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How do you feel about abolishing race day meds?

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  • How do you feel about abolishing race day meds?

    Why can't the US trainers go without the use meds to keep their horses in races? I use only Legend or Adequan as a pre race. A horse in good physical condition and properly trained should not need bute, banamine, robinal, dexamethasone, lasix, KY red or amicar and the many more drugs my horses (when trained by someone else) received when I saw my vet bills. Banamine peakes at 12 hours, Bute in 6 hours I think. So, really what good is it is Banamine is given 48 hours out and Bute 24 hours out? NSAIDS are the worst things for a horses digestive system. Lasix IMO drains the body and bones of calcium and minerals so in a young, developing horse I feel you are weakening the bone. I did read somewhere, I think it was one of my Trainer magazines, that lasix given to two year olds has shown that those horses have a higher chance of developing osselets. True? I think if meds were abolished for a few days out to race day, that the true trainers will shine and the needle trainers will falter. Flak jacket is no on, so take aim Sarah

    Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA

  • #2
    I am not going to attack you for your opinion, its your right to feel that way. I personally think that all horses bleed at sometime or another and it is inhumane not to do everything in your power to prevent that. Whatever negative effect a shot of lasix every now and then may have is nothing compared to the permanent scarring in the lungs that can follow a bleeding episode making them that much more likely to bleed the next time. Until they come up with something better lasix and adjunct is a necessity I believe.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hilltopfarmva View Post
      Why can't the US trainers go without the use meds to keep their horses in races?
      Because US breeders are breeding crooked/lame/unsound horses. I give every horse adequan once a week and use Legend as 48 hour pre-race. Most still need NSAID's.


      • #4
        Originally posted by DickHertz View Post
        Because US breeders are breeding crooked/lame/unsound horses.
        So, it's the breeding practices? Really?

        I think if meds were abolished for a few days out to race day, that the true trainers will shine and the needle trainers will falter.
        How can you train away a bleeding problem? Why not do what we can to help horses perform better and more comfortably?

        Nobody is forced to use any raceday medication. But, banning them b/c of a personal preference just doesn't make any sense.


        • #5
          Interesting that you should bring this up! I just got around to reading this Bloodhorse report that was linked a while back. There's an interesting bit from Bobby Trussel where he talks about how he buys 10 American-bred horses per year and runs 5 here in the US and 5 in Europe. His feeling is that they race more often with more longevity in Europe, even though they breeding is essentially the same. I'm not saying that it's an absolute certainty but his anecdotal evidence seems to support that we aren't really helping our TBs with the amount of medication given here.
          "I loved you all, but Horse Racing was my first love" -Vic Stauffer


          • Original Poster

            Proper conditioning is what horses need. So many trainers to not gallop their horses enough, one turn around the track in teh morning is not going to help a horse that may have had a bleeding problem. I have succesfully taken so called bad bleeders off lasix and won with them. I will give you a bone and say that there may be some bloodlines that produce horses prone to bleeding, small lungs, heart and weak capillaries. They don't race on lasix in europe, so why should we? Are our horses here of weaker quality? Sarah

            Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA


            • #7
              Horses in Europe also race on the grass, which is a far more forgiving surface then dirt. Grass horses in general tend to stay sounder and come out of races better. For the love of speed, dirt tracks over here can be as hard as cement

              I agree with some of Hilltop's thoughts regarding proper training and conditioning. I love watching horses exercise in the morning. I hate seeing the same horses out there going 1-2 miles every morning, particularly when they are running off with riders and the trainers are not out there watching the poor horses. They come back puffing like it was post-race. Then on the flip side are the horses that trainers seem to never take out of their stalls. I have friends right now training like this and I just shake my head. Three weeks could go by and the horse hand walks, maybe shedrows a couple laps once or twice, then goes out for a work and is expected to run. To me that's setting up a horse to fail (and yes, their performances match my opinion).

              While I agree that drugs for the right reasons often have a place in a trainer's toolbox, I still see them to be an accessory and not a replacement for good old fashioned TRAINING and conditioning of an athlete.


              • #8
                I believe all race day meds should be banned. They don't race on them in Europe, Dubai or any other race venues. Since medications have been allowed, the number of racing starts has gone DOWN. Too many trainers today don't know how to properly condition a horse and depend on medications to keep their horses running. It's such a shame.
                In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


                • #9
                  In a bloodhorse chat several weeks ago on bloodhorse.com, Dr. Scott Waterman said Europe has the same problems with drugs as we do. I get very irritated when everyone thinks all the horses over there are racing on oats and water - they're not.

