USEF, Equine Canada Add to Prohibited Drug Lists

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Equine Canada have implemented new regulations surrounding the drugs γ-aminobutyric (GABA) and vedaprofen, respectively.

Recently, reports of the use of a product called Carolina Gold have been brought to the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program. One of the principal constituents of the product, GABA, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

While initially not considered a forbidden substance, the use of GABA as a "calming supplement" does violate the spirit and intent of the Equine Drugs and Medications Rule. During recent research and administration trials involving Carolina Gold, many adverse reactions were documented. The nature of these reactions has prompted immediate action from the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program.

Effective immediately, Carolina Gold or any other product containing GABA is considered a forbidden substance under USEF rules. Further, because there are no recognized medical uses for this substance, the use of a Medication Report Form to report its administration is not applicable.

The detection of GABA is being actively pursued by the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program and will be implemented without delay or notice. All positive findings will be forwarded to the USEF Hearing Committee. Trainers and veterinarians involved in the sale or use of this substance may be subject to fines and/or suspensions.

Additionally, the Equine Canada Medication Control Committee has announced that effective June 1, 2012, vedaprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, will no longer be a permitted medication in Equine Canada sanctioned competitions.

Horses competing in Equine Canada sanctioned competitions with a positive test result for vedaprofen will be sanctioned as per the Equine Canada penalty tables and drug classification system as a Class III offense, an Equine Canada statement read. A withdrawal time of at least 72 hours is recommended after the last administration of this product, the statement added.

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