Friday, September 16, 2011

Lasix...what about it?

There has been a lot of fuss recently about banning Lasix on Race Day here in America. The question is...should we?

I was honestly all for it, but then you get to reading, and it really can jumble your opinion. Why are we the only ones to use it on race day...are we wrong, or actually right? Should horses have to bleed to be put on it, or is it more humane to just give it to them? What about the rest of the world's horses? Are they seriously not bleeding? Is that because they don't get scoped for it? Because if it happens frequently the horse is forced into retirement? Because they breed "easy" bleeders out of the gene pool? Do they have other methods to prevent it?

There are just so many questions to ask, and no matter how many articles you read, it feels like you never get the straight story. They all seemed to be biased one way or another.

However, like it or not, North America is beginning to change the laws on Lasix. The Breeders' Cup has already stated a plan for a change. They are going to start by banning Lasix for 2 yr olds, and about the time the 2yr olds are in the "older horse" division, all horses running the The Breeders' Cup will be Lasix free on race day. There is talk about trying to pass a law that makes Graded races ban Lasix or risk losing the "graded" status. This is exactly the kind of talk going on in New York. A senator has introduced a bill to ban race day use of Lasix entirely.

I just can't help but think about the great horses of the past. Did they not bleed as much, or just not enough to be visible without scoping? Is that the case, or are our current crop of horses (running, breeding, all of them) truly just that weak in comparison? Did Man O' War have a bleeding problem? Is this like the other problems we are seeing in our horses these days: breakdowns, fewer starts, shorter careers? I just don't know.

Should Lasix be banned? I don't know. But one way or another, the near future holds the answer.Did he need this stuff to win the first Derby?