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Monday, August 18, 2014

HBPA Horsemen Reaffirm Their Support of Lasix

The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) restated its strong support for the continued use of Lasix at its summer convention held August 15-17, 2014 in Oklahoma City. Lasix is currently the only recognized treatment for pulmonary bleeding, a serious exercise induced disease that affects nearly all race horses. In doing so, the National HBPA joins the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (THA), the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) in supporting Lasix use. Together these four horsemen's groups have nearly 50,000 owner and trainer members who race in the United States and Canada.

Those attending the Oklahoma City convention heard a panel of nationally recognized experts that stated current medical science does not support The Jockey Club's call for banning the race day use of Lasix, a ban that would inevitably be harmful to horses. The Jockey Club, a 100 member private organization, proposed doing so as part of its support for federal regulation of racing stated at its recent Round Table meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Ironically, The Jockey Club chose to ignore a landmark 2009 scientific study, which it largely funded, conclusively proving the effectiveness of Lasix as treatment for pulmonary bleeding in race horses. The Jockey Club also ignored the advice of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), an industry wide group of which it is a member. The RMTC found no medical or scientific reason for discontinuing the use of Lasix.  Similarly, The Jockey Club brushed aside racing experience in New York where it is headquartered. With the advent of Lasix treatment in 1995 the incidence of epistaxis in New York racing, the most severe form of pulmonary bleeding in horses, immediately dropped by 80%.

Pulmonary bleeding is inextricably associated with horses, and puts the health of horses and safety of jockeys at risk. Until a better treatment for this progressive disease is identified, there is no possible ethical or humane justification for depriving racing horses and their riders of the protective therapeutic benefits of Lasix.

The National HBPA (www.nationalhbpa.com) based in Lexington, KY is the largest racing horsemen’s representative organization in North America with 29 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen. Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supply’s, Equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products Inc., and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA.

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