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View Full Version : No more Salix for 2yo stakes horses in 2012



MightyBobbyMagee
Aug. 10, 2011, 06:12 PM
Story on BH here. (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/64477/no-salix-in-graded-stakes-for-2yos-in-2012)

A step in the right direction? Or not going to make a difference?

On the Farm
Aug. 10, 2011, 08:02 PM
I think it's just one more good reason to tell the Graded Stakes Committee to take a hike.

Laurierace
Aug. 10, 2011, 08:05 PM
Absolutely horrid decision.

alspharmd
Aug. 10, 2011, 11:25 PM
Interested to hear from trainers why they think it's a bad idea/good idea.

Texarkana
Aug. 10, 2011, 11:52 PM
Terrible, but my first thought was, "Well THAT will make for an interesting Triple Crown season..."

I think the 2 year old stakes crowd is a bizarre choice of sub-population for experimentation.

And lastly, having worked with lasix both for racing purposes and medicinal purposes, I'd just assume see it not used. It's not the stakes horses I worry about, it's the cheap horses running back every 14 days.

Laurierace
Aug. 11, 2011, 12:21 AM
Yeah, it's so much better to let the cheap horses flounder in their own blood and get sent to the killers. Insert sarcasm here.

alspharmd
Aug. 11, 2011, 07:01 AM
Yeah, it's so much better to let the cheap horses flounder in their own blood and get sent to the killers. Insert sarcasm here.

Isn't the change initially just for 2 year olds running in graded stakes races? At this point, it doesn't seem like this rule will affect the 7 year old $4k claimer.

From a racing-fan perspective, it seems like a positive change to me, but I'm very willing to learn about the pros and the cons from a horseman's perspective, because I'm sure there's a lot I don't know. To an outsider, the rest of the world can run successfully without Lasix, so it seems that we should be able to do the same. As a pharmacist, I know Lasix comes with a host of other problems, namely its propensity to cause electrolyte imbalances.

Profidia
Aug. 11, 2011, 07:05 AM
Terrible, but my first thought was, "Well THAT will make for an interesting Triple Crown season..."

I think the 2 year old stakes crowd is a bizarre choice of sub-population for experimentation.
Is a good first step. Yes it will make for an interesting triple crown season especially being as that NO triple crown winner ever ran on lasix.

Good news for sure.

Equilibrium
Aug. 11, 2011, 08:01 AM
I'm totally anti drug. And being over in Europe with their policies you see why it is easier. Nobody but nobody has done a study that includes climate. I really believe horses are more likely to bleed in America than anywhere else due to extremes such as the summer you all have had. Yes Salix is over used and sort of the done thing but there are horses that probably are in genuine need. I'm not convinced of a total genetic component considering England and Ireland are based on American bloodlines. What's different, climate for a start and possibly getting out more and different conditioning. A vet that boards at my barn and I had this conversation and any true bleeder should be offered Salix. We are also not fond of the no regumate policy here. It's why most people loathe fillies. Again not every filly needs it but it allows her to run to her ability. You have an unruly colt and you can geld him to be the horse he can be without hormones but because a filly needs a so called drug for the same benefits, it's not allowed?

I don't know, I remember when I was a groom at Laurel and out of 30 horses in the barn, 2 were lasix horses. Both mine which meant very cold afternoons for me in the lasix barn. Now it's just overdone as is everything so a ban is the only alternative. I don't know what's right or wrong. Well abuse is always wrong but you know what I'm on about.

Terri

Alagirl
Aug. 11, 2011, 08:31 AM
I'm totally anti drug. And being over in Europe with their policies you see why it is easier. Nobody but nobody has done a study that includes climate. I really believe horses are more likely to bleed in America than anywhere else due to extremes such as the summer you all have had. Yes Salix is over used and sort of the done thing but there are horses that probably are in genuine need. I'm not convinced of a total genetic component considering England and Ireland are based on American bloodlines. What's different, climate for a start and possibly getting out more and different conditioning. A vet that boards at my barn and I had this conversation and any true bleeder should be offered Salix. We are also not fond of the no regumate policy here. It's why most people loathe fillies. Again not every filly needs it but it allows her to run to her ability. You have an unruly colt and you can geld him to be the horse he can be without hormones but because a filly needs a so called drug for the same benefits, it's not allowed?

I don't know, I remember when I was a groom at Laurel and out of 30 horses in the barn, 2 were lasix horses. Both mine which meant very cold afternoons for me in the lasix barn. Now it's just overdone as is everything so a ban is the only alternative. I don't know what's right or wrong. Well abuse is always wrong but you know what I'm on about.

Terri

Probably a more sensible approach...

My general impression is that the medication is used because it gives you an edge. No way can all horses be in need of it, but all run faster, so in order to be competitive you gotta use.

I am of the position that the races are supposed to evaluate future breeding stock. If you can't run modified, then that's pretty much it.

It would probably be a good idea to actually have study done if the junk is actually needed.

Texarkana
Aug. 11, 2011, 09:25 AM
Yeah, it's so much better to let the cheap horses flounder in their own blood and get sent to the killers. Insert sarcasm here.

You know as well as I do horses still bleed through Lasix and it is not without side effects. If a horse is truly "floundering in their own blood," with or without Lasix, they shouldn't be running back frequently.

danceronice
Aug. 11, 2011, 12:39 PM
You know as well as I do horses still bleed through Lasix and it is not without side effects. If a horse is truly "floundering in their own blood," with or without Lasix, they shouldn't be running back frequently.

