In a statement calling cheaters a “cancer to horse racing” Ruidoso Downs Race Track chairman R.D. Hubbard outlined the first steps of a program intended to curtail dishonesty to the sport.

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“We are announcing today the first of several steps that will ensure that those who participate in the major futurities and derbies at Ruidoso will be able to compete on a level playing field through added efforts to deter and potentially catch anyone who would attempt to drug a horse,” said Hubbard. “Thus ensuring the welfare of the horses and jockeys and eliminating unfair advantages for all participants.”

As part of the first phase of new rules, Ruidoso Downs along with the American Quarter Horse Association will implement new track rules beginning with the 2015 racing.

New rules include, all horses must be on the grounds 10 days before running in the trials of each of the Ruidoso Triple Crown futurities and derbies run during the Ruidoso race season; all horses that qualify for the finals of one of the futurities or derbies will be required to stay on the grounds through the running of the finals; and horses must be available for spot checks during any of those periods.

In addition, many more surveillance cameras will be placed throughout the complex.

“These new rules will ensure that horses getting ready to participate in the trials or finals of our major ultra-rich races will remain under the direct supervision of both the race track and the New Mexico Racing Commission security and surveillance,” Hubbard said. “Studies have found that many of those instances of medicating horses have been done while the horse is stabled off track. This will help overcome that problem.”

Ruidoso Downs, along with the New Mexico Racing Commission and the American Quarter Horse association, will announce additional testing and compliance procedures in the future.