|UK Trainer Johnston Fined After Mepivacaine Positive|
The British Horseracing Authority has fined trainer Mark Johnston £1,000 after traces of two prohibited substances were found in his only runner that competed over jumps last season.
According to the Racing Post, the BHA held a disciplinary inquiry on Thursday after Mepivacaine and Hydroxy Mepivacaine were discovered in a post-race urine sample taken from Willpower after he ran second at Wetherby in February.
Johnston, who is also a BHA director, exercised his right to have a B sample analyzed, which then confirmed the original finding. After examining the evidence and interviewing vets and members of Johnston’s staff, the BHA was unable to determine the source of the substances and “could not be satisfied that its administration was accidental and that the trainer had taken all reasonable care.”
Willpower was disqualified from that second-place finish. Johnston was also notified that all of the horses under his care may be subject to random testing over the next 12 months.
|Five Cases of EHV-I Reported at Woodbine|
Date Posted: 6/12/2013 8:19:24 PM Last Updated: 6/13/2013 6:31:30 PM
The Ontario Racing Commission announced June 12 that there have been five confirmed reports of the neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 in Thoroughbreds residing in Barn 1 at Woodbine in Toronto.
In a notice to the industry, the ORC reported that one horse was euthanized June 10 after becoming recumbent with a fever. A second horse in the same barn also had a fever and showed neurologic signs; that horse was transported to the Ontario Veterinary College for evaluation and treatment, the notice said.
The notice indicates that Thoroughbred racing will continue at Woodbine. However, according to the notice, the ORC implemented the following restrictions and infectious disease protocols:
—"In order to determine any further spread of the disease to horses in other barns, no horses are to exit Woodbine Racetrack without ORC approval for the next 7 days (through June 19). This restriction may be reviewed based on the progression of the disease.
—"In addition, no horse is allowed in or out of Barn 1 or Barn 3 for the next 7 days, including training. This restriction may be reviewed, based on the progression of the disease.
—"All horses stabled at Woodbine must have their temperatures taken and recorded visibly on the horse's stall door for inspection. Trainers with horses that have clinical signs consistent with EHV-1 infection, including fever or respiratory signs (cough, nasal discharge and/or neurologic signs) must report these findings to their veterinarian immediately."
In the notice, the ORC recommends horsemen who had horses at Woodbine within the last seven days monitor their horses for signs of illness.
"The neurotrophic form of EHV-1 identified from these horses differs from the non-neurotrophic form identified from the Standardbreds at Campbellville in May of this year," the notice said.
The ORC indicated they received input from the office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario; Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food; and Woodbine management, veterinarians, and horse people to ensure best practices are in place to contain the disease.
|Hong Kong Positives Due to Contaminated Feed |
Date Posted: 6/13/2013 8:40:58 AM Last Updated: 6/13/2013 5:03:16 PM
The Hong Kong Jockey Club has determined that the banned substance zilpaterol found in tests taken from 12 horses trained by P.F. Yiu was the result of contaminated feed and has determined that a second feed product used by trainers has similarly been contaminated.
Zilpaterol is a beta-2 agonist used to promote weight gain in livestock and is prohibited in racing. In North America, the Association of Racing Commissioners International classifies zilpaterol as a Class 3 drug with a Category A penalty.
Following the positives for horses trained by Yiu that had raced June 2 at Sha Tin Racecourse and at Happy Valley June 5, stewards "immediately undertook an exhaustive testing regime of all products used by Mr. Yiu which may have been administered to horses trained by him."
Those tests revealed the presence of zilpaterol in feed used by Yiu, and subsequent tests detected the prohibited substance in another feed used by trainers in Hong Kong. Neither manufacturer was identified.
The HKJC announced June 13 that alternative feeds were being made available to all trainers who previously used feed that could be contaminated. Officials also are testing urine samples from about 80 horses that are scheduled to race at Sha Tin June 16 that have previously been exposed to the two contaminated products.
