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CHRB Approves PCQHRA and Los Alamitos Request to Restrict Clenbuterol Use

August 27, 2011

Los Alamitos

The California Horse Racing Board approved a joint request presented by the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association and Los Alamitos Race Course at its regular monthly meeting held on Thursday, August 25, to restrict the use of clenbuterol at the Orange County track by prohibiting for one year its presence at any level in test samples collected from horses that run.

The request was unopposed and widely supported by the Quarter Horse industry, stated a news release summary provided by the CHRB staff on Friday. The ban will take effect on October 14 at Los Alamitos Race Course, “thus giving horses ample time to clear their systems of any clenbuterol,” said PCQHRA President Dominic “Bud” Alessio in a letter to racing Quarter Horse owners, breeders and trainers.

The CHRB news release explained that clenbuterol will be allowed to continue being used on the racetrack as a bronchodilator to treat lower respiratory disease, but Dr. Rick Arthur, the CHRB equine medical director, said the recommendation to veterinarians and horsemen will be to not administer clenbuterol within 30 days of a race in order to make certain the drug will completely clear the horse’s system prior to testing.

Dr. Arthur, Dr. Dan Lucas, MD; Dr. Rick Overly, DVM; Dr. Mark Martinelli, DVM; Thoroughbred trainer John Shirreffs; Jockeys Guild Representative Darrel Haire; and Dr. Scott Stanley, Ph.D., the Director of the K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at UC Davis, all spoke on behalf of the restriction at the CHRB meeting.

The meeting was held at Del Mar and CHRB Chairman Keith Brackpool presided. Vice Chairman David Israel and Commissioners Jesse Choper, Bo Derek, and Richard Rosenberg were in attendance. Four of the commissioners approved the request, while Vice Chairman Israel abstained because he wanted to “send the message that this restriction needs to be expanded immediately to include Thoroughbred racing,” as recommended during the discussion by Shirreffs.

The CHRB news release noted that Chairman Brackpool, pointing out that the agenda item did not specifically include Thoroughbreds, said the Board’s Medication and Safety Committee would consider this issue with input from the Thoroughbred Owners of California and California Thoroughbred Trainers.

The PCQHRA will be releasing more details about this issue shortly. For more information, please contact the PCQHRA at 714-236-1755.