Wellington Is 1st of 7 USEF Town Hall Meetings on Medication, Treatment of Horses

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The first of seven U.S. Equestrian Federation Town Hall meetings to discuss medication and treatment of performance horses will be held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington on Mar. 27.

All stakeholders are invited to the meeting on “Welfare of the Horse in the 21st Century: Meeting the Needs of the Performance Horse in a Changing Environment.” It will be held at the Wellington Club from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm.

Equestrian Sport Productions, organizer of the Winter Equestrian Festival is hosting the March meeting of USEF representatives and prominent industry owners, trainers and veterinarians.

They will discuss what the USEF said in a statement would be “topical issues contributing to unprecedented public scrutiny relating to medication and treatment of performance horses.

“Media articles have brought focus to both therapeutic techniques and medication practices in racing, and more recently this national media focus has raised a number of questions about medication use in the show arena.

“Prompted by reports across all breeds and disciplines confirming inappropriate use of medication for the purpose of gaining advantage in competition in today’s show arena, the USEF leadership, in concert with the USEF Drugs & Medication and USEF Veterinary Committees, is soliciting information from stakeholders.

“Information gained in these forums will guide industry reform and regulation aimed at insuring the health and well being of the horse in our sport.”

Town Hall Meetings will also be scheduled at:
Virginia Horse Park, Lexington, Virginia – First week of May;
Old Salem Farm, North Salem, New York – Mid-May;
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky – Mid-May;
Colorado Horse Park, Parker, Colorado – June;
Blemheim Equisports, San Juan Capistrano, California – June, and
High Desert Classics, Bend, Oregon – July

Topics include:
USEF Leadership speaks to the industry-wide focus on welfare of the horse today;
Introduction and review of the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s guidelines for treating performance horses with discussion of USEF enhancements leading to the adoption of the guidelines as industry standards;
Overview of USEF and FEI medication rules;
Regulatory & enforcement issues;
Owner-trainer-teterinarian relationship and responsibility, and
Next steps – call for industry reform.

All USEF stakeholders are invited to attend the sessions in person. The USEF is also seeking input from interested parties who might not be able to attend in person. Simply respond to the topics outlined above by sending an email to: horsewelfare@usef.org.