Accountability for USEF Drugs and Medications Violations

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Board of Directors recently approved a rule change which expands the range of responsible parties for violations of the USEF's Drugs and Medications rules.

Beginning Dec. 1, the rule will include additional categories of individuals who are responsible and accountable parties, which are defined as “persons responsible” and “support personnel.”

The trainer will continue to be held accountable for violations; however, in addition to the trainer, and in the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, persons responsible may include the individual who rides, vaults or drives the horse and/or pony during competition; the owner; and support personnel. Support personnel include, but are not limited to, grooms, handlers, longers, and veterinarians if they are present at the competition or have made a relevant decision about the horse and/or pony.

Under the new rule, a junior exhibitor could fall under the persons responsible; there must be substantial evidence to support holding a junior accountable.

Neither the trainer nor any persons responsible, including support personnel, may be relieved from his responsibility under the USEF's Drugs and Medications Rules due to a lack or insufficiency of stable security. Therefore, the insufficiency of stable security or lack of security will not be an acceptable defense to any drug positive or medication overage in a horse.

The USEF is considering additional changes to GR404 due to feedback it has received since the rule was passed. To join in the conversation and give your feedback on who should be accountable, please attend the USEF Town Hall: Accountability for D&M Violations, taking place at the USHJA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Dec. 8 at 2:45 p.m., or at the 2016 USEF Annual Meeting taking place Jan. 13-16 in Lexington, Kentucky.

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