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The jockey clubs of England, Ireland and France have come out strongly against Butazolidin, the controversial medication that is a continuing focus of dispute in U.S. horse racing. It is the stuff reportedly found in Dancer's Image after he finished first in the 1968 Kentucky Derby. Pro-Bute horsemen point out that it is neither a stimulant nor a depressant but an anti-inflammatory agent that lets a horse run to his true form, and racing states like California and Colorado now permit its use, with minor restrictions. However, in New York and Florida and Illinois, where it can be used as a medication for animals in training, all traces of it must be gone by the time a horse races again.
Anti-Bute people agree with the three European jockey clubs, which hold that its use is an artificial and uncertain means of keeping a horse in racing condition. An apparently sound horse, they argue, is not a sound horse, and racing is based on the premise that all entries are truly fit and ready. The British-Irish-French action is greatly to their liking, since Butazolidin is not supposed to be used on thoroughbreds at any time in those countries. That does not mean it won't be used, particularly in training, since the European jockey clubs have no way of enforcing their edict on horses that are not actually racing.
DON'T TOUCH ME
In the first three weeks of football at Georgia Tech this fall there were 137 injuries, including seven concussions, 19 broken bones and 32 wrenched knees. We hasten to add that this was not varsity football, where things were relatively safe and sane. The wave of injuries came in intramural touch, which is a big thing at Tech. Intramural teams there play the two-handed game, which is rougher than one-hand touch, and they are serious. Almost 2,500 students compete and most of the 84 teams have two nine-man platoons, one offense, one defense.
The injury boom this fall brought about some strict rule changes. Mouthpieces and shoes must now be worn to save wear and tear on teeth and toes. Blocking on kicks is verboten, and "protective" pads on arms and elbows, heretofore a favorite offensive weapon, cannot be worn unless a player has an obvious injury that needs protection.
Since most of the injuries came from open-field blocking or free swinging with padded arms, Intramural Director Jim Culpepper thinks things will simmer down now (and, indeed, there were 50% fewer injuries the first week under the new rules). But, he adds, in a mixture of concern and admiration, "I believe Tech students just play harder than anybody else."
PLAN (WAY) AHEAD
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN
GRRR, KIND OF