New Mexico Limits Clenbuterol

New Mexico announces 30-day withdrawl on clenbuterol.

February 24, 2012

New Mexico

The New Mexico Racing Commission has enacted a 30-day withdrawl time on use of clenbuterol for Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing, effective April 20 for the opening of SunRay Park's meet at Farmington.

At the meeting on February 23, the Commission approved AQHA recommendations stating a 30-day withdrawl before a race, with a maximum threshold of 1-2 picograms per milliliter in blood samples. 

A bronchodilator marketed as Ventipulmin, clenbuterol is a legitimate and valuable medication used by veterinarians to treat horses with breathing difficulties, but its use also has gotten completely out of hand because of its ability to act as a beta-2 agonist to increase muscle mass.

“This is a great step forward for racing in New Mexico and throughout the United States,” said Ruidoso Downs general manager Shaun Hubbard. “This is a big step to enhance the integrity of racing and is, simply, doing what is best for the horse.”

The suspension is in effect for 12 months at all tracks in New Mexico. The clenbuterol suspension was aggressively advanced by Ruidoso Downs.

“We are very pleased that the racing commission made this decision and we look forward to the summer racing season,” Hubbard said.

AQHA is taking an active stance, recommending the 30-day withdrawl time on the medication. A member of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the AQHA Racing Committee also has developed the Racing Equine Health, Welfare, Integrity and Research Subcommittee. Read more about the Racing EqHWIR and what it is doing in the digital January Q-Racing Journal.

"AQHA commends the New Mexico Racing Commission for taking this action and doing what we feel is best for the horse and the industry," said AQHA Executive Director of Racing Trey Buck. "New Mexico joins the growing list of jurisdictions that have addressed this serious issue and we hope others will join soon. The AQHA and Racing’s Equine Health, Welfare, Integrity and Research subcommittee will now focus on Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana to encourage these key states in American Quarter Horse Racing to adopt the recommendations set forth in early 2011."

In 2011, Ontario lead the way in limiting clenbuterol with a 30-day withdrawal period, quickly followed by California and Indiana. Colorado and Wyoming also clarified rules they already had in place to limit the medication. Other states are looking at doing the same.