                  Are the States worse than Europe in terms of giving drugs to racehorses?

                  Do European horses race with no drugs in their system?

                  Do Eurpoean horses train on drugs?


                  • #10
                    They should not be banned. withdrawl times are appropriate. Security is a joke. Making things illegal makes people become "chemists."
                    I can expand at another time.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                      I am not going to attack you for your opinion, its your right to feel that way. I personally think that all horses bleed at sometime or another and it is inhumane not to do everything in your power to prevent that. .... Until they come up with something better lasix and adjunct is a necessity I believe.
                      Back in the old days, before lasix, horses who bled at the track became hunters, jumpers, eventers, trail horses. They also became geldings. ( Well, the colts did, anyhow). Once lasix appeared, every fast horse became breeding stock. I don't think that that is proving to be a good thing.
                      * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                      • #12
                        Back in the old days you didn't even know the horses bled 99% of the time because 99% of the time you need a scope to tell if the horses bled or not and they didn't have scopes back then.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                          Back in the old days you didn't even know the horses bled 99% of the time because 99% of the time you need a scope to tell if the horses bled or not and they didn't have scopes back then.
                          Do you think that breeding known bleeders has improved the breed? If so, how and why?
                          * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                          • #14
                            That isn't what I said, but just because you don't know the problem exists because the technology hasn't evolved to diagnose the problem doesn't mean its not there. I firmly believe that 100% of horses bleed at least occasionally if not prevented with medication. Many bleed even with the medication. I don't think that is any different today than it was 100 years ago.
                            McDowell Racing Stables

                            Home Away From Home


                            • #15
                              Here is a post I copied off my message board on my site when asked this question.

                              EIPH, otherwise known as bleeding from the lungs is an interesting topic to me. Horses are prey animals built for flight. They can run very fast, much faster than the predators. Part of the reason for that speed is the way the body cavity is set up. They have very large lungs. When a horse is in full stride his intestines slosh forward forcing extra air out of the lungs. On the backwards part of the stride the intestines slosh to the back allowing extra room for the lungs to expand. So they not only take in increased amounts of oxygen, they expel more of it allowing for a greater exchange of air. Its a wonderful system very much like a bellow for a fireplace or a furnace that has saved countless horses from being someone's dinner over the millenia.

                              Where the problem lies is in the fact that the predators were left in the dust within a quarter of a mile or so. A lion isn't going to chase a horse at top speed for a mile and a quarter for example, so there was never any reason for the lungs to adapt to going full speed for that long of a distance. Humans have been able to condition horses to physically be able to handle the distance, but no amount of conditioning can overcome the capillary's maximum pressure limit. When that is exceeded, they rupture leading to bleeding in the lungs.

                              Maybe in a million years of evolution the horse will overcome this limitation, in the meantime it is up to humans as their stewards to ensure that bleeding doesn't happen to the best of our ability. Part of that is going to include medications of some type.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home


                              • #16
                                Laurie is right. Most horses do bleed. And most bleed through medication, Salix and adjunct. I would be willing to bet that if more horses were scoped after strenuous exercise(not necessarily racehorses) there would be traces of blood.
                                Bleeding hurts and it is our job to try to prevent pain. It does not enhance performance as much as it may allow a horse to run to it's potential. Regardless. Most will bleed through anti bleeder medication. They are a badly made animal. Legs with bones the size of ours and as Laure's article above states internal organs that lead to bleeding, aside from The other reason's horse's might bleed.
                                Pre race is not evil or bad or even a detriment within the limitations of the rules.


                                • #17
                                  I just read a great study on bleeders, it showed that most horses do bleed while training (just small amounts)... it was a very interesting study to say the least, I'll try and find it online...


                                  • #18
                                    If they bleed through medication, why give it?

                                    Why not control the pain in other ways?


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                      If they bleed through medication, why give it?
                                      Lasix greatly reduces bleeding.

                                      Why not control the pain in other ways?
                                      What would you propose?


                                      • #20
                                        what is greatly reduce when it's common knowledge that it's mostly only a few drops, which can also be cause by the scope thus the reasoning on getting the horse drugged.

                                        what about the side effects?

                                        What are the possible side effects of Lasix

                                        Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Lasix and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
                                        • dry mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting;
                                        • feeling weak, drowsy, restless, or light-headed;
                                        • fast or uneven heartbeat;
                                        • muscle pain or weakness;
                                        • urinating less than usual or not at all;
                                        • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
                                        • a red, blistering, peeling skin rash;
                                        • hearing loss; or
                                        • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
                                        From drugs.com... for humans...easy bruising and bleeding? Now how does that sound for control?!