Owners of world-class Thoroughbreds and their trainers now have one more rule to comply with and will face liability for non-compliance. The Breeder’s Cup has announced that the administration of Lasix will be prohibited for 2 year-olds at Breeder’s Cup races in 2012, and all race-day drugs will be banned for all Breeder’s Cup races in
Several people have asked me if I thought there would be litigation over the death of Eight Belles after her second place finish at the 2008 Kentucky Derby on May 3. Although animal rights activists staged a protest at the office of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority after the filly’s death, I don’t think there…
"Absolute insurer rules" and "trainer liability rules," common in horse racing and other equine sports, presume that trainers are responsible when their horses test positive for illegal substances. In effect, the rules make trainers guilty unless proven innocent.
The effect of this presumption is to shift the burden of proof from the governing body to the trainer, who must prove innocence by showing that he or she did not negligently administer a prohibited substance to the horse or did not negligently allow someone else to interfere with the horse. These rules can result in the imposition of a penalty against the trainer and/or the horse’s owner without actual proof of guilt.
Courts have uniformly upheld the absolute insurer rules, despite the fact that they appear to violate the due process of law.