USA Federation Includes Junior Riders, Vets in Broadened Range of Responsible Parties in Horse Drug Violations
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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Nov. 3, 2015–The U.S. Equestrian Federation aanounced Tuesday approval of a broad expansion of the range of responsible parties involved in violations of horse drugs and medications rules.
The change in the rule that now will cover junior riders as well as others was approved by the USEF board of directors and will take effect Dec. 1. It comes in the wake of drug cases in the hunter/jumper divisions that have generated widespread criticism of the current rules.
Under the change, individuals who are responsible and accountable parties–defined as “Persons Responsible and Support Personnel”–is being expanded.
The Trainer will continue to be held accountable for violations.
In addition, however, “and in the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary Persons Responsible may include the individual who rides, vaults or drives the horse and/or pony during competition, the owner and Support Personnel. Support Personnel includes, but is not limited to, grooms, handlers, longeurs, and veterinarians if they are present at the competition or have made a relevant decision about the horse and/or pony.”
“Under the new rule, a junior exhibitor might fall under the Persons Responsible; there must be substantial evidence to support holding a junior accountable.”
The USEF said that neither the Trainer nor any Persons Responsible, including Support Personnel, may be relieved from his responsibility under the Drugs and Medications Rules due to a lack or insufficiency of stable security. Therefore, the insufficiency of stable security or lack of security will not be an acceptable defense to any drug positive or medication overage in a horse.
The USEF said it is considering additional changes as a result of feedback.