USA Drugs & Medication Rule Changes for Competition Horses Effective Dec.1

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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Nov. 9–Changes to U.S. drug and medication rules for competition horses become effective Dec. 1.

The U.S. Equestrian Federation’s board of directors voted to amend the Therapeutic Drug Rule and restrict use to a single Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. The American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association supported the rule change that brings U.S. practices in line with the American Quarter Horse Association and Equine Canada.

Beginning December 1, 2011, only ONE of the seven approved Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs listed in the USEF Rule GR 410.4 will be permitted to be present in the same plasma or urine sample.

Revisions have also been made in detection times of some therapeutic drugs used on competition horses. The detection time for the seven NSAIDs currently approved for use with quantitative restrictions, has been reduced from seven days to three days, when administered according to the dose and time recommendations in the 2012 Guidelines for Drugs & Medications.

Following the move to allow only one NSAID to be present in the same plasma or urine sample of a horse, a rule was approved allowing for emergency administration of flunixin (Banamine®) by a veterinarian to treat colic or an ophthalmic emergency. Filing a USEF Medication Report Form is required if a listed NSAID other than flunixin has been administered to the horse within the three-days period. The Medication Report Form will also have to be signed by the veterinarian administering the flunixin and the same medication report should document a 24-hour withdrawal from competition. Compliance with this rule is dependent upon the flunixin being administered by a licensed veterinarian following a physical exam.

Also effective Dec. 1 anabolic steroids will be considered a Forbidden Substance under the USEF Therapeutic Rule. If anabolic steroids are administered and/or any surgical implants are removed, the administration and/or procedure must occur sufficiently in advance of competing to ensure the substances are not present in the blood or urine at the time of competition.

The FEI Clean Sport initiative also led to changes to USEF rules governing FEI competition at USEF licensed events. The FEI Forbidden Substance list can be found at http://www.feicleansport.org/prohibited.html.

Alleged violations will still be heard by the USEF, FEI sanctions could result in assessment of a fine up to $15,000 and a two-year suspension.

The USEF urged caution using medicinal preparations, tonics, pastes and products of any kind (even those labeled “natural,” “herbal,” or “holistic,” as the ingredients and their quantitative analysis are not specifically known. Many contain one or more substances banned by the FEI rules. Therapeutic exceptions allow for use of anti-infectious substances and anti-ulcer medications ranitidine and omeprazole.