In light of this past weekend's racing tragedy, with the death of the filly Eight Belle's in the Kentucky Derby, I thought it was time to pause and consider the role veterinarians play in the seedy side of horse racing.
Here is just one example . . .
According to an Associated Press article from January 2007, Jay Stewart, the President of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association, was accused of injecting race horses with alcohol 75 times.
Stewart was charged with four misdemeanor counts of attempting to influence a race.
Specifically, Stewart was alleged to have administered intravenous vodka shots to horses at Fonner Park in Grand Island.
The article quotes the Executive Director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium as saying that alcohol is ostensibly used to calm horses before they go into the gate. He noted that this practice could pose safety hazards to the horse, other horses in the race, and the jockeys due to the effect of alcohol on the horse.
Stewart is not the only Bad Vet featured here involved in the horse "industry."
For others, check these prior blog posts:
Do the shady types gravitate to the racing industry?
R.I.P., Eight Belles
Further investigation reveals that the charges against Stewart were dropped when three witnesses, scheduled to testify against him, could not be "located."
These witnesses were Armando Martinez, Kelli Martinez, and Jodi Lopez. Armando Martinez is a rider on the Nebraska racing circuit, and Lopez and the other Martinez own horses.
Witnesses can't be located to testify.
Involved in the industry.
Sounds a little mafioso, doesn't it?