VOLUME 6 - 2013-2014 - ISSUE 1

6 Ky. J. Equine, Agric. & Nat. Resources L. 141 (2014). 


Note Written By: Alexandra D. Logsdon

This Note will primarily focus on how the international racing industry and scientific community have influenced regulations for using race day medications in thoroughbreds. It will deal with solutions in both the legal arena and in the area of scientific and therapeutic remedies. This Note will also discuss comparative law and veterinarian practice on a global scale, looking at the disagreements within the racing community between owners, trainers, veterinarians, and the racing commissions. The success of proposed solutions will also be analyzed. In order to effect this analysis, this Note will argue that Hong Kong's regulatory structure regarding race day medications is ideal and that this system should be used as a model for other countries. This Note argues that there is a dire need for the United States to adopt a system of uniform regulations, not unlike those in Hong Kong, in order to protect the racing industry.

This Note presents the thesis that the countries dominating the international racing industry have adopted uniform regulations and have been successful in policing race day medication use in thoroughbreds. For the racing industry in the United States to thrive, the federal government must follow the example of the international community and enact regulations to protect the economy, the sport's integrity, and the horses' health.

This Note begins with a brief history of common doping agents, looks at the effect of these medications on the industry, the evolution of these regulations, and the policing of the industry. Next, this Note presents a delineation of the current state of race day medications internationally, in the United States, and in Kentucky. This Note will then discuss the science of these medications and their effects on horses, including: the risks, benefits, side effects, and mortality rates. Next, the analysis will focus on the Hong Kong model and how the United States can attain the level of success achieved in Hong Kong. Finally, this Note will discuss the consequences on the U.S. racing industry if action is not taken.