Equine Science Center (ESC) faculty and alumni were part of a recently published study on the use of clenbuterol, an FDA-approved, therapeutic medication used for the management of inflammatory airway disease (IAD) and airway obstruction in horses.
The United States Trotting Association (USTA) announced the results of the peer-review study, “Clenbuterol plasma concentrations after therapeutic administration in fit Standardbred horses: threshold recommendations,” which was published online in the journal, Comparative Exercise Physiology. The goal of the study was to identify a withdrawal time guideline for use of clenbuterol at FDA-approved dose levels in harness racing, where horses may start (race) at seven-day intervals.
According to the USTA, the results of the study “clearly demonstrate and recommend the need for different withdrawal times and threshold levels for harness racing than the current standards that exist for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.”
Conducted at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the ESC, the study was authored by center faculty and alumni, including Kenneth McKeever, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and ESC associate director of research; Karyn Malinowski (CC’75, GSNB’80,’86), extension specialist in horse management and ESC director; visiting professor Helio Manso Filho (doctoral degree GSNB’2005); Ellen Rankins, doctoral candidate (School of Graduate Studies’ Graduate Program in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences); George H. Cook Scholars Camille Duchamp (SEBS’20) and Yassin Salah (SEBS’20), in addition to others study participants unaffiliated with Rutgers University.
“This research study is another example of the excellent work being conducted at the Rutgers Equine Science Center in support of equine athletes, which happen to be racehorses,” said Malinowski, clenbuterol study collaborator and founding director of the ESC.
“The study results demonstrate the need for different therapeutic medication rules for different racing breeds due to the differences in their racing and training schedules,” she added.
The USTA will distribute the results of this study to the Association of Racing Commissioners International with the recommendation to adopt the proposed withdrawal time and threshold level for harness racing in their model rules and to all appropriate racing commissions for adoption in their state rules regulating the use of clenbuterol.