New Modifications To Therapeutic Medication List Approved

BanamineThe Maryland Racing Commission has moved to adopt new modifications to the Controlled Therapeutic Substances List recently approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International recommended by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Two new medications, albuterol and isoflupredone (Predef), have been added to the list of 24 drugs that are approved for therapeutic use in racing together and a new withdrawal time for flunixin(Banamine® has been established.

The withdrawal time for Albuterol, a bronchodilator that can be used as an alternative to the more strictly regulated clenbuterol, has been set at 72 hours prior to a race. Both Albuterol and clenbuterol clear airways, but whereas clenbuterol can be administered orally or intravenously, albuterol can only be administered in an aerosolized form, using a breathing mask. Clenbuterol’s withdrawal time is 14 days.

RMTC’s official recommendation states that the current withdrawal time of flunixin should be increased from 24 hours to 32 hours (based on a single IV dose of 1 milligram per kilogram). Flunixin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and is recommended for the alleviation of inflammation and pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders.

The corticosteroid isoflupredone was added because of its efficacy in treating high-suspensory injuries, a type of malady that could not be effectively treated with any other drug on the approved list.

The RMTC has been pushing to more tightly regulate the use of corticosteroids because of concerns over the ability of these drugs to mask problems if used close to a race and because chronic use of long-term damage in joints. The recommended withdrawal-time guideline on isoflupredone will be seven days.

Concluding after recent research that the current withdrawal time for flunixin (Banamine®) could leave horsemen vulnerable to positive tests, the RMTC recommended extending the time by an additional eight hours to 32 hours.

The new flunixin withdrawal is recommended to horsemen and veterinarians immediately. The addition of albuterol and isoflupredone to the Maryland Racing Medication Guidelines will become effective with the opening of the Laurel Park fall meet.

Funding Now Available For Non-Accredited Aftercare Facilities From MTHA

Horse-field-grass-silhouette-foodThe Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) Board of Directors has approved the application process for grants for non-Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) programs in the state.

The applications are available for download here.

“We realize there are farms in the area that are not [sanctioned by] TAA yet,” said Chris Bricker, MTHA board member and coordinator for the project. “To be sanctioned by TAA, programs have to have the 501 (c) tax designation for three years. We have a number of farms that don’t qualify yet, but they are farms that are doing good work. “Our goal is to get all our farms accredited by the TAA program. We like TAA because they do the accreditation. But we want to support our local programs that are not presently qualified.”

Bricker said a deadline has been set for October 1.

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MTHA to Hold Election for Board of Directors

ballot box1 EV0PThe MTHA’s election for the Board of Directors, held every three years, will take place again this summer.

All 15 directorships are up for election. Directors will be elected to a three-year term.

A nominating committee has been appointed to develop a slate of nominees to be presented to the general membership at an MTHA meeting on Thursday, June 12 at 5PM in the Director’s Room at Laurel Park. This committee consists of Linda Gaudet (chair), Tim Keefe, H. Neil Glasser, Larry Murray and Chris Bricker.

Any member who wishes to run for election should call the MTHA office at 410-902-6842 and plan to attend the June meeting.

In addition to announcing its nominees at the meeting in June, the nominating committee will receive nominations from the floor. Floor nominations need a verbal endorsement from at least four members and written consent from the nominee. Nominations will also be accepted by presentation of a petition bearing the signatures of at least five members and the nominee.

Ballots will be mailed to all members in July, with a return deadline scheduled for August.

Results will be announced in mid-August on and in the Horsemen's newsletter.

Also, new for this year is a change in how ballots are sent and processed. Previously all ballots were sent from and returned to the MTHA corporate office for counting by volunteers. However, starting with the 2014 election, all completed ballots will be mailed from and returned to a third-party company who specializes in corporate and non-profit elections. This election services company will count ballots electronically and certify the results.

Candidate profiles will be featured in a future Horsemen’s Newsletter issue.

May 2014 Newsletter Available

newsletter2014 5The May 2014 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to each licensed owner and trainer in the state of Maryland.

April 2014 Newsletter Available

newsletter2014 4The April 2014 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to each licensed owner and trainer in the state of Maryland.

MTHA Board Member Arnold Heft Passes At The Age Of 94

arnold-heft1Every morning between 8:00 and 8:30 Arnold Heft would pick up his telephone and call trainer Tim Keefe to find out how his horses were doing. But two weeks ago, the calls stopped coming and Thursday morning Keefe and other members of the Thoroughbred community began learning that Heft, 94, had died.

“He loved his horses,” Keefe said. “But the last two weeks he didn’t call me. I was calling him and I began to prepare myself. I could see and hear the decline. I knew it was coming. Arnold was a wonderful man who loved his horses, loved sports and cared about people.”

Heft died peacefully in his sleep Wednesday night at Sunrise at Fox Hill Senior Living Facility in Bethesda. A graveside service to celebrate Heft’s life will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Mar. 14, at the Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park, 14321 Comus Rd., in Clarksburg, Md. The family will receive friends afterward at Sunrise at Fox Hill, 8300 Burdette Road, in Bethesda.

Long time Maryland horse racing fans know Heft and his wife Sylvia for the campaigns of multiple stakes winners - Pulverizing, Baldski’s Choice, He Is Risen and Red’s Round Table among them. Most recently, the Hefts experienced what Arnold called “their happiest moments” in sports through the efforts of Eighttofasttocatch, a horse he named for Washington Capitals’ all-star Alex Ovechkin and a horse that delivered two Maryland Million Classic titles (2011 and 2013) and a Maryland-based Horse of the Year Award.

“Though I owned the Bullets and the Capitals with Mr. Abe Pollin, we never really had a champion (when Heft was involved in the partnership),” Heft said in the Winner’s Circle after Eighttofasttocatch won the Classic for the first time. “This has to be the biggest thing for my wife and me. This is my first real champion – and I’m 92 years old.”

Heft,was given the Maryland Racing Media Association’s highest award - the Humphrey A. Finney Award for lifetime contributions to the Maryland horse racing industry last year -, after owning thoroughbreds for decades. But his involvement in sports goes back much farther.

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