Major North American Sales Companies Further Align on Medication Policies for Thoroughbred Auctions

The goal of the new policies is to further strengthen equine safety, buyer confidence and the credibility of the auction process.
Published
26th Mar 2024
Reading time
3 mins
Officials from Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton Company Inc., and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company Inc. (OBS) t jointly announced enhanced medication policies designed to safeguard the welfare of the horse while creating greater clarity and consistency among the nation’s three major U.S. Thoroughbred auction houses.


New policies strengthen equine safety and buyer confidence in the auction process

By: Keeneland Association

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Officials from Keeneland Association, Fasig-Tipton Company Inc., and Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company Inc. (OBS) today jointly announced enhanced medication policies designed to safeguard the welfare of the horse while creating greater clarity and consistency among the nation’s three major U.S. Thoroughbred auction houses. The revised Conditions of Sale will take effect July 1, 2024.   

These proactive measures are the result of ongoing discussions between officials of the three sales companies, begun last October at the invitation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), who attended the initial meeting. 

The goal of the new policies is to further strengthen equine safety, buyer confidence and the credibility of the auction process. This is the fourth collaborative medication reform action taken by the three sales companies since 2009. 

The new rules enhance current medication policies, reducing the number of permitted therapeutic medications while increasing the number of prohibited medications to include all substances currently banned under HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control program. The penalties for violation of rules will also be increased. 

Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin, Fasig-Tipton President Boyd T. Browning Jr. and OBS President Tom Ventura said in a joint statement: 

“We continue to refine our policies with the goals of protecting the well-being of the horse and providing our customers with transparency and the best opportunity for success at the race track. Horse safety and welfare must be a collaborative effort across our sport, which includes the sales ring. We take our leadership roles toward that mission seriously and remain united in our advocacy to serve the best interest of the horse.”

Officials of Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton and OBS will continue to review these policies regularly and revise them, as needed, in coordination with one another to promote consistency across the major U.S. Thoroughbred auctions. All sales companies will continue to educate their participants in the months leading up to their respective sale dates.

MEDICATION REFORM HIGHLIGHTS

The following are among the prominent changes to Conditions of Sale governing future auctions at Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton and OBS, beginning July 1, 2024:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

  • No NSAID may be administered to a horse within 48 hours of an under-tack performance. 
  • No NSAID may be administered to a horse after 6 p.m. the day prior to sale. 
  • NSAIDs permitted for use on the sales grounds are Phenylbutazone (Bute), Flunixin Meglumine (Banamine) and Ketoprofen (Ketofen), at or below manufacturer’s recommended dosage (MRD). Only one such NSAID can be administered at any one time (stacking is prohibited). 

Corticosteroids

  • No corticosteroid may be administered to a horse within 48 hours of an under-tack performance.
  • No corticosteroid may be administered to a horse within 24 hours of the start of the session in which that horse is scheduled to sell. 

Limited exceptions to these policies may be accommodated when prescribed for a specific veterinary diagnosis.

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