NY approves NSAID “stacking” rule, proposes revised claiming procedures

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Jan. 23, 2018

The New York State Gaming Commission Jan. 22 adopted a revised rule designed to protect against the “stacking” of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and also moved to a public comment period language regarding the voiding of claims.

The original NSAID proposal would have permitted use of only one substance the week of a race. The NYSGC, in response to comments from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, modified the proposal to say that two NSAIDs can be administered in a week as long as one of them isn’t used within 96 hours of a race.

As in other states, no NSAIDs can be administered within 48 hours of race. The regulation lists the following substances permitted in New York: diclofenac, flunixin, ketoprofen, naproxen, and phenylbutazone. Meclofenamic acid was removed from the list because it’s no longer produced.

The rule adopted Jan. 22 is in line with the National Uniform Medication Program, which discourages stacking–use of multiple NSAIDs simultaneously. The rule is supported by the New York Racing Association, gaming commission officials said.

Claiming rules in New York have been modified over the years to promote equine safety, and the latest revision states that a claimed horse must report to the test barn and be examined by a state veterinarian for lameness after it cools out. Vets will use a standard 1-2-3 system to grade any lameness; grade 2 or grade 3 would qualify a horse as being lame.

The claimant, upon receiving the information, would have the right to void the claim if he or she chooses to do so. The horse would then be returned to its previous owner.

NYSGC officials said the rule would provide additional protection for racehorses and perhaps discourage a trainer from entering a horse that may not be sound. NYSGC Equine Medical Director Dr. Scott Palmer noted the grading system is used by regulatory vets during pre-race exams and “is not debatable.”

The proposed rule will now be open for comment public.