Among new drug rule considerations, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has approved a 45-day public comment period for a rule change that would allow the agency to suspend an authorized medication if it appears it is being misused.
The national American Quarter Horse Association, Los Alamitos Race Course and the Pacific Quarter Horse Racing Association are considering requesting jurisdictions to prohibit the use of the approved bronchodilator clenbuterol in Quarter Horse racing. CHRB has confiscated illicit forms of the drug from Mexico that are being used for muscle building rather than to aid airway passages.
The board also approved for the 45-day public comment period random drug testing of jockeys and apprentice jockeys and making such testing mandatory in physical examinations. The Jockeys' Guild dropped its opposition to the rule change after getting assurance from the board that the riders would not have to pay for the testing.
"This is for jockey safety," board member John Harris said. "It brings more professionalism to the sport.