Medications and Testing

Brush up on AQHA’s therapeutic medication rules and drug testing procedures before you head to this fall’s championship shows.

By Tara Matsler
The American Quarter Horse Journal
September 16, 2013

Therapeutic medications story in September American Quarter Horse Journal

From the Therapeutic Medication Hotline to medication administration guidelines, brush up on AQHA's therapeutic medication rules and drug testing procedures in "1 (800) Medications." (Journal illustration)

You worked all year to make it to the championship show. Pennies were pinched, long hours of practice put in every night, not to mention the miles and miles you hauled to get qualified.

So there you are, at the pinnacle event of your year. It’s possible that your trusty steed is looking a little body sore after the long trip and late-night practices. Weighing the benefits of medication, that tube of bute is looking awfully tempting.

Yet you know there is a definite chance your horse could be drug tested at this event – a procedure you’ve never been through. So you keep in mind that dosing outside of AQHA rules could mean a devastating end to a promising show season.

What to do?

The American Quarter Horse Journal’s Tara Matsler went straight to the authorities for their insight on medicating within AQHA rules. In the September Journal, there to shed light on the issue are Dr. Stephen Schumacher, the chief administration for the U.S. Equestrian Federation Equine Drugs and Medications Program, the organization that AQHA contracts to administer its drug testing, and Rajeana Thompson, AQHA director of amateur activities and show investigation, who processes positive drug tests.

While there is always the possibility your horse could be tested at any AQHA-approved show, it’s at the championship-level shows where winners are guaranteed a trip to the drug-testing barn, as well as random draws. Read “1 (800) Medications” in the September Journal for more about conditionally permitted therapeutic medications, as well as the ins and outs of drug-testing procedures at events like the AQHA Novice Championships and the AQHA World Championship Show.

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