysis of available scientific and veterinary data. It was thoughtfully discussed and considered by all members and was approved by an overwhelming majority of the board of directors.

“Ultimately, the board determined that approving these regulations was imperative to protecting our equine athletes and furthering the RMTC’s mission of strengthening the integrity of racing,” said Lewis. “Furthermore, each provision was already being successfully administered at one or more racing jurisdictions in North America when they were developed as a national uniform model rule.”

The regulations as approved by the RMTC were presented to and approved by the RCI. Many jurisdictions and race tracks have already successfully approved one or more of these regulations for Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse, Standardbred and Arabian racing. The RMTC recommends that all racing jurisdictions adopt the RCI Model Rules.

“Adoption of these regulations by racing commissions is an important step for uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level,” said RMTC Executive Director and COO Dr. Dionne Benson. “The racing public and racing participants deserve a national uniform medication policy. We encourage Kentucky and all horse racing jurisdictions in the U.S. to adopt them.”

The RMTC consists of 25 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. The organization works to develop and promote uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level; coordinate research and educational programs that seek to ensure the integrity of racing and the health and welfare of racehorses and participants; and protect the interests of the racing public.

For additional information, visit the RMTC website at or contact Hallie Lewis, RMTC director of communications, at (859) 224-2848.