The New Mexico Racing Commission is adopting new regulations for drug-testing horses. The commission on Thursday unanimously approved standards modeled after the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The new rules will go into effect July 31.
Commission officials say the new regulations will call for heavier penalties than what the state has enforced when it comes to drug cases and that they were already considering changes in drug policies before the New York Times published a story describing New Mexico as having the worst horse safety record in the United States.
The report, which focused on illegal doping of race horses and subsequent breakdowns that kill or severely hurt the horses and their riders, cited lax rules for New Mexico's poor record.