Earlier this year the California Horse Racing Board dismissed 48 positive tests for zilpaterol after it was determined that the source of the drug was a contaminated sweet feed produced by the Purina company. Most of the positive tests were from horses training at the Cal Expo harness track and resulted in temporary restrictions on food vendors delivering certain types of Purina feed at California tracks.
The prohibitions were lifted after Purina provided feed that tested negative for any contamination.
|RMTC Accredits First Two Laboratories|
Date Posted: 6/13/2013 2:04:44 PM Last Updated: 6/13/2013 5:54:51 PM
The University of California-Davis Kenneth L. Maddy Laboratory and HFL Sport Science in Lexington became the first two fully accredited laboratories under the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium Laboratory Accreditation program June 11.
In addition to granting full accreditation to those laboratories, the RMTC Horseracing Testing Laboratories Committee also recommended the Ohio Department of Agriculture for interim accreditation status. The initial review and External Quality Assurance Program requirements are awaiting a site inspection from RMTC.
"The accreditation of these two laboratories marks the culmination of many months of effort by each of these laboratories to demonstrate that they meet the strict standards of expertise and proficiency required by the program," said Dr. Robert Lewis, chairperson of the RMTC board. "The accreditation process is an important step forward in protecting the welfare of our equine and human athletes as well as the integrity of horse racing."
Lewis said five other laboratories have applied for RMTC laboratory accreditation: Truesdail Laboratory (Tustin, Calif.), Dalare Associates (Philadelphia, Pa.), New York Drug Testing and Research Program (Morrisville, N.Y.), Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory (West Chester, Pa.), and Industrial Laboratories (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) The eight laboratories that have applied for RMTC accreditation represent 26 of the 34 jurisdictions responsible for pari-mutuel horse racing in the United States.
"The goal is to have 100% of the laboratories testing horse racing samples RMTC accredited," said Dr. Dionne Benson, executive director and chief operating officer of the RMTC. "We encourage these laboratories and all horse racing testing laboratories to continue to pursue RMTC accreditation. The purpose of the RMTC accreditation process and quality assurance program is to ensure that all laboratories are operating at the same high level of proficiency."
RMTC accreditation requires a drug testing laboratory to satisfy a number of requirements. Before an application for RMTC accreditation can be processed, the laboratory must first become ISO 17025 certified–an internationally recognized accreditation program covering general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration labs, as well as specific requirements for animal drug testing.
After obtaining ISO accreditation, the laboratories must then submit to the RMTC an application and undergo a multi-part assessment. That begins with a document review of the laboratory's processes by an independent auditor with specific experience in horse racing laboratory operations.
Once the documentation is reviewed, the laboratory must also submit to a multi-day site inspection by another independent assessor. The individuals performing the work on behalf of RMTC have significant experience in the area of equine drug control, horse racing laboratory operations, and inspection of both human and horse anti-doping laboratories.
Finally, the laboratories must successfully complete two rounds of the RMTC EQAP proficiency sample testing before being granted accreditation. The testing provides independent verification of the laboratory's ability to detect, identify, and quantify (if appropriate) substances of concern in horse racing, including regulated substances at concentrations that are mandated by the RMTC model rule recommendations.
Furthermore, laboratories are required to successfully complete twice-yearly EQAP proficiency testing before they are eligible for accreditation, and must continue to successfully complete two rounds each year to maintain accreditation.
"The professionalism and expertise of the laboratory assessors is crucial to a process such as the RMTC accreditation program," said Dr. Richard Sams, director of the HFL Sport Science lab in Lexington. "We were very impressed with the individuals chosen by the RMTC for this task—they were highly qualified scientists who are extremely knowledgeable about the industry."
|Indiana Downs trainer banned 90 days for anti-bleeding medication|
Daily Racing Form
Posted: 06/13/2013 3:45 PM
A leading trainer at Indiana Downs in Shelbyville, Ind., has been suspended 90 days after four of his horses tested positive last year for carbazochrome, an anti-hemorrhaging drug that is often administered to horses under the belief that it can reduce bleeding in the lungs.
