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Two Indiana Trainers Suspended

Two trainers are suspended following out-of-competition testing.

March 8, 2012

Generic Racing Photo

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has suspended two trainers following out-of-competition testing, according to a report by Thoroughbred Times.

The commission on Wednesday suspended trainer Jesus Gonzales for 3 1/2 years and trainer James Garrison for 1 1/2 years following positive tests of the drug zilpaterol. The penalties resulted from settlement agreements between the trainers and commission.

Zilpaterol is a beta-2 agonist typically used in production of livestock such as beef cattle to promote lean muscle growth.

Horses trained by Gonzales and Garrison were tested at a training center near Indianapolis in May 2011. Indiana has one of the most intensive out-of-competition testing programs in the country, reports Thoroughbred Times. Horses stabled at Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park, as well as off-track training centers and farms, are routinely tested.

“AQHA believes the welfare of the American Quarter Horse is paramount,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “We commend the Indiana Racing Commission and other states that are taking the necessary actions to penalize these people who are acting unlawfully. At the AQHA annual convention, March 9-11, welfare will be a major topic as we work to assist other states to wipe out illegal medication use in our industry.”

In December, the California Horse Racing Board took action against trainer Adan Farias, after he had six horses test positive for zilpaterol in post-race testing. In a January 9 hearing, all six horses were disqualified from their placings and purses were redistributed. Farias’ racing stable was disbanded in November.

Another major medication topic in the industry is the use of clenbuterol. The medication is a known therapeutic drug when used as directed; however, when misued the drug can have an anabolic effect. AQHA has recommended a 30-day withdrawal period on the medication, as well as threshold levels.

Indiana is among the states and provinces that last year limited the use of clenbuterol. Others include Ontario and California. This year New Mexico also limited the use of the drug. Alberta, Colorado and Wyoming also clarified rules they already had in place to limit the medication.