RCI Adopts Model Rule Changes

RCI makes modifications to its model rules.

Press Release

RCI has made some modifications to its model rules.

The membership of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) this week approved several modifications to the group’s Model Rules.

The RCI members approved a recommendation by the Drug Testing Standards and Practices and Model Rules Committees to remove the words “Restricted Administrative Time” and replace them with “Recommended Withdrawal Time” on the RCI Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule. This change was considered after a request from the United States Trotting Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC).

RCI also voted to make the following modifications to the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule:

• Reduce the current regulatory threshold for Ketoprofen from 10 ng/mL of plasma or serum to 2ng/mL. This would translate into a primary (24-hour) and secondary (48-hour) threshold for Ketoprofen in plasma or serum. Ketoprofen is a non‐steroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication which is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in horses as Ketofen.

• Modify the recommended withdrawal time for Flunixen from 24 hours to 32 hours. This change is based on analysis of a recent research project conducted by the RMTC.

RCI also voted to make the following additions to the Controlled Therapeutic Substance Schedule:

Isoflupredone Isoflupredone acetate is a corticosteroid that can be used for the treatment of allergic, musculoskeletal, and inflammatory processes in the horse. It can be administered via intra-articular, intravenous, and intra-muscular/subcutaneous routes. RCI approved a threshold of 100 pg/mL in plasma based upon the subcutaneous (10 mg) and intra-articular (20 mg) doses. The recommended withdrawal time is 7 days, based upon the research analysis performed by the RMTC.

Albuterol Albuterol is indicated for the relief of bronchospasm and bronchoconstriction in horses with reversible airway obstruction and is effective for up to 7 hour as a bronchodilator. Albuterol is administered either as an intra-nasal aerosol (either via intra-nasal apparatus or mask, depending upon which delivery method is available) or orally. The oral preparations are subject to very high first-pass metabolism and poor systemic bioavailability. Oral products have not been extensively studied and should be used with caution. The RMTC has indicated that Albuterol administered by inhalation at a total dose of 360 mcg resulted in a 70% increase in pulmonary function within 5 minutes of administration. While a 360 mcg dose is sufficient to cause this change, the researchers determined that, if using a mask system (such as an Aero Mask™), a 720 mcg dose should be used as much of the medication does not reach the target tissue. Based upon the RMTC’s Scientific Advisory Committee’s review of existing research and pharmacokinetic data available from studies in Europe and the United States, the RCI adopted the RMTC recommended interim threshold of 1 ng/mL of urine with a 72-hour withdrawal guideline.

The RCI also adopted a number of revisions to its Model Rules affecting Standardbred Racing that had previously been approved for Thoroughbred racing. Adoption of these rules were delayed to give Standardbred Horsemen’s organizations the opportunity to comment, though no comments were received.

Specifically, RCI approved additional restrictions on shock wave therapy to Standardbred races, requiring that machines in use be registered and approved by the racing commission and all treatments must be reported within 24-hours prior to treatment. The location of any such machine would also need to be disclosed. Previously RCI adopted rules that prohibit treatments within ten days of racing, affecting all breeds.

A modification previously made affecting certain thresholds for the androgenic-anabolic steroids in flat racing were formally adopted for Standardbred racing as was a technical change to eliminate redundant language pertaining to anti-ulcer medications.

RCI also adopted an amendment to provide greater clarification that a Thoroughbred horse is to be considered ineligible to race if wholly or partially owned by a person or spouse of a person who for any reason has been deemed ineligible to be licensed or participate in that jurisdiction. The Model Rule presumes that the disqualified person and spouse constitute a single financial entity with respect to the ownership of the horse.

RCI Model Rules represent best practice regulatory policy developed by the collective deliberations of racing regulators in consultation with industry representatives. RCI Model Rules are recommendations and the association has no direct regulatory power. In some cases, commissions, states and the Canadian federal government have adopted “by reference” portions of the RCI Model Rules, giving the rules the force of law in those jurisdictions.

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