CHRB Medication Committee Names Advisory Panel

In February renowned trainer John Shirreffs was named chair of a newly created Medication Advisory Committee, which will provide input and consultation with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Medication and Track Safety Committee as it continues to address critical issues relating to equine medication and the health and safety of all racing participants.

Commissioner Bo Derek, who chairs the Medication and Track Safety Committee, also named Scott Chaney and Lou Raffetto to the three-member advisory panel. Chaney is a steward on the Southern California Thoroughbred circuit. Raffetto is president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.

"We are very fortunate that three individuals with their levels of expertise have stepped up and volunteered to work with our committee to help deal with some of the most significant issues in horse racing today," said Derek. "They will complement the excellent support we're already receiving from Dr. Rick Arthur (DVM), our equine medical director, and other faculty at UC Davis. Together they will provide the California Horse Racing Board with the input we require to make well-informed, critical decisions affecting all of horse racing."

Some of the issues currently before the Medication and Track Safety Committee include the national proposal to eliminate or greatly restrict the administration of medication to horses in races, continued monitoring of the CHRB Track Safety Program in an effort to identify the causes of equine racing injuries with the goal of reducing them, and various drug-testing issues pertaining to the health of the horse and the integrity of racing.

Shirreffs--known for his conditioning and management several top Thoroughbreds including 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, 2009 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic winner Life Is Sweet, and 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo--has for some years been quietly involved in the regulatory process for matters pertaining to racetrack surfaces, equine medication, horseshoeing practices, drug testing, and related concerns. He has attended numerous CHRB meetings to provide a horseman's perspective on proposed rules, procedures, and policies.

Raffetto also will provide a horsemen's perspective as the representative of the official thoroughbred owners' organization in California. Raffetto previously served as racing secretary at Laurel Park (Maryland), assistant general manager at Monmouth Park (New Jersey), executive vice president of racing at Suffolk Downs (Massachusetts), and chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club.

Chaney became a California racing steward in 2005 and has since worked with the Medication and Track Safety Committee and the Board on a variety of projects.

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