The New York State Gaming Commission made significant changes to the drug policy for race horses on Monday November 23, 2015. According to a press release issued after their meeting today, an investigation into trainer medication was undertaken subsequent to a PETA investigation into trainer Steve Asmussen’s practices.
The commission as part of its investigation handed down a $10,000 fine against Asmussen, trainer of such past champions as Rachel Alexandra and Curlin, for violations of its drug policy. The investigation found among other things that Asmussen was administrating synthetic thyroid medication to his horses in an attempt to boost the horses metabolism. In addition, the Commission found that he trained horses in evidence of pain and that labor laws were violated within the barn.
The gaming commission has stated that among other things no drug can now be given to a horse except with a need for medication therapy. All medication for metabolism modification will now be tightly controlled. Additionally trainers will now be required to maintain a log of all medications administered to each horse in their care.
These proposed changes are subject to a comment period, but should be enacted within the next sixty days.