Gary Patrick, who has started 107 horses at the current Indiana Downs meet with 18 wins, according to Equibase records, will serve the suspension beginning Aug. 22, according to the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. Under a settlement agreement he reached with the commission, Patrick, who owns most of the horses he trains, will be prohibited from transferring any of his horses to another trainer during the 90-day suspension. He was also fined $10,000.
The four horses tested positive after races held at Indiana Downs between June 25 and July 10 of last year, the state racing commission said. A subsequent search of Patrick’s barn turned up a bottle of an injectable drug, which is prohibited for trainers to possess under Indiana’s rules.
Joe Gorajec, the executive director of the Indiana commission, said the case took nearly a year to adjudicate because state rules do not allow stewards to hold hearings in cases for which the penalty will exceed 30 days. That meant Patrick’s case went through the commission, which negotiated the settlement agreement with the owner-trainer after he requested a hearing.
Carbazochrome, which is also known as Kentucky Red, is prohibited on raceday in Indiana and in nearly every other racing jurisdiction, though three states – Virginia, Louisiana, and Maryland – allow it to be administered before races. Maryland and Virginia have said that they plan to ban the raceday use of the drug by the end of the year.
|Woodbine: Shipping restrictions, barn quarantine after herpesvirus positives|
Daily Racing Form
Posted: 06/12/2013 11:59 AM
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Ontario Racing Commission has quarantined one of Woodbine’s barns and implemented shipping restrictions after two horses tested positive for a strain of the equine herpesvirus.
An unraced 2-year-old trained by Tom O’Keefe was euthanized Monday after showing symptoms of a potential neurological disease.
On Tuesday morning, an unraced 2-year-old filly trained by Paul Attard began experiencing similar problems and was shipped to the veterinary clinic at the University of Guelph. The deceased O’Keefe filly also was sent there for a necropsy.
Attard said Wednesday morning that his horse was still at the clinic.
“He seems to be okay,” Attard said. “They’re happy with his progress.”
Both horses were stabled in Barn 1, which was shut down Tuesday morning.
“The barn is under full quarantine, and we’re trying to manage the number of personnel allowed in,” said Adam Chambers, manager of veterinary services for the Ontario Racing Commission. “This will probably continue for a number of days, anywhere from 14 to 28 days, depending on whether the disease spreads.”
Until the situation is resolved, horses will not be allowed to ship out of Woodbine. Horses coming onto the grounds will have to remain there until the Ontario Racing Commission gives the all-clear.
That uncertainty already has cost Woodbine one stakes starter as Moment of Majesty, who was scheduled to ship in from Kentucky for Saturday’s Zadracarta Stakes, will not be making the trip.
Fort Erie Racetrack also could be severely impacted by the shipping restrictions as Woodbine shippers are important components in field size there and the meeting is scheduled to expand from two days a week to three days beginning this weekend.
In addition to restricting horse movement, a lengthy quarantine could impact the field size and quality of racing here at Woodbine, with Barn 1 being home to 64 horses including runners from O’Keefe, Attard, and John Ross.
Attard’s clients include the powerful Chiefswood Stable, and their runners with him include Original Script, who finished third in last Sunday’s Woodbine Oaks, and the talented Awesome Overture, who ran his career record to 3 for 3 in an allowance race the same day.
Ross’s trainees include the promising 2-year-old Go Greeley, who won his only start and is scheduled to make his next appearance in the $150,000 Victoria Stakes here June 22.
Steve Koch, Woodbine’s vice president of Thoroughbred racing, was on the backstretch Wednesday morning to address concerns and answer questions.
“The horsemen have been eager to do all the right things,” Koch said. “They’re to be congratulated on their high standards in protecting the industry.”