Or quite possibly at all. (Never mind whether or not they should be bred.)

Blinkers On
Aug. 11, 2011, 02:57 PM
I think it's just one more good reason to tell the Graded Stakes Committee to take a hike.

Agreed 110%

Blinkers On
Aug. 11, 2011, 03:10 PM
You know as well as I do horses still bleed through Lasix and it is not without side effects. If a horse is truly "floundering in their own blood," with or without Lasix, they shouldn't be running back frequently.

Horses that bleed through generally aren't running back in 14 days. Depending on the severity, it can take a while to get a horse to a work let alone a race.
Racing secretaries are having a hard enough time (here) filling a card. Our horse population is minute. It's really sad! THIS will just make the races that much harder to fill. How much longer before we are running a 2 or three day week... oh ya, right around the corner...
They are going to cripple the sport. We're already limping along in this economy. Add this and we are in deep sheep.
Horses bleed. Horses bleed in Europe and Japan. WE however CAN manage bleeders with adjunct medication (Amicar, guanabenz, etc), "downers," Shepherd's purse, Any number of herbal mixes.
A few weeks ago, a "trainer" who doesn't believe in anything other than "herbs, sent a horse out to work. It went down at the wire. A pool of blood is what lay were the horse went down. The wagon came out, the horse had gotten up, and did get a ride back to the barn. WE ought to be able to medicate our horses appropriately to prevent such a situation. It's not fair for a horse to have to go down in a pool of blood out of it's nose to get treated or have it's career end.. and yep.. when the mare's career is done she will likely be bred. Bred to any number of stallions who bled during their careers.
Yep it's a cycle. BUT all horses bleed. We just happen to be an industry that scopes our horses regularly. Anatomy and physiology will dictate that horses will bleed

alspharmd
Aug. 11, 2011, 07:59 PM
If horses around the world can race without Lasix, I just don't understand why horses in America are so dependent on the drug. Certainly not every horse that races abroad without Lasix falls down in a pool of his own blood. If it is true that all horses bleed, it would seem that other jurisdictions are managing it a whole lot better than we are.


I thought THIS (http://thoroedge.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/foes-of-lasix-are-cruel-to-horses-ridiculous-nonsense/) was interesting. I'm not sure who the author is, but I always enjoy his blogs.

Something I've always found peculiar -- why do we repeatedly breeze horses 3-5 furlongs and ask them to run 6-10 furlong races?

Blinkers On
Aug. 11, 2011, 08:19 PM
a horse doen't have to breeze or work 1 1/16 to be fit to run 1 1/16 miles... true

Laurierace
Aug. 11, 2011, 08:42 PM
Bleeding is a cumulative thing. Each time does a little damage. Or a lot of damage depending upon how severe it is. That heals with scar tissue which makes the lungs more likely to bleed the next time. Or you can give a shot of lasix and head off the majority of the little bleeds that horses have and avoid or delay the downward spiral. It's lasix, not heroin.

alspharmd
Aug. 11, 2011, 11:05 PM
Thanks Laurie, that does make sense - Lasix used as a preventive measure to stop the issue from getting worse.

This blog again... (http://thoroedge.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/a-natural-solution-to-address-bleeding-in-racehorses/)

"I submit that we can control the instances of EIPH in the vast majority of thoroughbreds through the re-structuring of conditioning regimens and a mandatory pre-race warm up protocol.

To review, thoroughbred bleeding is principally due to high blood pressure build up in pulmonary capillaries during a race, this pressure quickly increases faster than these vessels can accommodate the increased blood flow, leading to many ruptures within the sensitive lung tissues."

It seems like a simple explanation and solution, but nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Or is it?

Blinkers On
Aug. 12, 2011, 02:12 PM
It's lasix, not heroin.

This may have to be my FB staus ;)

Pat Ness
Aug. 12, 2011, 03:35 PM
alspharmd -
That blog was a great read - thanks for sharing it.

Dahoss
Aug. 12, 2011, 03:39 PM
Oh noooo! The sky is falling!! Well maybe for some of those so-called horseman who dont know how to train/manage without lasix or other drug usage. It would be like those who were born in the last twenty years being lost without their cell phones, but those of us who grew up without cell phones could manage quite easily.
My old man trained horses for 55 years. Thirty of those years were BEFORE lasix. He generally had 40/45 horses in his care. He once told me that after all those years of training, he couldnt count on one hand the number of horses that visibly bled. He also mentioned that although he suspected that a horse may have bled internally on some occasions, it wasnt often enough to truly be all that concerned. The horses usually came out of their races well enough and were able to race right back.

If you check out the past performances of all the great horses of pre-lasix days, you will seldom find a race in their lines that would make you think they bled. Bleeding seldom stopped them from being consistant. Recently, a study stated that only 5/6% of race horses truly need lasix and I believe it. We shouldnt be destroying/weakening our breed for just 5/6%.

Florida Fan
Aug. 12, 2011, 05:35 PM
So---curious as to how many of you on this board who oppose lasix have ANY vested interest in racing? Trainers of racing stables at the racetrack? Owners who have any continuing success? Those who condition runners? How many of you have invested/bought horses and raced for any period of time and have had siginificant winning/earnings?
To quote HBPA president Joe Santanna, "The National HBPA will continue to advocate changes to the industry's rules and regulations regarding medication be based on scientific fact,not opinions".

