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Horses Viagra: Trainer’s Phallic Pharmaceutical Fail

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That’s right.

The blue pill isn’t just for wanderers of The Matrix or elderly gentlemen whose furnace fires have fizzled to forlornly glowing embers over the years. At least, such was the logic of New Mexican racehorce trainer John Stinebaugh when he reportedly gave Viagra to his horses.

Sildenafil citrate was found in the blood of Stinebaugh’s horses (whose names are too entertaining not to mention): My Dancing Angel, Bikini Bombshell, Dynasty Edition, and PJ Chick in Black. This active ingredient in Viagra increases cardiac output, and thus an animal’s racing performance. For this reason, giving it to a racehorse is illegal because it pretty much acts like steroids for stallions.

But did he actually do it – or was it a third-party mistake?

Stinebaugh told American Quarter Horse News that the only reason his horses tested positive for Viagra’s active ingredient was because it inadvertently ended up in an anti-bleeding compound the veterinarians issued them. He claimed that the Texas compounding pharmacy that created the medicinal paste mistakenly added in the banned drug.

With four of his horses testing positive in a race for $1 million, that explanation might raise eyebrows. Even so, it might be a bit more believable if he didn’t already have a previous infraction involving a different chemical.

“That drug has no business being in a horse. It has no medicinal or therapeutic value in a horse,” Racing Commission Executive Vince Mares (apt last name for a horse story) said.

Regardless of whether the trainer is telling the truth, the responsibility upon finding drugs in your racehorse is on par with finding drugs in your car: it still falls on you.

If he really did drug them up, Stinebaugh may have felt like a horse’s ass himself when only one out of four of them won.

Also, the legal ramifications sound like they’re going to be hard on the accomplished racehorse trainer. He has been suspended for 16 years, fined $40,000, and was ordered to forfeit $8,000 in purses awarded to his horses. Mares explained, “Suspensions can run up to 25 years,” adding, “It is just a more proactive approach to … the doping problem in New Mexico.”

Stinebaugh has a Thursday deadline to appeal the ruling given to him Monday.

Lesson of the day? Skip the sexy stimulants, trainers. Have your horses bone up on their performance skills before they go the distance.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Horses Viagra: Trainer’s Phallic Pharmaceutical Fail
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