Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The HBPA Salix Position

The HBPA responded to a Thoroughbred Times article by pedigree expert John Sparkman by saying in a letter to the editor,

"Sparkman accuses American trainers of not believing "they can train without [Salix] regardless of the easily provable fact that trainers in nearly every other country in the world do just that.” That assertion, however, is not true. It is acknowledged industry wide that trainers in other countries, including England and Ireland, do train on Salix. The only difference is they are not permitted to use Salix on race day as we do in the U.S."

I hope somebody with some standing in the industry responds to that statement by the HBPA because I think it's misguided. Maybe the biggest european trainers with a megastable work/breeze every horse on Salix, but I doubt it. It's our understanding that european or south african or dubai trainers use Salix more as a tool and only on occasion, not as a matter of course for every horse and every workout.

Unfortunately it is our experience here in the US that way too many trainers treat with Salix before every work as a matter of course - that means the vet comes to give Salix then comes again to rehydrate with intravenous fluids after - yikes that's expensive! I think most owners would prefer their trainer treat each horse like an individual on a case by case basis when determining if Salix is really necessary. Maybe banning Salix for racing in the US will force trainers here to rely on horsemanship rather than drugs to manage their stables. I'm with Mr. Sparkman on this one.

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