Florida Fan
Aug. 12, 2011, 05:38 PM
Bleeding is a cumulative thing. Each time does a little damage. Or a lot of damage depending upon how severe it is. That heals with scar tissue which makes the lungs more likely to bleed the next time. Or you can give a shot of lasix and head off the majority of the little bleeds that horses have and avoid or delay the downward spiral. It's lasix, not heroin.
Great post, Laurierace.

Pat Ness
Aug. 12, 2011, 06:08 PM
Why are the powers that be driving these rules? Are they ignorant? I thank Dutrow for his obnoxious talk about steroids - he helped us get rid of that drug.

In the blog that was posted earlier there is mention about calcium loss in 2 years olds due to use of Salix. I do not know if Eight Belles was on Salix, but made me think back on that issue. I believe it was the front toe grabs and track condition that ultimately busted her legs.

The racing industry - I was in it for a short 3 years as 35-50% ownership with 5 different horses. Our horses ran on Salix and Bute - I would go out daily for the Canterbury meet - rarely missed a morning hand walking the horses so they would not have to be 'hung' on the walker. I would prefer as drug free environment as possible and I would love to see an alternative to claming races - lets do the auction at the end of a race - where the owner can buy back... I have been through that discussion on this board many times and the old die hards really dislike that one.

Salix - I don't really mind the drug, a relative has been on it for 50 years and is 93.

alspharmd
Aug. 12, 2011, 10:18 PM
Why are the powers that be driving these rules? Are they ignorant?

Salix - I don't really mind the drug, a relative has been on it for 50 years and is 93.

Maybe the powers-that-be are driving these rules because our racing product is pretty inferior to that of many other parts of the world and they realize that something needs to change. Maybe this isn't the right change, maybe it is, but it's worth a try, especially when it is very obvious it is still possible to have a successful racing industry without Lasix. Horses raced for many many years in this country without Lasix. Why were the horses ok then but they won't be now?

As for furosemide itself, sure, it's a great drug, a lifesaver for many patients. But giving it to a middle-aged human is very different from giving it to a very young developing high-impact athlete.

Laurierace
Aug. 12, 2011, 11:51 PM
So---curious as to how many of you on this board who oppose lasix have ANY vested interest in racing? Trainers of racing stables at the racetrack? Owners who have any continuing success? Those who condition runners? How many of you have invested/bought horses and raced for any period of time and have had siginificant winning/earnings?
To quote HBPA president Joe Santanna, "The National HBPA will continue to advocate changes to the industry's rules and regulations regarding medication be based on scientific fact,not opinions".

Joe Santanna is my hero! I had the pleasure of serving on a board of directors with him. He is everything he appears to be and then some.

Laurierace
Aug. 12, 2011, 11:55 PM
Oh noooo! The sky is falling!! Well maybe for some of those so-called horseman who dont know how to train/manage without lasix or other drug usage. It would be like those who were born in the last twenty years being lost without their cell phones, but those of us who grew up without cell phones could manage quite easily.
My old man trained horses for 55 years. Thirty of those years were BEFORE lasix. He generally had 40/45 horses in his care. He once told me that after all those years of training, he couldnt count on one hand the number of horses that visibly bled. He also mentioned that although he suspected that a horse may have bled internally on some occasions, it wasnt often enough to truly be all that concerned. The horses usually came out of their races well enough and were able to race right back.

If you check out the past performances of all the great horses of pre-lasix days, you will seldom find a race in their lines that would make you think they bled. Bleeding seldom stopped them from being consistant. Recently, a study stated that only 5/6% of race horses truly need lasix and I believe it. We shouldnt be destroying/weakening our breed for just 5/6%.

I have been training almost 20 years. I have seen ONE horse bleed from the nostrils. No offense but only ignorant people take the stance that if they can't see it, it doesn't exist. The world really is round.

Acertainsmile
Aug. 13, 2011, 10:22 AM
One of the reasons I think there are more bleeders is because of pollution. Back in the 80's we shipped from Atlantic City to the Meadowlands, and horses that had never bled were bleeding, the air quality up there was very poor.

I really havent researched the studies on this but I'm sure they're out there.... same with kids and asthma, I never remember kids having it (maybe the rare one) 30-40 yrs ago.

Alagirl
Aug. 13, 2011, 11:14 AM
One of the reasons I think there are more bleeders is because of pollution. Back in the 80's we shipped from Atlantic City to the Meadowlands, and horses that had never bled were bleeding, the air quality up there was very poor.

I really havent researched the studies on this but I'm sure they're out there.... same with kids and asthma, I never remember kids having it (maybe the rare one) 30-40 yrs ago.


If anything the air got better.

it's like ADD/ADHD and Ritalin...once it has a name and face the meds flow freely...

as mentioned before, other countries run no-drug races. I am sure when they ship here they take their meds as well, why pass up the advantage it gives you....

The industry is not centered around the horse.
Farms produce for the sale, the tracks mainly cater to the betting crowd. The horses are secondary.

Texarkana
Aug. 13, 2011, 11:28 AM
Thanks Laurie, that does make sense - Lasix used as a preventive measure to stop the issue from getting worse.

This blog again... (http://thoroedge.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/a-natural-solution-to-address-bleeding-in-racehorses/)

"I submit that we can control the instances of EIPH in the vast majority of thoroughbreds through the re-structuring of conditioning regimens and a mandatory pre-race warm up protocol.

