Dr. Dionne Benson visited the Race Track Industry Program for the second consecutive year. She served as guest lecturer for the Joe Hirsch Speaker Forum, and Advanced Animal Racing Law and Enforcement.
Dr. Benson holds both a law degree and a veterinary degree. The former from William Mitchell College of Law, and the latter from the University of Minnesota. Before joining the Race Medication and Testing Consortium as their executive director in 2012, she practiced law in Minnesota, and worked as an official for the Minnesota State Veterinarian’s office.
Dr. Benson’s presentation for the students in the Joe Hirsch Speaker Forum detailed the effect of bisphosphonates on equine bone development. She explained that the use of bisphosphonates on a juvenile horse could possibly inhibit bone growth and development as the horse matures. She also talked with students about other emerging threats for racing integrity, such as sustained release pain medication.
In the Advanced Animal Racing Laws and Enforcement course, Dr. Benson’s lecture covered a large amount of medication issues in horse racing, with a splash of racing trivia for the students. She talked about the adoption of the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP) and the components of the program. In the latter part of the lecture, Dr. Benson spoke about risks involved with compounded medications, and showed students some examples of the compounds that are routinely used in racing.