In a response to Wednesday’s post, Roger Lyons makes the reasonable observation that organizations like the Jockey Club have difficulty making some types of restriction rules because they are liable to be charged with restraint of trade.

Up to a point, I believe that is true. The JC would have to be clear and fair and careful in creating new regulations.

But I believe that organizations such as the JC have unique power, and as such, they have both the responsibility and the duty to exercise it when necessary.

This is such a time, and there are ways of creating incentives for sane behavior (carrots), while disincentivizing other behavior (sticks).

One possible use of a carrot would be a rule similar to the one used by the German authority that allows only horses raced without medication to be used as breeding stock. The Germans didn’t have to “outlaw” medication. It’s a sane thing NOT to use because using it devalues the horse immensely.

This is only one hypothetical example, but there are ways forward if we have the willpower to forge ahead.