Kentucky Governor Overrides Race-Day Medication Decision By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 4, 2012
Steve Beshear, Governor of Kentucky, has used his executive powers to override a decision that blocked changes in medication procedures for racehorses.
By a vote of 19 to 1, Kentucky’s Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations had failed to approve a proposal that would allow only government veterinarians to administer drugs such as anti-bleeding medications to racehorses on the day the horses are to race.
The proposal, which had been approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, included a limit on the amount of phenylbutazone or “bute” that could be given to horses in the days before a race. Bute, an anti-inflammatory drug, is under scrutiny because opponents say its pain-fighting properties could mask discomfort and allow a lame horse to race, possibly endangering other horses and jockeys if the horse suffered a breakdown on the track.
Beshear said he acted as he did in order to support the integrity of horse racing and also to maximize the safety of horses and their jockeys.