Effective today, December 1, 2011, only one of the seven approved Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) listed by the US Equestrian Federation in rule GR 410.4 (“Therapeutic Drug Rule”) is permitted to be present in the same horse plasma or urine sample.

Motivated by its commitment to the welfare of the horse, the — USEF Board of Directors voted to amend its Therapeutic Drug Rule, making the restriction to a single NSAID, verses up to two as the rule previously stated. The — USEF announced the change on November 7, 2011 stating that “both the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association supported the rule change, and — USEF now joins other organizations including the American Quarter Horse Association and Equine Canada in implementing this important rule change.”

In addition, revision to the rule have been made regarding detection times of some of the therapeutic drugs used in 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.

The — USEF did approved a rule provision allowing for the emergency administration of flunixin (Banamine) by a veterinarian to treat colic or an ophthalmic emergency. One must file a — USEF Medication Report Form if a drug other than flunixin has been administered to the horse within three days prior to competition. This form must now be signed by the veterinarian who administered the drug. This form must also document a 24-hour withdrawal from competition following administration. The — USEF stated, “it is important to note that compliance with this rule is dependent upon flunixin being administered by a licensed veterinarian following a physical exam.

Also effective today, anabolic steroids will be considered a “Forbidden Substance.” Official rule language: “No anabolic steroid is to be administered to a horse or pony in the time before competition such that it, or any metabolite of it, might be present in the animal, or might be detectable in its blood or urine sample at the time of competition.”

As a reminder to competitors competing at the FEI level, there are additional FEI banned substances and drug/medication rules. Please visit the FEI website for details.

To request a copy of the 2012 — USEF Drugs & Medications Guidelines, call the — USEF at 859-258-2472.