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Medication, Breeding Discussed At WTC

Published: June 14, 2013 10:52 am ET

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On Friday, June 14 in France, the next-to-last session of the 2013 World Trotting Conference featured roundtable discussions regarding medication, animal health, genetics and breeding, and featured some of Europe and the world’s top researchers and regulators.

The medication panel was highlighted by a report by Dr. Arnaud Duluard, chief veterinary officer of Le Trot, the French governing body for breeding and racing who reported on a new program that tests horses for banned substances at the time of breeding, and by that of Sweden’s top regulatory veterinarian, Dr. Göran Akerström, who reported on his country’s increased efforts to control improper medications.

The panel on genetics and breeding included a report from Ed Renell, chief executive of Harness Racing New Zealand, who reported that the number of breeders and foals in that country continues to decline steadily, by nearly one-third in the past decade, but --- surprisingly --- the number of starters in races has actually edged upward over that same time.

Christina Olsson, who is in charge of breeding for the Swedish trotting association, outlined new methods of approving stallions for breeding and also showed the increased amount of information provided online for owners of mares who seek to select the stallion to which they will breed them.

Dr. Anne Ricard, a French genetics breeder, presented research into the DNA makeup of gaited racehorses which revealed some ability to predict how competitive a French trotter will be on the racetrack, which will help guide breeders in their decisions in selecting a mare-stallion cross.

In discussion before Friday’s gavel fell, the United States’ use of Lasix (furosemide), forbidden in Europe, was questioned by a member of the European Trotting Union.

U.S. Trotting Association president Phil Langley replied, “We, like you, believe in banning all doping, but believe the controlled use of Lasix is fine and its use is humane --- and that your countries should consider using it, too.”

On Saturday, the conference will come to a close with the approval of committee reports, an announcement of the winners of the International Media Awards and the date and place of the 2015 Conference and World Driving Championship. Following adjournment, the delegates will travel to l’Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes to witness the final heat of the World Driving Championship.


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