Foreman: Racehorse Drug Model Rule a 'Living Document'

A horsemen's group official heavily involved in development of the proposed model rule for multiple violation penalties said July 15 the regulations are a "living document" that probably will be adjusted based on industry needs.

Alan Foreman, chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (THA), was asked about the status of the model rule in the wake of action by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) to recommended changes to the model rule. The National HBPA suggests slightly lower points for non-Class A violations for non-controlled substances; consideration of environmental contamination for Class A positives; and concurrent suspensions.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International will meet July 30-31 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to consider the model rule. Foreman, who spearheaded a drug uniformity effort in the Mid-Atlantic region, said the goal is to have the model rule in place for 2014.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) board of directors, of which Foreman is a member, will consider the model rule on multiple violation penalties—MVPs—for endorsement the week of July 15.

"We've talked about this model rule extensively," Foreman said. "We thought the points system is easy to understand, and that it would work. If we were to go to concurrent suspensions, it would gut (the purpose of multiple violation penalties).

"The MVP has been out for comment since earlier this year," he continued. "Most if not all of the issues raised by the HBPA have been discussed in the last year or six months. We had extensive debate on all of these issues, and took their comments into consideration."

The model rule as written has the support of the THA and the Thoroughbred Owners of California, two major horsemen's groups in the United States.

The National HBPA also said it has issues with the list of 24 controlled approved therapeutic drugs for which points are assigned for positives. The organization believes there could be up to 10 more commonly used medications that should be included.

"If the HBPA has any drugs it believes ought to be added to the list, it should come to the RMTC," Foreman said. The request is not unreasonable, but at this time (the RMTC) decided to go with 24 drugs."

National HBPA officials discussed their concerns with Foreman earlier in the year. The National HBPA board of directors voted July 14 to pursue changes to the model rule.

"Some of their concerns have been addressed, and some have not, but that goes for all the comments we received," Foreman said. "This list is a living document. It can be expanded. I don't know if we'll know if the system we have designed has flaws for at least two years. If it has flaws, we'll fix it."

Originally published on

About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More