5 named to horse drug council

Gov. Steve Beshear appointed five new members to the Equine Drug Research Council on Monday, replacing almost two-thirds of the panel that advises the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on medication issues.

Medication and racing safety have been in the spotlight since this year's controversial Kentucky Derby, won by Big Brown, who apparently raced while legally on steroids. The second-place finisher, the filly Eight Belles, had to be destroyed after she snapped both front ankles moments after finishing the race. Since then, racing regulators and industry groups have been implementing reforms, including a ban on steroids that went into effect last month in Kentucky.

Beshear reappointed the chairman, Lexington gastroenterologist Dr. Jerry Yon, who was appointed in July.

New members are:

Hollie I. Swanson, University of Kentucky pharmacology professor.

W.B. Rogers Beasley, Keene-land director of racing.

Dr. Frank Dwayne Marcum, a Versailles vet and president of ArthroDynamic Technologies Inc.

Dr. Andrew M. Roberts, a Lexington vet.

John A. Cashman, retired president of Castleton Farms, which was a prominent Standardbred breeding farm until it was sold to Thoroughbred interests in 2001.

Dr. Gary Lavin, a Goshen veterinarian and Thoroughbred breeder, was reappointed but to represent a different constituency group.

Also reappointed: Rick Hiles, president of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

The appointments expire Aug. 1, 2012.

The ninth member of the drug council is required to be a Kentucky legislator; names of nominees for that position have not been submitted.

Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, will remain on the council until a replacement is named or he is reappointed.

The five council members who were replaced were:

Alice Chandler, Thoroughbred breeder and owner of Mill Ridge Farm.

Alan J. Leavitt, Standardbred breeder, who is now on the racing commission.

Dr. Fairfield Bain, Georgetown vet.

John Ward, Kentucky Derby-winning Thoroughbred trainer, who is also on the racing commission.

Bill Napier, executive secretary of the Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Association.