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Committee Votes To Tighten Bute Rules

Published: September 20, 2010 3:29 pm ET

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In a 12-0 vote, with only Louisiana abstaining, the Model Rules Committee of the Association of Racing Commissioners has recommended tightening rules on the use of Phenylbutazone, better known as bute.

Thoroughbred horsemen argued against the move, but ARCI President Ed Martin stood fast, saying the national HBPA and other opponents did not present an argument as to why higher doses of bute closer to race time were necessary for the health of horses.

“There are clear warnings,” Martin said, “that bute’s overuse can seriously jeopardize equine health.”

The recommendations go next to the ARCI board for approval, probably next month.

The new rule cuts acceptable threshold levels by more than half, down to two micrograms per millimeter of plasma or serum from the present five.

Martin argues that horses needing higher levels of bute for pain relief should not be racing.

(Harness Tracks of America)

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