I’m not advocating for the use of drugs, and I consider myself a trainer who plays by the rules. BUT, my ponies are going to have a hard time at big venues competing with a lot of the competition. I know that drug and supplement use is still rampant, and I strongly believe that we need to consider reasonable ways to deal with the issue. It is NOT going to go away.
The new Azium rule will cause more animals to get intravenous magnesium or some other new drug that I know nothing of. There’s something so ironic about the rules being verbally supported by the very people who will need to find new ways to get their horses quiet enough to win at the biggest events.
Perhaps it’s time to consider legal ways to help a horse relax rather than making that completely illegal.
It’s far safer in my mind to show a horse on a tube of Perfect Prep or even a 1⁄4 cc of acepromazine than on what people are pulling out of the medicine cabinets.
It’s not reasonable to assume that the issue is going to go away. It’s not reasonable to think that there will be tests for everything that can be given. Our horses are in danger because of the strictness of the drug rules and the inability to enforce them. The idea of giving intravenous magnesium to an animal after someone has probably told you to “give it slowly because if you go too fast your horse might die” is absolutely horrifying to me. I’m willing to bet the ranch that horses have died from this application of the drug and that no one will ever know how they died.
I’m 60. This is probably the last time I will say whatever I want. On the other hand, I may be just getting started!
Robin Bacon Greenwood showed hunters as a junior and amateur with Ronnie and Sue Mutch at Nimrod Farm in Weston, Conn. She was amateur-owner champion at Devon (Pa.) with her Grand Central in 1974 and national amateur-owner Horse of the Year with her 20th Century, Ltd in 1976. After turning professional in 1980, Greenwood opened Grand Central, Inc. and concentrated on children and pony hunters. Her students earned championships up and down the East Coast, including at Devon, the fall indoor circuit and USEF Pony Finals. In 1997, Greenwood retired to raise two daughters, Karen and Laura, neither of whom had any interest in riding! During this time, Greenwood turned her interest to breeding and raising pony hunters. Super Trooper, RosMel’s Millennium and Emerson are three of the Grand Central graduates to win championships at USEF Pony Finals. A homebred, Centerfield, was 2010 USEF Horse of the Year grand champion pony hunter. Greenwood returned to training in 2009. She and her family now live in Southern Pines, N.C., where she’s again teaching children to ride and show ponies.