Drugs And Medication Rules Change Minimally

Rule change proposals that would have dramatically changed drug testing procedures of the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) were withdrawn at the organization's annual meeting held Jan. 10-14 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The AHSA Veterinary and Drugs & Medications (D&M) Committees had lively open discussion Jan. 11 about randomization of horse selection in testing, trainer responsibility, the definition of forbidden substances, sub-therapeutic levels of drugs, and the imposition of a deadline for reporting drug test positives. Committees educated conference attendees on current testing procedures and encouraged exchange of ideas, but recommended defeat of the proposals.

A study of adopting a formal split-sample rule and procedure will be undertaken by the D&M Committee. This procedure, which involves mandatory drawing of a second sample for further testing in case of disputed results, would mean additional fairness to AHSA exhibitors, trainers, and owners, although it would cause additional expense for the association.

John Lengel, DVM, is Administrator of the Drugs and Medications Program for the AHSA. He has been addressing concerns about testing methods and rule changes in Horse Show, AHSA's official magazine, and on the official AHSA web site (www.ahsa.org). Lengel recently led The Horse through the specifics of the AHSA's advanced drug testing procedures. (View the process online at www.thehorse.com/ news/ahsa_drugtesting.html.)

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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