Woodbine security also was handing out a print-out entitled “Preventive Measures Against Herpesvirus” to the drivers of all vehicles and others entering through the stable gate Wednesday morning.
|Controversy in FL Over Clenbuterol Positives|
The Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is at war with the state’s regulatory body, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, over what FHBPA executive director Kent Stirling said are more than 125 positive tests for clenbuterol. Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator originally used to treat respiratory problems that became a commonly administered drug for horses in training.
At issue is exactly when the drug needs to be withdrawn from horses scheduled to race.
“It had been a five-day withdrawal time forever,” said Stirling. “But then they came up with a flock of positives at the end of the year, a majority at Tampa Bay Downs, some at Gulfstream, a few at Hialeah and a couple at the harness track.”
Stirling said he asked the testing lab at the University of Florida and the DPMW if the withdrawal time had changed.
“Rather than put it in writing, they called me and said not to worry, there would be a ‘happy resolution,’” Stirling said. “Well, our positives are upwards of 125, maybe more. They are calling them below 25 picograms, which had been the standard for much of the country. The lab started calling things they’ve never called before, even in the single digits. Apparently, the Division has a zero-tolerance policy now, meaning there is no withdrawal time. I am very unhappy with the Division and we are not going to roll over dead on this one.”
Stirling said he’s telling trainers to allow at least 14 days withdrawal time, but that might not be safe under zero tolerance and the variance in testing results between blood and urine.
Among the trainers charged with multiple violations is Kirk Ziadie, who had five horses racing at Calder test positive for clenbuterol between July 4 and Sept. 27, 2012. A sixth horse racing at Gulfstream Park tested positive for the drug March 13, 2013.
Ziadie was banned from Calder by track management from August 2009 until September 2011 after numerous medication violations and not paying his bills to vendors. He is Calder’s leading trainer with 26 wins from 55 starts during the current meeting, a strike rate of 47%. All but one of the Ziadie horses testing positive for clenbuterol are owned by Frank Calabrese.
On Feb. 26 of this year, Joseph Helton, chief attorney for the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, filed an amended complaint against Ziadie, listing six 2012 positive tests (including one Butazolidin overage) and recounting 14 previous Florida medication violations on Ziadie’s record. Helton is calling for an administrative hearing that could lead to stiff fines, purse redistributions, suspensions or even a license revocation of the trainer, pursuant to Section 550.1155 of Florida statute.
No hearing date has been set as both sides are going through the discovery process.
Attorney Bradford Beilly, who is handling Ziadie’s case, says the trainer is being singled out and that all of the clenbuterol positives are at levels less than 25 picograms.
“The state, for whatever reason, has decided it’s time to take away Kirk Ziadie’s license,” Beilly said, “even though the positives are less than any recognized threshold amounts and they are for therapeutic medications.
“As a general proposition, I’ve never seen a situation where the state has attempted to use a series of Class 3 violations to revoke somebody’s license.”
A spokesman for the Division would not comment on the case.
The complaint against Ziadie comes at a time when the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has approved a “points system” that, similar to the points accrued on a driver’s license for moving violations, would incur heavier suspensions for multiple violators. Such a system would discourage trainers who currently may look at fines for overages of Class 3 and 4 drugs as the “cost of doing business.”
However, for the so-called Multiple Violation Penalty (MVP) system to work, it will have to be adopted in all states, and guidelines for withdrawal times on drugs like clenbuterol will have to be uniform. For more on the MVP system, click here.
|Hagyard Ships Supplies to Tornado Horses|
Date Posted: 6/10/2013 7:14:54 PM Last Updated: 6/10/2013 11:01:48 PM
In the days immediately following the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma May 20, the Hagyard Pharmacy and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute staff collected medical and grooming supplies, tack, and monetary donations to help the equine tornado victims.
Hagyard posted a message on its Facebook page soliciting donations through the pharmacy. In response, Hagyard received both walk-in and mailed donations and posted letters of support to share with their clients. One letter, from a young girl named Bella in Minnesota, accompanied a shoebox containing grooming supplies, a halter, and a lead rope.
