USEF Issues Drugs and Medications Program Advisory

On April 22, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) issued the following advisory in reference to their drugs and medications program:

Important changes to the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Rules for the 2014 competition year became effective Dec. 1, 2013. These important changes were discussed and published in multiple distribution channels in 2013. The change to General Rule (GR) 414 introduces a new concept called "Prohibited Practices" to the equine drug and medication rules. For your convenience GR 414 rule is printed at the end of this advisory.

There are a few bullet points to remember to comply with GR 414:

  • No horses or ponies may be injected within 12 hours of competing.
  • There are only three exceptions to this rule: therapeutic fluids, antibiotics, and dexamethasone (for the treatment of hives).
  • All excepted substances must be administered by a veterinarian, a medication report form must be filed, and substances cannot be administered to a horse or pony within six hours of competing.

There are three restricted medications that are affected by this change:

  • Dexamethasone (marketed as Azium)*—Maximum 24-hour dose has been decreased from 20mg / 1,000lb horse to 10mg / 1,000lb horse and must be administered in accordance with the new "12 Hour Rule" GR414.
  • Ketoprofen (marketed as Ketofen)—Maximum 24-hour dose 1.0g / 1,000lb horse remains the same, however it must not be administered within 12 hours prior to competition.
  • Methocarbamol (marketed as Robaxin)—Maximum 12-hour dose 5.0g / 1,000lb horse remains the same, however must not be administered within the 12 hours prior to competition.

*Regarding dexamethasone, no administration should take place within the 12 hours prior to competing; however, one exception is for the treatment of hives for which an intravenous administration of 5mg dexamethasone may be permitted if the treatment is conducted by a veterinarian and a medication report form is filed. This administration must not take place within the six hours prior to competing.

Please pay careful attention when administrating these therapeutic medications so as to avoid any unintended overage in the qualitative analysis of testing samples.


GR 414 Prohibited Practices

1. No injectable substances may be administered to any horse or pony within 12 hours prior to competing, with the following three exceptions subject to Paragraph 2 below:

  • Therapeutic fluids, which amount must consist of a minimum of 10L of polyionic fluids; and which must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and guidelines. The fluids must not be supplemented with concentrated electrolytes, such as magnesium.
  • Antibiotics. Procaine penicillin G is prohibited under this exception.
  • Dexamethasone. This is permitted only for the treatment of acute urticaria (hives). The dose must not exceed 0.5 mg per 100lb (5.0 mg for 1,000lb horse) if administered more than six hours and less than 12 hours prior to entering the competition ring, and must not exceed 1.0 mg per 100lb (10.0 mg for 1,000lb horse) within any 24-hour period.

2. The above exceptions are permitted only when:

  • The substance is administered by a licensed veterinarian and no less than six hours prior to competing; and
  • The "trainer" as defined under General Rule 404 properly files, or causes to be properly filed, an Equine Drugs and Medications Report Form with the steward/technical delegate or competition office representative within one hour after the administration of the substance or one hour after the steward/technical delegate or competition office representative returns to duty if the administration occurs at a time outside competition hours. The steward/technical delegate or competition office representative shall sign and record the time of receipt on the Equine Drugs and Medications Report Form.
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