AHSA Executive Committee Adopts Drugs and Medications Rule Changes

At its August 7, 2000, meeting the AHSA Executive Committee adopted two amendments to the Drugs and Medications Rule that were proposed by the Drugs and Medications Committee at its July 10, 2000 meeting. Each would serve to liberalize an aspect of the Drugs and Medications Rule and to accommodate the interests of trainers and exhibitors.

The first is an amendment to Article 410.4.d. to increase the maximum permitted plasma concentration of meclofenamic acid (Arquel¨) from 1.0 micrograms per milliliter to 2.5 micrograms per milliliter, effective September 1, 2000. This change facilitates administering a dose of 0.5 milligrams of Arquel¨ per pound of body weight (500 milligrams per 1000 pounds) each 12 hours for five days, without the need to withdraw the horse from competition. Under the previous rule, it was recommended that a daily dose of not more than 1.0 milligrams of Arquel¨ per pound of body weight (1.0 grams per 1000 pounds) be administered not closer than 12 hours before the horse competed. The new rule, which was formulated based upon data from an administration study recently conducted by the AHSA, eliminates the need to be concerned about the time frame between dosing the horse and its next class, provided the individual who administers the drug adheres to the above recommendations.

The second is an amendment to Article 410.4.i. to delete from the rule the requirement that a written medication report must be filed in connection with the use of two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), effective immediately. Since the adoption of the new NSAID Rule in January, 1999 in St. Louis, which became effective on April 1, 1999, many trainers have found the reporting requirement for the use of two NSAIDs difficult to understand and troublesome to comply with, as the rule was written. Attempts to clarify the reporting requirement were made by amending the rule in July, 1999, and again in January, 2000, however, it was finally determined to eliminate the requirement from the rule.

"I am gratified that the Executive Committee has acted promptly to make the Drugs and Medications Rule more user friendly in these two respects," commented Kent Allen, DVM, Chairman of the Drugs and Medications Committee. He concluded, "The Drugs and Medications Committee is pleased to see amendments to the rule adopted that make it easier to live with, while still protecting the fairness of competition and the health and well-being of the equine athlete."

The American Horse Shows Association, as the National Equestrian Federation of the U.S., is the regulatory body for the Olympic and World Championship sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting, as well as 19 other breeds and disciplines of equestrian competition. As the country's largest multi-breed organization, the AHSA has over 70,000 members and recognizes more than 2,600 competitions nationwide each year. It governs all aspects of competition, including educating and licensing all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.

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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