To review, thoroughbred bleeding is principally due to high blood pressure build up in pulmonary capillaries during a race, this pressure quickly increases faster than these vessels can accommodate the increased blood flow, leading to many ruptures within the sensitive lung tissues."

It seems like a simple explanation and solution, but nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Or is it?

That is an EXCELLENT blog post which explains the situation much more clearly and eloquently than I could ever hope.

Lasix is not "heroin," but it's not without serious impacts on a horses' health. Relying on it to keep horses running is definitely not in the best interest of the horses.

And I'll agree on the pollution thing, though. And combine that with the fact that urban racing really limits how a trainer can condition.

Just to pose a question-- have any of you ever taken furosemide yourself? That was a real wake-up call for me about just how hard it is on an animal's system.

Madeline
Aug. 13, 2011, 11:59 AM
You know as well as I do horses still bleed through Lasix and it is not without side effects. If a horse is truly "floundering in their own blood," with or without Lasix, they shouldn't be running back frequently.

More importantly, they should NEVER enter the gene pool.

Acertainsmile
Aug. 13, 2011, 01:55 PM
If anything the air got better.

it's like ADD/ADHD and Ritalin...once it has a name and face the meds flow freely...

as mentioned before, other countries run no-drug races. I am sure when they ship here they take their meds as well, why pass up the advantage it gives you....

The industry is not centered around the horse.
Farms produce for the sale, the tracks mainly cater to the betting crowd. The horses are secondary.

Better since when? Horses have been bleeding since the 1700's.

And as far as racing in Europe, the horses are trained differently, and given other meds/herbs for bleeding.

Alagirl
Aug. 13, 2011, 03:00 PM
Better since when? Horses have been bleeding since the 1700's.

And as far as racing in Europe, the horses are trained differently, and given other meds/herbs for bleeding.


what meds and herbs? :)

Horses have always bled, true.
but it had to be actually visible to be noticed, or they were just 'not so good'
Either way their time on the track was limited and appearance in the breeding shed unlikely. THAT is what some people are referring to.

from what I understand horses are not medicated for bleeding before hand in Europe.
And lets not forget that the drop or two of blood from scoping qualifies the horse as bleeder...it's not for the horse, it's for the better and the owners, leveling the field....

people always have been ADD/ADHD. As somebody put it back in the day it was the 'your momma didn't whoop you enough' syndrome...nowadays it's AD something, even if it's just the Monday after a long weekend inside ants in the pants: Pop a pill and kid behaves.

But then again, sending masked bleeders to the breeding shed is only one problem US TBs are having....

Texarkana
Aug. 13, 2011, 04:00 PM
More importantly, they should NEVER enter the gene pool.

There isn't much of a genetic component with bleeding, though. Any animal will experience some bleeding if you push the lungs to max capacity. Barrel racers, greyhounds, racing camels, even human sprinters and cyclists.

Using powerful diuretics on everything is not the best we can do to for our horses to mitigate the situation. Yet we're content to continue ignoring that fact because lasix provides us with an easy band-aid.

Horses would run better and recover faster if we gave them all 3g IV bute before each race, but no one seems to have a problem agreeing that's a poor course of action...

On the Farm
Aug. 13, 2011, 05:22 PM
what meds and herbs? :)

Horses have always bled, true.
but it had to be actually visible to be noticed, or they were just 'not so good'
Either way their time on the track was limited and appearance in the breeding shed unlikely. THAT is what some people are referring to.

from what I understand horses are not medicated for bleeding before hand in Europe.
And lets not forget that the drop or two of blood from scoping qualifies the horse as bleeder...it's not for the horse, it's for the better and the owners, leveling the field....

people always have been ADD/ADHD. As somebody put it back in the day it was the 'your momma didn't whoop you enough' syndrome...nowadays it's AD something, even if it's just the Monday after a long weekend inside ants in the pants: Pop a pill and kid behaves.

But then again, sending masked bleeders to the breeding shed is only one problem US TBs are having....
What do you mean it's not for the horse? We almost had a horse die because he bled deep and was not detected because the trainer felt that the animal simply had an off day. Blood outside of the circulatory system IS a major concern, whether is it's just a few drops or a two nostril gusher and anything we can reasonably do to mitigate such damage to a horse is fine with me.

As far a bleeders being bred, well that's been going on for centuries, not just since the introduction of lasix.

I'm really growing sick and tired of the gross ignorance that's displayed here.

Alagirl
Aug. 13, 2011, 05:51 PM
What do you mean it's not for the horse? We almost had a horse die because he bled deep and was not detected because the trainer felt that the animal simply had an off day. Blood outside of the circulatory system IS a major concern, whether is it's just a few drops or a two nostril gusher and anything we can reasonably do to mitigate such damage to a horse is fine with me.

As far a bleeders being bred, well that's been going on for centuries, not just since the introduction of lasix.

I'm really growing sick and tired of the gross ignorance that's displayed here.

The horse is not primary concern in the US industry.
You can race a horse on bute. What the heck for? Kill the jockey?

Bleeding is serious. That's why other racing jurisdictions have rules about it. It's been 30 years since I read the German ones, but if I remember right a massive bleed was the end of said horse's carrier.

You can always have a dumb trainer who misses important stuff. We had one who tried to tell us that the skinny, hard keeper mare was just fine, neglecting to mention she would go off her feed after a hard race. not life threatening like bleeding but you get the drift.

