How much do beta blockers slow you down ? - AF Association

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How much do beta blockers slow you down ?


Two contracted workers at Newcastle racecourse have been suspended after an investigation was launched by the BHA into suspicions a horse was doped to underperform at the track last month.

The Mick Easterby-trained Ladies First tested positive for a beta-blocking drug after the 6-4 favourite was beaten 22 lengths and finished eighth of nine behind Alexandrakollontai in a mile fillies’ handicap.

Ladies First, owned and bred by Reg Bond, had won at York 12 days earlier before finishing down the field on the all-weather at Newcastle.

While it is not known precisely the effect beta-blockers have on horses, it is believed they slow the heart rate and therefore can manipulate performance, while also reducing the impact of stress hormones.

Beta-blockers are commonly used by humans to reduce blood pressure, slowing the heart beat by arresting the effects of adrenalin.

David Easterby, assistant to father Mick, said on Wednesday: “The BHA turned up and told us we’d failed a test for a beta-blocker. I personally had a bet on her, a double with Arrowtown, and was expecting Ladies First to run well, and my dad did a treble including her.

“She’d run well on the all-weather before, and on the handicap she was a racing certainty being well-in from her York win, so it was a shock to see her finish 20-odd lengths back. We looked for every conceivable excuse for her below-par run and couldn’t find one.

“We checked her cycle, being a filly, and that was fine. Scott [McCullagh] said she hung early, but when we got her back home she was perfectly fine and we couldn’t find a single thing wrong with her. We just put it down to it being one of those things, as you have to do in racing."

9 Replies

Isn't this illegal (fraud) if people bet on the race? Sorry to hear this. No living animal including humans should be held back to control competitive performance. Is there any action you can take? I imagine I would be angry and sad for my horse.

seasider18 in reply to hock217

The ones responsible will be banned from racing if found guilty by the BHA.

You can now bet with companies like Betfair to lay a horse, team or individual to lose. Knowing it will lose is a much better bet than expecting it to win.

Cheating is now rife in cricket and tennis where bets can be placed on much more than the match result

Probably bisoprolol! I couldn't run either when I was on it!

It absolutely slows you down. My heart rate was low when on it and my limbs felt like I was dragging them through treacle. I found it an awful drug and felt immediately almost normal when changed to Atenolol and Flecainide.

I know the feeling well. My hospital records are now marked intolerant to Bisoprolol.

Poor animal - beta blockers would probably have affected its breathing as well as dampening its heart rate.

Bisoporal left me comatose, horrible drug. It works for some, but not for me

Bisprolol bought me to a complete stop. It was like trying to drive a car with the handbrake fully on. Went back to my GP and came off them after a few days. Never again!!

Felacainide now with no side effects

I was also almost at a complete stop and could hardly put one foot in front of the other,

Unfortunately it triggered a reaction with Cipro/Fluroquinolone (and possibly also Amiodarone) that I had taken in the past leaving me still over three years later as they say Floxed with Fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome.

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