USEF Drugs Rules

A USEF Communications Department Reminder
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A USEF Communications Department Reminder

Important Changes to the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Rules for the 2014 Competition Year became effective December 1, 2013 and include the Prohibited Practices to the Equine Drug & Medication Rules. Download a PDF of this article here.

Remember that:

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 the drug can’t be administered to a horse or pony within 6 hours of competing.

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

Dexamethasone (Azium) - Maximum 24-hour dose has been decreased from 20 mg/1,000-lb. horse to 10 mg/1,000-lb. horse and must be administered in accordance with the new "12 Hour Rule," which is GR414.

Ketoprofen (Ketofen) - Maximum 24-hour dose 1.0 gram/1,000-lb. horse remains the same, however it must not be administered within 12 hours prior to competition.

Methocarbamol (Robaxin) - Maximum 24-hour dose 5.0 grams/1,000-lb. horse remains the same, however must not be administered within the 12 hours prior to competition.

In particular, 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 5 mg 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 6 hours prior to competing

The details of the GR 414 Prohibited Practices rule are:

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:

a. 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.

b. Antibiotics. Procaine penicillin G is prohibited under this exception.

c. 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 1000lb horse) if administered more than 6 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 1000lb horse) within any 24-hour period.

2. The above exceptions are permitted only when (i) the substance is administered by a licensed veterinarian and no less than six hours prior to competing; and (ii) 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.