AQHA expresses concern for the health and welfare of the racing athlete through rules and through financial support of worthy industry initiatives. These include support of a racing surface research project, support of the industry’s Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and national movements through Racing Commissioners International for uniform medication rules. The Association has also implemented the Racing Equine Health, Welfare, Integrity and Research Subcommittee (EqHWIR).
The EqHWIR is comprised of Phillip Stewart as chairman and members Sharon Brandsness, Bob Broadstock, John Hammes, Rene Hunderup, John Beech, Paul Jones, Dick Harrison, Kevin Dickson and Kirk Goodfellow.
EqHWIR in a statement said, “Rule 302 in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations state, ‘Without necessity of referral or recommendation by stewards, to enhance penalties and sanctions, AQHA reserves the right to independently direct disciplinary action or sanction against individuals coming under AQHA recognition by their participation in American Quarter Horse racing conducted under the provisions of the AQHA Official Handbook and regulated by duly authorized state racing commissions . . .’
“The EqHWIR will monitor each situation and work with state racing jurisdictions involving medications, abuse and other issues concerning American Quarter Horses and at the appropriate time recommend penalties to the AQHA Executive Committee against the offender(s).
“The EqHWIR strongly encourages all AQHA members and horsemen to work with their respective racing stewards, commissions and the AQHA Racing office, and to report any person violating the rules and regulations of the state, Association of Racing Commissioners International and AQHA to protect the horses, horsemen and fans that enjoy and participate in the sport of American Quarter Horse racing and all horse racing.”
Recognizing that animal welfare is the single-most important issue facing the equine industry today, the AQHA Executive Committee has appointed the 12-member AQHA Animal Welfare Commission. The Animal Welfare Commission’s mission “is to provide a framework for its members to 1) identify issues negatively affecting the welfare of the American Quarter Horse, 2) discuss issues, and 3) recommend actions that will help to protect the American Quarter Horse from inhumane practices and AQHA and its members from the negative impacts associated with those practices. The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, in an effort to do right by the horse, will share discussion, action items and recommendations with alliance partners.”
Jim Heird, executive professor and coordinator of the equine sciences initiative at Texas A&M University, is the chairman of the commission.
The commission is about “protecting the industry, our livelihood and, most importantly, the horse,” Heird said.
Other commission members include AQHA Executive Committee member George Phillips, Sandy Arledge, Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Kevin Dukes, Dr. Eleanor Green, Carol Harris, Paul Jones, Dr. Tom Lenz, Clark Parker, Sam Rose and Sandy Vaughn.
In 2011, AQHA offered an official position statement on the use of the medication Clenbuterol in racing American Quarter Horses.
“AQHA recognizes that the FDA/Health Canada-approved Ventipulmin Syrup (Clenbuterol) is an effective medication when used as directed; however, because of the illegal manufacturing of a clenbuterol-like substitute, the anabolic effects of beta 2-agonists and the illegal doses horses receive of either substance, the following proposal was adopted:
Several states and provinces have already had rules in place regarding this issue, have adopted rules regarding this issue or are addressing such rules.
States and provinces that already had rules in place or put rules in place include Alberta, California (Los Alamitos Race Course), Colorado, Indiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon and Wyoming.
Several other states are presently addressing the rules.
2012 Medication Summit Presentations
Dr. Rick Sams - HFL Labs
Dr. Dionne Benson - RMTC
Jaime Haydon - The Jockey Club
Mark Ludwick and Nathaniel McLaren: Equine Investigators
EqHWIR December 2011 Statement
EqHWIR June 2011 Statement
American Association of Equine Practitioners Quarter Horse Racing White Paper
AAEP Clinical Guidelines for Veterinarians Practicing in a Pari-Mutuel Environment
Black & White & Gray All Over (August 2011)
Clean Running (December 2011)
Cleaning up the Medication Mess (January 2012)
New Mexico Boosts Fines, Testing Funding (April 2013)
RCI Approves Uniform Threshold Policy (April 2013)
RMTC Recommends Withdrawl Times (March 2013)
Sales Support Racing Free (March 2013)
Texas Regulates Clenbuterol (March 2013)
Judge Denies Banned Remington Trainers (March 2013)
RCI Regulators Meet on Model Medication Rules (March 2013)
Remington Park Addresses Welfare Issues (January 2013)
AQHA Suspends Three Trainers (January 2013)
Texas Modifies Allowed Medications (January 2013)
Rylees Boy Gets Positive in 2011 Remington Park Championship (December 2012)
RCI Makes Major Medication Rule Changes (December 2012)
RMTC Makes Withdrawal Recommendations (November 2012)
Racing Medication Meeting (October 2012)
First Dermorphin Ruling from Oklahoma (October 2012)
Trainers Suspended Following Medication Rulings (October 2012)
Heath Reed Gets 21 Year Suspension, Sedillo 10 Years (October 2012)
Racing Free Supports Clean Racing (October 2012)
Louisiana Gives Stiff Dermorphin Penalties (September 2012)
Draper Gets 300 Day Suspension (September 2012)
Bassett Handed 10 Year Suspension (September 2012)
Louisiana Commission to Meet on Dermorphin Cases (September 2012)
Los Alamitos Continues Medication Crack Down (September 2012)
Ruidoso Announces Strict Drug Guidelines (September 2012)
Racing Free Awards First Check (September 2012)
Medication Initiatives (August 2012)
Statement from RMTC (August 2012)
AQHA Teams With Jockey Club to Address Medication (August 2012)
Racing Free Offers Drug-Free Incentive Program (August 2012)
Dermorphin Updates (July 2012)
RCI Considers "One Strike" Rule (July 2012)
Farias' License Revoked for Two Years (July 2012)
Louisiana Dermorphin Hearings Delayed (July 2012)
Senate Committee Convenes Hearing on Drugs in Racing (July 2012)
Louisiana Racing Commission Issues Rulings (July 2012)
Delta Gives Two More Dermorphin Suspensions (June 2012)
New Mexico Toughens Penalties (June 2012)
RMTC Dermorphin Bulletin (June 2012)
Delta Makes First Dermorphin Ruling (June 2012)
Ten Horses Test Positive in Louisiana (June 2012)
Industry Leaders Target Steroid Use (June 2012)
Oregon Clenbuterol Limits (May 2012)
Oklahoma Clenbuterol Limits (April 2012)
RCI Conference Calling for Expanded Authority (April 2012)
Jockeys' Guild Medication Statement (April 2012)
RMTC Names Interm Director (April 2012)
Oklahoma Clenbuterol Rules (March 2012)
Paul Jones Assessed Penalties (March 2012)
Two Indiana Trainers Suspended (March 2012)
New Mexico Limits Clenbuterol (February 2012)
AQHA: Animal Welfare Committee (February 2012)
Farias Horses Disqualified (January 2012)
RCI Model Rules Adjustment (December 2011)
Los Alamitos Clenbuterol Regulations (September 2011)
CHRB Approves Request to Restrict Clenbuterol (August 2011)
Ontario Restricts Clenbuterol (August 2011)
“Bath Salts,” Synthetic Cannabis and Demorphin Addressed by RCI (July 2011)
Sunland Fully Accredited by Safety Alliance (December 2010)
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium strives to promote the fairness and integrity of racing and the welfare of racehorses. To do so, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has developed uniform rules, policies and testing standards at the national level. It has also developed research and educational programs to protect the interests of the racing public.
Racing Medication and Testing Consortium
Racing Commissioners International
Organization of Racing Investigators
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