If you read through the most recent U.S. Equestrian Federation Hearing Committee rulings, a few familiar names may jump out at you. Some of the most successful trainers in the hunter/jumper industry, such as Andre Dignelli, Bibby Farmer Hill and Scott Stewart, made the list.
Dignelli, of Heritage Farm in Katonah, N.Y., was found in violation of improperly executing entry blanks. He agreed to a plea agreement, which the Hearing Committee accepted, incurring a $7,500 fine.
Concerns are growing about the intended purpose—and who was going to administer them—of illegally imported equine drugs seized from Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai government airplane at Stansted airport in the United Kingdom on May 3.
A. Kent Allen, DVM, announced to the U.S. Equestrian Federation Drugs and Medication Committee, which he chairs, that he’d done an informal poll of his clients to learn who’d read the recent article in The New York Times about drugging in the horse show industry. While he joked that it certainly wasn’t a Gallup poll, 60-70 percent of his clients had read the article, and even more had heard about it.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation rules are very clear about banning any medication given to enhance performance. Use of Carolina Gold [which contains the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA] is in clear violation of the rules. The bottom line is that it’s cheating.
This trainer believes people will always be trying to outsmart the system—so maybe the system needs to change.
Having returned to training in 2009 after a 15-year absence, I find everything has changed, and everything has stayed the same. When I “retired,” hunters still were primarily Thoroughbreds, and the conversations I had with other professionals were often about how to get them to be quiet enough in the show ring.
Effective immediately, the U.S. Equestrian Federation has banned the use of “Carolina Gold” or any other product containing gamma aminobutyric acid. The drug, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, is thought to calm horses but currently has no scientific data to support the claim.
Three horses were disqualified from competing in the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 4 for hypersensitivity. Romanov, ridden by Billy Twomey of Ireland, All Inclusive NRW ridden by Denis Lynch of Ireland, and Vancouver DML, ridden by Simon Delestre of France, were declared unfit to compete by the Fédération EquestreInternationale with the unanimous agreement of the thermography team and all veterinary and FEI officials.
The Fédération Equestre Internationale’s 2011 Equine Prohibited Substance List is in effect, as of April 4. The list will continue to show all substances added to or removed from the 2010 list and database until June 4.
The updated list, which was unanimously approved at the FEI General Assembly in Taipei last November, is accessible online.