Why do you think thee is an extra symbol in the program for a first time lasix horse?! It improves the performance. Simple as that. That's why everybody uses it. I got that from an avid better...

True, bleeders have always made it into the breeding shed. but most likely not because they were not good enough.
How can you tell now, with every horse labeled as such and the symptoms masked? Unless they pop a big one....

It's not ignorance. It's skepticism at practices that are continued 'just because'
I am more of a purist: If you have to shoot your horse up before a competition, maybe the horse is not that well suited for it.

Dahoss
Aug. 13, 2011, 06:52 PM
I have been training almost 20 years. I have seen ONE horse bleed from the nostrils. No offense but only ignorant people take the stance that if they can't see it, it doesn't exist. The world really is round.

Well I had a long response typed out, hit Submit Reply...claimed I wasnt logged on(which I had logged on) and it erased everything I had written. Not about to redo. Not worth it.

Acertainsmile
Aug. 13, 2011, 09:16 PM
"Why do you think thee is an extra symbol in the program for a first time lasix horse?! It improves the performance. Simple as that. That's why everybody uses it. I got that from an avid better..."

Words of wisdom from an avid better....Your kidding, right?

And of course lasix will enhance a bleeders performance, however, it will not make a horses legs move faster.

Blinkers On
Aug. 13, 2011, 11:10 PM
Oh noooo! The sky is falling!! Well maybe for some of those so-called horseman who dont know how to train/manage without lasix or other drug usage. It would be like those who were born in the last twenty years being lost without their cell phones, but those of us who grew up without cell phones could manage quite easily.
My old man trained horses for 55 years. Thirty of those years were BEFORE lasix. He generally had 40/45 horses in his care. He once told me that after all those years of training, he couldnt count on one hand the number of horses that visibly bled. He also mentioned that although he suspected that a horse may have bled internally on some occasions, it wasnt often enough to truly be all that concerned. The horses usually came out of their races well enough and were able to race right back.

If you check out the past performances of all the great horses of pre-lasix days, you will seldom find a race in their lines that would make you think they bled. Bleeding seldom stopped them from being consistant. Recently, a study stated that only 5/6% of race horses truly need lasix and I believe it. We shouldnt be destroying/weakening our breed for just 5/6%.

Right and thirty years before testing. And thirty years before medication rules meant anything or had evolved into what they are today. With your arguement comes technology, without the need to medicate, we wouldn't need to test...

Alagirl
Aug. 14, 2011, 01:35 AM
"Why do you think thee is an extra symbol in the program for a first time lasix horse?! It improves the performance. Simple as that. That's why everybody uses it. I got that from an avid better..."

Words of wisdom from an avid better....Your kidding, right?

And of course lasix will enhance a bleeders performance, however, it will not make a horses legs move faster.

if it does not make the horse move faster, why bother putting it in the program?
Why have an extra symbol for first timers.

I don't kid when it comes done to these things.

Laurierace
Aug. 14, 2011, 02:18 AM
It doesn't take a vet degree or a racing form to figure out a horse will run faster without blood in it's lungs. So yeah, it's a performance enhancer.

Dahoss
Aug. 14, 2011, 04:33 AM
What pro-lasix people dont understand is, racing can survive and it can thrive without lasix. It has been proven so in the past, and it is being proven so currently in other countries. The rest of us are more concerned with saving the weakening breed and dying industry instead of worrying about a very small percentage of horses that my actually need the drug. Bleeders in the past have shown they are quite able of having long careers, both running back quickly and 80, 90 100 lifetime starts or more was common.

If those horses arent capable of being competitive without the medication, then perhaps its time to find themselves a new career. Bad bleeders certainly dont need to be added into the gene pool.

On the Farm
Aug. 14, 2011, 06:08 AM
What pro-lasix people dont understand is, racing can survive and it can thrive without lasix. It has been proven so in the past, and it is being proven so currently in other countries. The rest of us are more concerned with saving the weakening breed and dying industry instead of worrying about a very small percentage of horses that my actually need the drug. Bleeders in the past have shown they are quite able of having long careers, both running back quickly and 80, 90 100 lifetime starts or more was common.

If those horses arent capable of being competitive without the medication, then perhaps its time to find themselves a new career. Bad bleeders certainly dont need to be added into the gene pool.

I understand that we had an era without lasix, but I read a TDN op-ed by trainer Ian Howard about that era--withhold water, hay, feed, and bedding for 24 to 48 hours. Lasix is a much more humane way to achieve that objective.

Has a "bleeding" gene ever been identified?

Acertainsmile
Aug. 14, 2011, 08:50 AM
if it does not make the horse move faster, why bother putting it in the program?
Why have an extra symbol for first timers.

I don't kid when it comes done to these things.

A horse is only going to run as fast as it's legs will go...period.

Lasix will help a horse be able to breath without blood in thier lungs, as Laurie stated, but it will not help a slow horse run faster.

As far as bleeders back in the "old days" being able to run more often, agreed that there were many "treatments" that were used that were less than humane by todays standards. Treatments have advanced in every facet of equine medicine.

According to one study, genetics are thought (though still a theory) to play a part, and dates back to one stallion in the 1700's. This means that so many gene pools could be affected that we would probably have to start at zero and redo the breed all together.

An interesting article:
http://review.barnmice.com/2577/the-bleeder%E2%80%99s-list/

Dahoss
Aug. 14, 2011, 11:15 AM
Has a "bleeding" gene ever been identified?

