JC / Railbird

How Inhumane

Dick Powell on the Lasix debate:

But rather than ban it, I think we should mandate it.

Nearly all Thoroughbred race horses bleed. If you think we can breed our way out of this by separating the horses that bleed from those that don’t and breed a new racehorse that doesn’t bleed and doesn’t need Lasix, you would have to ban it in training as well which nobody wants to do.

And, how do you explain banning it to the animal rights activists that view our sport as being cruel and inhumane? …

Or, as trainer Rick Violette has said:

“Horses bleed. That is a fact. To force an animal to race without it is premeditated, borderline animal abuse.”

Arguing that a Lasix ban is abusive raises the question — if it’s inhumane to race horses without a drug, then isn’t it inhumane to race horses at all? If horses need a drug to mask the conditions in which they’re bred, trained, and raced, then shouldn’t the focus be on changing those conditions?

I don’t have answers; I merely ask.


It is scientifically documented in extensive studies that horses allowed to race on Lasix breakdown 3 times more than horses running clean. Horses race fine in Europe, Australia, South America, Japan, Dubai, and many other places without raceday medications to manage bleeding. Without raceday drugs there are significantly fewer breakdowns. Breakdowns kill, paralyze, and maim jockeys, not to mention horses.

Posted by DrSid on September 20, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

good Q! i’d answer it several ways–1. they love to compete, they love to run, they love to race. could show u videos of my horses going nuts with displays of pleasure when they head other horses riderless. So, its completely humane to race an appropriately conditioned horse. it will make their otherwise boring days. 2. as to lasix, it’s controversial, should be discussed, but mostly it should be researched. as a horse trainer it’s pretty hard to swallow a bunch of desk jockies and journalists forwarding an agenda that almost everyone that deals with usa horses opposes. if u’re going to discuss banning the one drug that stops EIPH how about an experiment with a few horses at a single track in a high EIPH area where there is some humidity. Every horse person knows this would be an eye opener for the anti lasix crowd.

Posted by fb0252 on September 20, 2011 @ 1:54 pm