In her letter she said: "I was saving them for my horse (someday), but I think this is more important."
"We had a lot of help," said Ashley VanMeter, a pharmacy sales associate. "When we posted the initiative on Facebook a lot of our partners and vendors took our post and shared it—like the Kentucky Horse Park and United States Equestrian Federation and the places that we deal with everyday—so we reached a lot more people than just our clients that we work with directly."
"We've received donations from all over the country," said the pharmacy's Nancy Englund. "There has been a tremendous response."
Bitsy Thompson, who works with Hagyard, said the word was "spread among the farms we deal with, and the support was everywhere. It just opened up."
Brook Ledge Horse Transportation stepped up to provide free transport from the Hagyard offices in Lexington to the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Science, where many of the injured horses are being treated. The shipment is scheduled to depart June 11.
Dever donated 200 bags of shavings; Franklin-Williams donated bandages; Kinetic donated 1,000 bottles of wound spray; McCauley's Feeds in Versailles, Ky., donated two tons of Alam feed, which is formulated for nutritionally challenged horses and those in physical recovery.
As for gifts from individuals, "people just cleared out their barns—buckets, feed tubs, halters, brushes—you name it," Englund said. "As for monetary donations, we've received $16,500, which is going directly to the Oklahoma Relief Fund. Some donations were even credit card purchases from the pharmacy—at cost—for things like antibiotics."
There was hardly a breath of good news in Moore, Okla. Monday afternoon. The air that had unleashed its spinning fury on the community was too thick in the aftermath with stories of heartbreak and devastation.
In the equine community, there were tales of flattened farms, piles of dead animals, and people who lost everything – their homes, their horses, their equipment, their livelihoods.
But the tragedy also prompted an outpouring of human spirit, giving, and tireless labor. And those are the stories now filling the air.
“As you might expect from the legendary resiliency of Oklahomans, the community has really pulled together, and in particular, the horse community,” said Scott Wells, president and general manager of nearby Remington Park racetrack and casino.
Remington is one of many equine enterprises pitching in to help horse people, their neighbors, and the horses impacted by Monday’s powerful storm. Wells said the racetrack immediately collected “a mountain of supplies for families in the horse industry who’ve been displaced or otherwise had their lives torn apart.”
Friday afternoon, the racetrack will host a blood drive to benefit tornado victims. Five racehorses, who had been stabled at the destroyed Celestial Acres Training Center, were found alive and brought to Remington for care. The track veterinarian was dispatched to Moore, about 15 miles south of Remington, to help wherever he could.
“Our track vet, Dr. John Chancey, is just doing a heroic job over there, trying to bring aid to some of the people, some of the horses hardest hit,” Wells said.
Supplies were collected at Remington Park for horsemen and their families
Several racing trainers based at Celestial Acres lost every one of their horses, plus all of their feed, tack and supplies.
“It’s like their business blowing away,” said Debbie Schauf, executive director of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association (OQHRA). Her group, along with the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO), have created a fund to distribute to horsemen and their families.
“The most immediate need is the guys that were hardest hit at Celestial Acres. Their barns were wiped out and their horses were all killed,” Schauf said. “When they come in here right now, I’m giving each of them $1,000 … to help cover living expenses for the next few days or weeks until we can figure out what else we can do to help them. Hopefully over a period of time, we’ll be able to help these people get back on their feet and get started again.”
Schauf said individuals and other horsemen’s groups around the country have sent in donations. The Iowa Quarter Horse Racing Association wrote a check for $5,000.
“The outpouring of support is just overwhelming,” said Schauf.
Other groups, like the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program (OTRP), are focusing primarily on the horses themselves. According to the latest estimate, more than 150 horses have died. Some perished in the storm; others that were badly injured beyond help had to be euthanized. Still others were found alive and require medical care.
In ordinary circumstances, the OTRP takes Thoroughbreds off the track, retrains them for other careers, and adopts them out. This week, chairman Chris Kirk and his team have supported a new mission: The search for lost horses, identification (with assistance from Red Earth Feed & Tack), and fundraising for the clinics and farms that have offered to care for the surviving animals.