Perhaps.... http://www.paulickreport.com/news/bloodstock/study-suggests-eiph-is-an-inherited-trait/



--withhold water, hay, feed, and bedding for 24 to 48 hours.

Is that how they do it overseas? I have a hard time understanding why one would have to withhold for that long of a period of time considering what a horse eats or drinks passes entirely(from mastication to defecation/urination) through the system within 90/120 mins.

Equilibrium
Aug. 14, 2011, 11:47 AM
No it's not how they do it overseas. Good lord. Less bleeding due to some if the following people choose to ignore. CLIMATE. We start having 90 plus degree days, even in the 80's with heat indexes with regularity, I guarantee we see more bleeding. Conditioning. Typically different in that the horse will be out longer on the gallops and train on different undulating surfaces. Quite a few horses get out during the day in fresh air via turnout. IE, head down grazing. Also hay/haylage mostly fed on the ground not haynets. Almost always shavings for bedding. And it is mostly haylage not hay which is fed. They are dust freaks over here. Stables are larger and more airy most of the time. Geordieland is a horse that has run in big races over here and is a bleeder but how bad I don't know. He lives out 24/7 with a field shelter.

Yes horses will bleed here too. They can't run on lasix so people use lots of vitamin k and crap like that. If they can't be held, they just don't run anymore. They can't. But you can bet they get bred too. Could very well be a gene but so many European bloodlines are American in nature that that can't be the blame entirely.

Terri

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 14, 2011, 01:23 PM
While climate may play some role, it'ś a big world, and there is more to overseas than the mild temperate climes of Ireland/Britain/northern France. Plenty of places around the world that race horses where it gets hot, and they do so without Lasix.
Hong Kong... It gets pretty damn hot and humid there in their sub tropical climate , and all horses are stabled in a big polluted city to boot, often stabled in high-rise multi story stables with no turn out. They do have the advantage that they import all their horses and they are older, 3/4/5yo, when they buy them from Europe and Australia, so they can selectively buy horses that are known not to bleed. They also have probably the strictest veterinary supervision in world racing and a horse that bleeds has to be giving mandatory time off after his first bleeding epsisode, and not allowed to race if bleeds again.
Japan ... have you ever been in Tokyo in the summer? It's pretty damn hot and sticky, comparable to most of the eastern US.
Australia... gets pretty hot in Oz. Of course the Aussies tend to hold their big race meets in the spring and fall and are smart enough to not race as much in the heat of the summer, when horses usually get time off and a break. The Aussies also ban a horse from racing after two bleeding episodes.... remember top Aussie sprinter Scenic Blast being sent to John Shirrefs in California? That was to take advantage or Lasix. Didn't seem to have done him much good though.
Dubai.... well, 'nuff said about that climate. Stinking hot there even when they are racing in the winter.
None of those places allow Lasix.

foggybok
Aug. 14, 2011, 01:48 PM
A horse is only going to run as fast as it's legs will go...period.

.



that's a bit simplistic.....in a mile race, there is not much time that the horse is running flat out as fast as his legs will go.... The performance in a race is dependent on many things besides absolute top speed..... Lasix improves those other factors..... they lose 40 lbs of water after administration, that's significant.... time to fatigue is reduced.... Oxygen consumption is enhanced...

The study done by Penn showed significantly faster times in horses with first time lasix, so yes, they do go faster....

And yes, they do all bleed to some extent.. I know, I've done the research....

Blinkers On
Aug. 14, 2011, 02:28 PM
It doesn't take a vet degree or a racing form to figure out a horse will run faster without blood in it's lungs. So yeah, it's a performance enhancer.

Ding ding ding we have a winner!!
Though I prefer it allows performance as bleeding inhibits ;)

gumtree
Aug. 14, 2011, 02:39 PM
As a person that has a lot of skin in the business I have been following this debate which has been heating up as years go by. Racing and breeding has been my main source of income with horses my entire life. Though we have have been in the process of changing our business model the last couple of years as the controversies surrounding racing and breeding and the lack on industry leadership to address and come up with real solutions. I just don’t sleep was well as I used to.

I have done a fair amount of research on the topic taking in consideration both sides views, pro and against. And the only thing I can say for certain IMO is that no SOLID science and research has been conducted. A couple of well documented studies in other countries some here but their conclusions did not draw a definitive answer. Which makes it even that more confusing and controversial. For those of you who are keenly interested the most convenient forum to check out which has a far more heated debate is the http://www.paulickreport.com/ There are far more opinions and statements from both sides then what is being discussed here along with links to studies. Please take the time to educate yourself before posting statements as facts based on intuition, hear say, pragmatic experience. No matter how many years of hands on experience. There seems to be no real consensus among Vets. So, that being said my position is not based on scientific fact for reasons as stated above. But rather what I can extrapolate from information and studies that are out there and my own experiences;

Personally I do not feel that Lasix should be banned out right except in Graded Stakes races these being the horses that the majority of future generations will come from . At least not until its effect on the breed, good or bad, is scientifically proven and a definitive consensus can be obtained and explained in a way that the general public can understand and agree upon. I fully understand the possible ramifications of banning Lasix horses from running in Graded Stakes and the effect it will have on the ability of sub graded stakes level horses, bleeders to win or not. Got to to start some where. To my knowledge there is no scientific evidence that bleeding is an inherited trait or gene that is passed on. Mainly due to lack of research from what I can see. If Lasix is banned from top level racing future generations of breeding stock may prove those that intuitively feel it does right or wrong. Though it will take MANY years given the fact no breeding stock or families have been “marked” as bleeders. And just because certain generations show no signs of bleeding that does not mean the recessive gene, if there is one, will not come through at some point.

