At its September 4, 2014 public meeting, the
Indiana Horse Racing Commission voted 3-0 to approve
rules to regulate cobalt levels in race horses. Cobalt is a
naturally occurring trace mineral. The excessive
administration of cobalt may enhance the performance of, and
potentially become hazardous to, the horse.
The Commissions action is based on recommendations
in a staff report prepared by its Executive Director,
Joe Gorajec. The report, which can be accessed at www.in.gov/hrc,
indicates that results of blood tests from
horses racing this season at Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand
indicate that excessive levels of cobalt in horses
is jeopardizing the integrity of Indianas racing product
and endangering the health and welfare of its horses.
The integrity of our racing product and
welfare of our horses are of paramount importance to us. The
Commission has now taken appropriate action to address this
issue, said Joe Gorajec, Executive Director.
The threshold level will be 25 parts per billion
(ppb) and enforcement of the new regulation will begin with
races conducted on September 30, 2014. Any trainer whose horses
blood tests high for cobalt will be
subject to disciplinary action, which could include up to a
one-year suspension, as well as a fine and
forfeiture of the purse. The samples will be tested at the University
of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic
Laboratory in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Commission would like to thank RMTCs
Executive Director Dr. Dionne Benson; LGC Science, Inc.
Laboratory Director, Dr. Richard Sams; and the University of
Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
for their invaluable assistance. In addition, the Commission
is grateful to the Kentucky Equine Drug
Research Council and the RMTC for providing the funding of the
study which has lead to the threshold level.