“The vet clinics have taken on a bunch of the horses. They’re needing feed and they’re needing more supplies. They’ve been overwhelmed,” Kirk said. “I’ve got volunteers going to the various places where the horses have been taken and trying to identify them, either through markings or tattoo numbers, if they happen to have one.”
Kirk said all of the horses that were participating in the OTRP before the storm are safe. And there have been other positive developments. An unraced 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly was discovered alive under the rubble of a collapsed barn at Celestial Acres, with only a few lacerations on her leg.
“Her name is Sasha’s Image,” Kirk said. “She was preparing to go into training. Her owner was one of the ones who lost everything. She’s being cared for.”
But efforts to rescue and triage injured horses have been complicated by the lack of a disaster plan for large animals and livestock, said Debby Shauf of the OQHRA. Shauf, who lost her home and all her horses in the 1999 Moore tornado, said it was too difficult following Monday’s storm to get clearance for qualified veterinarians to reach horses in distress.
“We’re all very frustrated by the fact that there wasn’t much of a plan for how to deal with a disaster like this and there wasn’t any coordination of that, and if I don’t do anything else, out of this is going to come a plan in Oklahoma.”
Shauf said she’s already been in touch with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, and the agency told her it was anxious to help develop a plan going forward.
Remington Park’s Scott Wells said the track – and all large animal operations – should learn from this week’s tornado and put in place emergency procedures.
“It’s really caused us to refocus our efforts on how we would handle anything, should such a disaster occur here.”
For those wishing to contribute to the efforts in Oklahoma, here are some of the options for donating:
Oklahoma Thoroughbred Retirement Program
Donate here or send to:
P.O. Box 96
Blanchard, OK 73010 (Note for tornado relief)
Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association
Checks should be made payable to either OQHRA Benevolence Fund or TRAO Benevolence Fund and put 2013 Tornado on the memo line:
P.O. Box 2907
Edmond OK 73083
Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma
2620 NW Expressway; Suite A
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Canterbury Park in Minnesota has established a fund for trainer Randy Weidner, who lost his stable of a dozen horses plus his truck, trailer, tack, records and computer.
Checks can be written to:
“Randall Weidner Catastrophe Trust”
380 S. Marschall Rd.
Shakopee, MN 55379
|OK Horsemen Disaster Relief Funds Established|
OQHRA & TRAO
In a joint statement released by the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO) and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association (OQHRA), the associations announced the creation of a benevolence account for horsemen impacted by the recent storms in the state.
Following is the joint statement: Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Oklahoma following this horrific event. There are many horsemen who have been affected by this tragedy and have lost everything they own. Celestial Acres, which rents out stalls to multiple trainers, took a direct hit along with the highly publicized damage at the Orr Family Farm. Both horsemen’s organizations, along with Remington Park in Oklahoma City, are working together in coordinating relief to horsemen that have been affected by the storm.
Both offices have been encouraged by the outpouring of support and offers for help from across the country; it truly displays “horsemen helping horsemen.” Many of those horsemen have lost everything – horses, possessions, tack and equipment, and their homes. They have many needs that cannot be met by traditional social agencies.
The TRAO and the OQHRA will be jointly accepting donations for horsemen who were affected by this tragic event. All donations will be distributed directly to horsemen and their families that were affected by the storms in this area.
If you want to make a donation using a credit or debit card, please call OQHRA at 405-216-0440. Checks should be made payable to either TRAO Benevolence Fund or OQHRA Benevolence Fund and put 2013 Tornado on the memo line. Your donations may be sent to:
Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma
2620 NW Expressway; Suite A
Oklahoma City OK 73112
Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association
P.O. Box 2907
Edmond, OK 73083
We are still in the process of evaluating the need for additional help for these families and are working together with the Oklahoma racetracks to coordinate activities and support services for our racing community.