I feel the industry should go back to how bleeders were dealt with in the 70s when Lasix was first being “allowed” as a race day medication. That being they had to be scoped after a race and a Vet certifying that there was significant findings for the horse to allowed the use of Lasix. Before that the horse had to be seen bleeding from the nose. A very disturbing sight to the general public. Some say Lasix is not a performance enhancer. I have had Vets say it is and I have had Vets say it just levels the playing field for the horse. When I was a groom on the Maryland circuit during the “bleed from the nose” period there were trainers that would give the race day groom a syringe of drawn blood with instructions to conceal in their hand and shoot it up the horses nose as they picked up the horse after the race so the horse could be given this none performance enhancing medication. Whether it is or not it certainly was perceived as one. Looking at yesterdays Saratoga entries there were 99 horses running and 94 were entered with Lasix. Two 2 year old races, one 8 entered 8 on Lasix, second one, 10 entered 7 on Lasix.

In is my conclusion this is a very contentious topic. A LOT of misinformation is being thrown around from both sides. Not surprising if one takes the time to really try to do the research and base their opinion on fact and sound conclusive scientific studies. Not just one.

The following are excerpts from various posters on this forum. With my rebuttal asking you to back up your statement with FACTS. Post the link that you derived your information from. And my comments based on my experience.

“Bleeding is a cumulative thing. Each time does a little damage. Or a lot of damage depending upon how severe it is. That heals with scar tissue which makes the lungs more likely to bleed the next time.”

I have read this in a number of forums. But have yet to see a definitive study that backs this statement up. I am not saying you are wrong, but seems more intuitive then fact.


“Recently, a study stated that only 5/6% of race horses truly need Lasix and I believe it. We shouldn't be destroying/weakening our breed for just 5/6%.”

I agree but I have also seen people say that 95% of all race horses bleed and need Lasix. As to weakening the breed maybe maybe not. I addressed that above and another intuitive statement.

“I have been training almost 20 years. I have seen ONE horse bleed from the nostrils. No offense but only ignorant people take the stance that if they can't see it, it doesn't exist. The world really is round.”

First, in some ways your statement of fact seems to back up the only “5/6% of horses need Lasix”. I go back more then 20 years and not just as a trainer and have seen a number of horses bleed from the nose. Do you scope your hoses after a race or even better after every race? As I do. Or just assume like 99% of American trainers that every horse bleeds? And so they give everyone of their horses Lasix as a matter of course the idea being based on your statement of fact that “Bleeding is a cumulative thing” Which I have not found to be true having scoped my horses for the last couple of years. Yes some do show “traces” of blood on a deep scope and there is a grading system in place to define the extent and treatment. From, no worries to yes we should but the horses on Lasix. But none have gotten worse as you suggest. Be it the Steeplechase horses that I train or the flat horses that I have with other trainers. I am by no means suggesting my finding as FACT because we are talking a extremely low number of horses. My horses do not run on Lasix unless they show me they need it. All of my jumpers come off the flat. All ran on Lasix on the flat none over jumps for me. None have bleed and you can not tell me that running 2 1/2 to 4 miles is less taxing. IMO you are showing a bit of ignorance and a touch of arrogance. I all fairness I have been know to myself.

“One of the reasons I think there are more bleeders is because of pollution. Back in the 80's we shipped from Atlantic City to the Meadowlands, and horses that had never bled were bleeding, the air quality up there was very poor.”

Good that you did not state your opinion as fact. EPA states that air quality is much better now then the 80’s maybe so maybe not. But IMO I have felt there maybe something to the cause and effect of environmental conditions on American based race horses. Had a curious thing happened with a mare a couple of weeks ago. Due to her foal having a foot problem they had to be stall bound for a couple of weeks except for limited turn out in a small porta-paddock each day. This time of year we have lots of empty stalls any mares and foals that have to be kept in their stalls are rotated. The one used is mucked out and let dry and air out and they are put in a “fresh” stall for the following night. The stalls have high ceilings excellent ventilation and ceiling fans. But this mare was still in her stall around 22-23 hours a day. We have boarded this mare for 4 years. We had extremely hot and humid weather here in PA during July. Before we return any horse to the “heard” paddock/field they are turned out in a small paddock next to it so they can reacquaint over the fence and get the “run” of of them before going out with the heard an getting everybody worked up especially in hot weather. The mare did what was expected and ran all over the place, it was a hot humid day. Shortly there after I saw her bleeding pretty good from the nose. Just as I have seen in horses after a race. Is this conclusive? Of course not but begs the question. If I were in the position I would fund a study of 2 years olds that go right from the breaking farm the Fair Hill training center and those that go to “city” based race track horses. Unitize dynamic scopes and deep scoping. Monitoring their surrounding environmental conditions on a daily bases. Food for thought. All of our jumpers in training are turned out on a daily bases. Some stay out. And we do pretty good given the horses we have to work with.


“More importantly, they should NEVER enter the gene pool” Maybe, Maybe not but another intuitive statement. Base on no facts.

“There isn't much of a genetic component with bleeding” And what study to you base this fact on?

