Within the FEI list and within the new FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR), there are two main categories of regulated substances:
Banned substances. These are substances that have been deemed by the FEI to have no legitimate use in equine medicine and/or have a high potential for abuse (e.g., human antidepressants, antipsychotics, nervous system stimulants, etc.). These simply should not be found in any horse at any level at any time.
Controlled Medication substances. Check an exhaustive list of medications that are prohibited in competition, and made up of all known substances that are recognised as therapeutic and/or commonly used, but have the potential to enhance performance at certain levels.
Make sure that your horse is not on any of these controlled substances. Ask your veterinarian about any treatments or medications that your horse is exposed to and determine whether or not they are controlled substances.
Some examples might be anti-inflammatories, local anaesthetics, bronchodilators, cough suppressants, and other commonly and uncommonly used medications.
No matter what the circumstance, competition horses are expected to compete with no banned substances or controlled medication substances in their systems unless at a level defined and approved by FEI regulations.
Suggestions that will help you keep your horse from testing positive at a competition include the following:
Buy all horse feed from a reliable supplier and make sure the feed does not include anything related to any banned substances.
Do not store feed from other species in any area used for preparing or storing horse feed.
Do not put anything in a horse's mouth unless the contents and composition of that feed/supplement is known. This is particularly true for herbal or so-called “natural” products and many substances that make grandiose claims for efficacy. They should be completely labelled with the ingredients and analysis before you use them.
Do not allow chocolate or coffee to contaminate a feed room or be fed to a horse.
Many substances can be absorbed through the skin and detected in tests. Be careful of liniments that may contain oil of wintergreen, which contains methyl salicylate.
Seek veterinary advice regarding the cessation of any treatment prior to competition.
It is the responsibility of riders, trainers, and veterinarians to be aware of the regulations relating to their particular area of equine sport.
More importantly, it is the responsibility of the riders and trainers to ensure that they do not feed, inject, or apply anything to their horses that may contravene these rules. Ignorance is not a legitimate plea against a positive drug test.
About the author
As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.
She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.
Staying up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..