NY proposes change in administration time for intra-articular injections

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 29, 2019

The New York State Gaming Commission Oct. 28 approved a proposed regulation that would limit intra-articular injections for Thoroughbreds to 14 days before a race from the current seven-day cutoff.

The regulation now goes to the public comment period.

The NYSGC already has a regulation on the books that limits corticosteroid injections for Thoroughbreds to 14 days prior to a race.

A group of racing stakeholders from the Mid-Atlantic region earlier in October unanimously supported a 14-day administration time for intra-articular injections as well as 14 days for corticosteroid shots as part of the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Equine Fatalities.

The Maryland Racing Commission Oct. 24 approved a rule–it takes effect Dec. 1–that extends the permitted administration time for intra-articular injections and corticosteroids to 14 days from seven days for Thoroughbred racing.

NYSGC Equine Medical Director Dr. Scott Palmer earlier said intra-articular injections are “an appropriate medical treatment that requires a diagnosis” by a licensed veterinarian. He said a 14-day stand-down is “consistent with good medical practice that allows a trainer to evaluate a horse and mitigate hiding symptoms.”

The MRC also approved a proposed regulation to limit administration of phenylbutazone, or Bute, to 48 hours prior to a race than 24 hours. New York already has that rule in place, and the Association of Racing Commissioners International in December is expected to adopt a model rule for a 48-hour cutoff for administration of all non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.