“Better since when? Horses have been bleeding since the 1700's.” Maybe, Maybe not, please show me your references of fact.

”Using powerful diuretics on everything is not the best we can do to for our horses to mitigate the situation. Yet we're content to continue ignoring that fact because Lasix provides us with an easy band-aid.”

I agree but without research it is what it is.

”What do you mean it's not for the horse? We almost had a horse die because he bled deep and was not detected because the trainer felt that the animal simply had an off day. Blood outside of the circulatory system IS a major concern, whether is it's just a few drops or a two nostril gusher and anything we can reasonably do to mitigate such damage to a horse is fine with me.”

Sorry for you loss but one horse, a couple of horses, hundreds of horses out of Thousands and Thousands does not warrant a “dame the torpedoes full speed ahead” approach. Did you ever think that the cure may have a long term detrimental effect on the horse?
We had a horse years back compete in a hunter pass, optimum time. This was a very nice fit horse. He did great was not “blowing” any harder then expected. Leading him back to the trailer he dropped dead from what turned out to be an exploded artery. I have known of a number of horses this has happened to over the years.

“I'm really growing sick and tired of the gross ignorance that's displayed here.”

Me too, not only here but on lots of forums and on both sides of the debate. Which is why I have taken a lot of my time to try and present an unbiased post asking posters that state facts to back up their statements with REAL facts. Again, not based on intuition, hear say, pragmatic experience. If anything I have written has come off as fact my apologies. It was not my intention I do not have an editor who can give an objective read, correct and or point out for correction.

”if it does not make the horse move faster, why bother putting it in the program?
Why have an extra symbol for first timers.”

That is a questions that I have thrown out numerous times over the years. And there is an explanation but it still made me scratch my head.


“Well I had a long response typed out, hit Submit Reply...claimed I wasn't logged on(which I had logged on) and it erased everything I had written.”

Happened to me once. Which is why I compose in an email, get the benefit of spell check, copy and paste. My wife has not heard me scream in frustration since. At least not when writing a post just reading others.

Acertainsmile
Aug. 14, 2011, 03:11 PM
Good post Gumtree, I've also been in the racing business for 30 plus years...so i get it, really. I stated my observaton in New Jersey, the trainer and I concluded that this was a possible answer, although scientific it was not.

Anyway, I dug this article and although it is speculative, there is a lot of good info and food for thought. I posted it previously but you must have missed it.

http://review.barnmice.com/2577/the-bleeder%E2%80%99s-list/

Equilibrium
Aug. 15, 2011, 02:31 AM
I said climate and other factors too. Yeah you are right about East Asia. Are horses given breaks over there? I'm not sure. All horses get breaks here. And I was referring to mainland Europe. And as stated in my previous post, back through the years lasix was only as needed and never for just about every horse. NY managed to keep it out until 1995. Still banning in all stake races would be the way forward. If they can't be good enough without it or are that bad a bleeder they don't need black type.

And performance enhancing is such a loose term. Aren't Olympic athletes entitled to asthma meds and allergy things so they don't otherwise die or collapse. Horses at regular SJI jumping shows have been randomly tested this summer and of the positives found it was for a cream to stop itching. It's all a bit stupid. So your horse has to be miserable and scratchy so you aren't a cheat. I got on the FEI website to see just what was illegal. 27 pages long. That doesn't include all the herbal things. Why am I on about this? Because it's all relevant to what is termed performance enhancing. Same as I mentioned regumate. Let's a filly or mare run to her best. You can geld a colt for the same. Yeah not or even not most fillies or mares need it but if you are paying the bills on one that does, it sucks.

In the old days it wasn't as clean as everyone seems to think. And testing wasn't what it is today.

Terri

Equilibrium
Aug. 15, 2011, 02:36 AM
Think it's all squeaky clean over here? Google Howard Johnson trainer and find out why he's retiring. I love how he claims he didn't know nerving was illegal. Lots you can get away with at your own training centers at home.

Terri

witherbee
Aug. 15, 2011, 10:58 AM
I too wish there was more research. Comparing to the old days is not necessarily accurate either - there were a lot of illegal and nasty things that went on in "the good old days". Milkshakes and cruel practices. Not sure how many people didn't do things to deal with bleeding, or maybe were just not aware so bad performances were chalked up to other factors. Could have been the training techniques as well. There were more longer races, less emphasis on sprints, and many horses ran back more often, so maybe it was related to conditioning.

We have an older gelding who we bred and who is the best horse (so far) that we have ever had. He is a bleeder (confirmed with a scope, and yes there are degrees and he is not a "bad" bleeder). I'd hate to not run him with Lasix as we know he will bleed. We have others that are not Lasix-level bleeders.

I have mixed feelings - if there is more research done and we phase it out, I think that would be good, but to scrap the current and upcoming crops of runners could be a big mess. There is already an outcry about placing horses and this would certainly add to that burden...

Can't say I know the answers - banning steroids was a clear win to me, but some form of control for true bleeders does not seem unreasonable. As for Europe and other non-lasix racing, I would imagine they use herbs and possibly it is the way they are conditioned. Changing conditioning and racing structure would take time, so I hope this is a phased approach - not saying it's bad, just hoping we can get our acts together to not lose a couple of generations of racehorses. I'd love to see us go back to longer races and more conditioning, but not at the expense of the first few crops as people learn the hard way.

Pat Ness
Aug. 16, 2011, 12:32 PM
Thanks gumtree - that was an excellent post.