The USEF mid-year meeting brought more good news than just adding the discipline of Western dressage of December 1, 2013.? There were also significant changes that help protect horses.
First, the Prohibited Practices rule, which will also take effect on December 1, now includes:
- No horses or ponies may be injected within twelve hours prior to competing.
- There are only three exceptions to this rule: therapeutic fluids, antibiotics, and Dexamethasone for the treatment of hives (specific dosing guidelines are provided for the exceptions concerning fluids and Dexamethasone).
- All excepted substances must be administered by a veterinarian and cannot be administered to a horse or pony within six hours prior to competing.
The second rule change will take effect on August 1, 2013, and addresses the concerns of surrounding the collapse of an equine at a USEF competition.
Commonly called the "Collapse Rule," it's designed to keep the USEF informed of any collapses, empowers the USEF to investigate the circumstances surrounding such an incident, and holds the trainer, or the owner if the trainer is unavailable, accountable for refusal to cooperate. Important points include:
- A collapse is defined as "a fall to the ground with no apparent cause."
- The trainer, owner, or rider of a horse must report a collapse no later than three hours after it has occurred.
- Any horse or pony that collapses is subject to drug and medication testing and inspection by a USEF appointed veterinarian (at USEF's expense).
- Cooperation with the Federation as to an investigation concerning a horse/pony collapse or death is mandated.
Extensive documentation and a Q&A regarding the rules can be viewed at http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/USEFTownHallMeetings/. You can find the USEF Rule Book online, and mobile friendly, at?www.usef.org/rulebook/.