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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 11:41 pm 
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May 13, 2015

Jonathan Sheppard joins WHOA in Support of Federal Legislation to Ban Race Day Drugs

After much thought and not a little procrastination, I have finally decided that it is important for me to become a member of WHOA and to show my support for its mission.

I was at first reluctant to join because I didn't want to give the impression to my peers that I considered myself superior or in some way more honest than them. I was also worried that inviting federal intervention could have adverse consequences by taking over the control of our sport by people who probably had little knowledge or understanding of it.

I have now begun to realize that we have reached a point where we really no longer have a choice. We need more sophisticated drug testing, we need stiffer penalties for major offenses, and we need uniform testing and medication policies. As a trainer who races in many different states, it has become almost impossible to keep up with all the permissible dosages and withdrawal times.

Although a lot of good work has been done to simplify these rules, I believe that the time has come for horse racing to follow the lead of human athletes and to appoint an independent body to police our sport. There is just too much money and too much self interest at stake to expect a level playing field if this is done internally.

Hopefully, if WHOA achieves it objectives, it will show the world in general and our own betting public in particular that American racing is serious about cleaning up our sport and presenting a better image. This will not only increase the value of our bloodstock and increase our revenues from wagering but also restore our position as a leader on the international racing stage.

__________________________________

Read Comments from other WHOA Supporters
For more information please visit: www.waterhayoatsalliance.com
info@waterhayoatsalliance.com
___________________________________


The Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) is a grassroots movement of like-minded individuals who support the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing. The appointment of an independent anti-doping program run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will solve the problem of widespread drug use in American racing and put U.S. racing jurisdictions in step with international standards. Doping destroys public confidence in racing, defrauds the betting fan, weakens the genetic pool and, most importantly, puts the life and limb of our equine athletes and their jockeys at risk. It is obvious that after years of committee review and discussion, America's racing industry cannot police itself by eliminating the proliferation of performance enhancing drugs in our sport, nor does it possess the power to adequately punish the purveyors of these drugs.

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"He is pure air and fire and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him; he is indeed a horse ..." Wm. Shakespeare - Henry V


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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 7:54 am
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Patuxet wrote:
May 13, 2015

Jonathan Sheppard joins WHOA in Support of Federal Legislation to Ban Race Day Drugs

After much thought and not a little procrastination, I have finally decided that it is important for me to become a member of WHOA and to show my support for its mission.

I was at first reluctant to join because I didn't want to give the impression to my peers that I considered myself superior or in some way more honest than them. I was also worried that inviting federal intervention could have adverse consequences by taking over the control of our sport by people who probably had little knowledge or understanding of it.

I have now begun to realize that we have reached a point where we really no longer have a choice. We need more sophisticated drug testing, we need stiffer penalties for major offenses, and we need uniform testing and medication policies. As a trainer who races in many different states, it has become almost impossible to keep up with all the permissible dosages and withdrawal times.

Although a lot of good work has been done to simplify these rules, I believe that the time has come for horse racing to follow the lead of human athletes and to appoint an independent body to police our sport. There is just too much money and too much self interest at stake to expect a level playing field if this is done internally.

Hopefully, if WHOA achieves it objectives, it will show the world in general and our own betting public in particular that American racing is serious about cleaning up our sport and presenting a better image. This will not only increase the value of our bloodstock and increase our revenues from wagering but also restore our position as a leader on the international racing stage.

__________________________________

Read Comments from other WHOA Supporters
For more information please visit: http://www.waterhayoatsalliance.com
info@waterhayoatsalliance.com
___________________________________


The Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) is a grassroots movement of like-minded individuals who support the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing. The appointment of an independent anti-doping program run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will solve the problem of widespread drug use in American racing and put U.S. racing jurisdictions in step with international standards. Doping destroys public confidence in racing, defrauds the betting fan, weakens the genetic pool and, most importantly, puts the life and limb of our equine athletes and their jockeys at risk. It is obvious that after years of committee review and discussion, America's racing industry cannot police itself by eliminating the proliferation of performance enhancing drugs in our sport, nor does it possess the power to adequately punish the purveyors of these drugs.

Hi Patuxet,
Mr. Sheppard has been a top shelf trainer for a very long time. He's had top class owners and a great reputation....best of all he has his own training center. The business is a lot easier for a man like this. Having the opportunity to turn horses out when they need time off instead of training around and through issues that all these horses encounter. Though he is not immune to going beyond water, hay and oats as all trainers must from time to time. Truth is more trainers all ready train on the basics then people are led to believe outside the stable gate....there are a handful of cheaters and they will remain bandits no matter what happens. More important is the issue he states....it has become almost impossible to keep up with all the permissible dosages and withdrawal times.. Personally I never found that to be a problem if you know where you will be running and find out the drug rules and act accordingly. Though I understand the point and there has been significant change in industry wide uniformity....as Jonathan states, Although a lot of good work has been done to simplify these rules, I believe that the time has come for horse racing to follow the lead of human athletes and to appoint an independent body to police our sport. There is just too much money and too much self interest at stake to expect a level playing field if this is done internally. Yet he does counter with having an independent body to police our sport. That is fine and dandy if they are race horse savvy....which most likely they will not be, especially if the government gets involved. What is necessary is to get federal funding to the tracks and testing agency's to properly test for the many drugs currently out there. That is the main problem....if they took blood from every horse in every race prior to and after each race the cheaters will be caught immediately. Pre and post race testing will confirm who was trying to put something over after the initial morning blood test, meaning they purposely administered a drug after the horse was examined in the morning....a definite no-no and a guaranteed cheater at the helm. Such findings would constitute immediate revocation of owners or trainers license, or wherever such investigation leads. The problem is they don't do it because it becomes to costly, but it could be done if they hired more qualified and reputable help. Certainly more qualified testing labs would also be needed to speed up the entire process. More officials that don't dilly dally around and move to immediately investigate any and all positives as well as allegations such as using a joint on a horse in a race. This is what must be done....so we have race horse savvy individuals running the show. They've had their hands tied because of the expense to test and investigate quickly.
Mr. Sheppard has a right to complain about the non-uniformity between jurisdictions as he's been hit with a few methocarbamol (muscle relaxant) positives due to differing rules between jurisdictions. A drug of choice used by him after a horse works or runs. As he says himself....We need more sophisticated drug testing, we need stiffer penalties for major offenses, and we need uniform testing and medication policies. As a trainer who races in many different states, it has become almost impossible to keep up with all the permissible dosages and withdrawal times.
Which kind of echoes my opinion, except bringing in outside agency's....it's money that stops the racing industry from digging deeper and it would probably be a whole lot cheaper to fund the track testing agency's and drug protocols then to set up yet another messed up bureaucratic agency. TJ


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