HKJC and Asian Racing Federation welcome Kentucky Lasix ban
14 Jun 2012 | The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), as a member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), on Thursday applauded the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s historic decision taken on Wednesday 13 June, 2012 to eliminate the use of the anti-bleeder drug furosemide, commonly known as Salix or Lasix, from all graded and listed black-type races by 2016.
Horseracing in North America has long stood alone among major racing jurisdictions in allowing horses raceday medication and Kentucky is the first US racing jurisdiction to ratify a Lasix ban.
“This is a progressive and internationally welcomed move by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and one which the Hong Kong Jockey Club fully supports and applauds,” said Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer of the HKJC and Vice Chairman of the IFHA.
“Kentucky is the heartbeat of the American breeding industry and home to the Kentucky Derby. It is, therefore, fitting that the Bluegrass State has broken ranks and pushed through this groundbreaking measure. I hope that this is the first step towards full global harmonization on the issue of raceday medication.”
The Kentucky plan will ban Lasix in all two-year-old graded and listed black-type races beginning in 2014. The ban will extend to three-year olds in 2015, leading to Lasix’s complete elimination from all black-type Kentucky races by 2016.
The Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation, Dr Koji Sato, also welcomed the move by the Kentucky Racing Commission to eliminate Lasix.
“The approach we take in the Asian region is that racing must be drugfree. This is fundamental. Accordingly we applaud the decision of the Kentucky Racing Commission to eliminate Lasix.” said Dr Sato.
Dr Sato said that the profile of Kentucky within USA racing is such that the decision by the Kentucky Racing Commission will hopefully encourage other States to follow its example.
“In addition to being a great step forward for Kentucky itself this development carries the prospect of having wider influence in promoting drug-free racing in North America. Kentucky plays such a prominent role within US racing and breeding that I am hopeful that other States will follow the example which has now been set by the
Kentucky Racing Commission. ” said Dr Sato.
In commenting on this development Dr Sato articulated the reasons for the ARF’s commitment to drug-free racing.
“It is the Asian Racing Federation’s strongly–held belief that drug-free racing is essential. Ensuring the welfare of our horses, achieving a level playing field for competitors, keeping the trust and confidence of
the public, protecting horses and jockeys from injury, promoting the strength and soundness of the breed - these are all very powerful considerations and they all point in the one direction, namely that horses must race free from the influence of medication. “ he said