Columbus, OH --- In a letter dated Oct. 3, 2013 to the NY State Gaming Commission’s Division of Racing and Pari-Mutuel Wagering, the Empire State Harness Horsemen’s Alliance, which represents more than 3,000 New York State licensed harness owners, trainers and drivers, reiterated their opposition to proposed regulations on the use of therapeutic medication.
In the letter, the ESHHA urges the commission to maintain the current rules for harness racing and encourages them to pursue uniform rules that are breed specific.
In their submission, the ESHHA included a copy of the USTA’s letter to the Association of Racing Commissioners International stating their opposition to the model rules proposals regarding therapeutic medications.
The ESHHA explained that “since the overwhelming majority of harness horses race every 7 to 10 days, the per se thresholds and withdrawal times proposed in 9E NYCRR Section 4120.3 would not permit this race schedule without the inherent risk positive drug findings.”
The horsemen’s group also stressed that the catastrophic injuries that plague Thoroughbred racing are seldom seen in harness racing and pointed to a recently concluded elite Thoroughbred meet where the regulated use of corticosteroids and clenbuterol according to the currently proposed medication proposals failed to prevent a number of unfortunate catastrophic injuries during racing and training.
They further emphasized that “because of the vast differences in our (harness) racing, gait, heat racing and frequency of competition, there is no valid reason scientifically, or as a practical matter, to justify the imposition of such regulations upon the harness industry.”
The ESHHA also included a letter from the respected, veteran veterinarian Dr. Peter Kanter addressing the corticosteroid rule.
To read the letter from the ESHHA, click here.