Just to clarify, the "old timers" and myself are very well aware that drugging has always been a problem. And it will continue to be as cheaters gonna cheater.
But what IS NEW is campaigning horses week after week, to the point that either they a) can't show without some sort medical assistance or b) trainers/owners/riders feel better putting them on something "just in case".
Nothing really new there either.
in the 'old days' we did not show year round but whoever had the fastest van was in the running for AHSA awards.
Show on Long Island in the morning, pedal to the metal to NJ , Westchester or CT for more points in the afternoon.
True, those horses did get a rest after indoors but they were right back at doing multiple shows the same day come April or May. So it's not exactly like they had an easy show schedule.
Bute has been around for a long time. The 'old timers'' were avid users of bute.