Racing Welfare and Medication

The American Quarter Horse Association believes that the welfare of the American Quarter Horse is of paramount importance.

Suspended Trainers

Trainers suspended by AQHA

Multiple Medication Violation System

AQHA's Multiple Medication Violation System

Regulatory Rulings

The Jockey Club manages the Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings, which allows users to search through a database of most regulatory rulings, including those for Quarter Horses. Click the logo below to log in. Please be sure to select “Quarter Horse” in the “BREED” space to assist with your search.

regulatory rulings

Industry Links

Racing Medication and Testing Consortium

Racing Commissioners International

RCI Model Rules

Organization of Racing Investigators

Medication Use

AQHA Statement on Medication Use

Thoughts from the Industry on Medications

Information on Laboratory Tests and Medication Classifications

AQHA works to ensure not only the integrity and welfare of American Quarter Horses, but also the integrity and welfare of the entire horse industry. AQHA continually revises its policies concerning animal welfare via the Public Policy Committee and an in-house Task Force on Animal Welfare. Through these avenues, as well as industry leadership, advisory groups and councils, AQHA is able to expand upon its proven efforts to safeguard the welfare of American Quarter Horses, as outlined by the AQHA Statement of Position.

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 chairman Micah McKinney and members Phillip Stewart, Sharon Brandsness, Bob Broadstock, John Hammes, Rene Hunderup, John Beech, Paul Jones, Dick Harrison, Kirk Goodfellow, Dr. Tommy Hays, Dr. Nancy Goodman, Matt Witman and Duayne Diderickson.

AQHA rule RAC311.3 in the Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations states “In addition to affording reciprocity to a racing authority, AQHA reserves the right to enhance the disciplinary action imposed against the person in question by imposing additional fines, suspending AQHA membership privileges and suspending participation privileges (both individual and horse) in AQHA-approved/recognized events. Should AQHA exercise such right to enhance a penalty, the disciplined individual may request a hearing before an AQHA hearing committee for the sole purpose of contesting whether the penalty originally imposed should be enhanced. The finding of a violation by a racing authority is not subject to review at such hearing and will be considered final by AQHA.”

“The EqHWIR will monitor each situation and work with state racing jurisdictions involving medications, abuse and other issues concerning American Quarter Horses,” the EqHWIR said in a statement “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 15-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 members George Phillips, Sandy Arledge and Dr. Glenn Blodgett; Kevin Dukes, Dr. Eleanor Green, Gil Galyean, Jerry B. Black, Lainie DeBoer, Pete Kyle, Cody Joiner, Stephanie Lynn, Dr. Tom Lenz, Clark Parker and Sam Rose.

AQHA Statement of Clenbuterol

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:

  • Establish a 30-day withdrawal of clenbuterol prior to a horse competing in a race. This does not ban clenbuterol. It establishes a 30-day prior to racing mark/threshold after which clenbuterol could not be administered. For training purposes and for horses competing beyond the 30-day window, clenbuterol use would still be allowed in racing American Quarter Horses.
  • The threshold levels should be 200 pg/ml or less in urine and 1-2 pg/ml in blood.”

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.


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


Medication Update (March 2014)

Black & White & Gray All Over (August 2011)

Clean Running (December 2011)

Cleaning up the Medication Mess (January 2012)

Racing Free

Racing Free Website

Racing Free Breeder Form

Racing Free Incentive Form

Racing Free Sponsorship Form

News Stories

RCI Adopts Model Rule Changes (April 2014)

ND Horse Park Hosts Racing Officials Accreditation Program (April 2014)

RCI Discusses Compounding (April 2014)

Racing Officials Accreditation Program Meets (April 2014)

Stinebaugh Sanctions Delayed (March 2014)

Stinebaugh Responds to Suspension (March 2014)

Racing Free Encourages: Be Proactive (February 2014)

NM Passes Bill Backing Tracks (February 2014)

Racing Free Needs Your Support (February 2014)

NM Proposes Tougher Penalties (February 2014)

De La Torre Temporary Restraining Order Denied (January 2014)

AQHA's Integrity and Welfare Commitment (January 2014)

De La Torre Reportedly Banned From Los Al (December 2013)

Racing Free Adds Incentives (December 2013)

Texas Compounder Draws Scrutiny (November 2013)

RCI Toughens Multiple Medication Violation Penalties (July 2013)

No Banned Medication Found in Ruidoso Futurity Winner (July 2013)

RMTC Approves Multiple Violation Penalty Rule (July 2013)

Blog: What Do You Think? (July 2013)

RMTC on Purple Pain and TB-500 (July 2013)

RMTC Accredits First Two Labs (June 2013)

Ruidoso to Host Racing Free Day (June 2013)

Medication Reforms Continue Progress (June 2013)

Texas A&M Lab Seeks Further Accreditation (May 2013)

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)  

Racing Medication and Testing Consortium

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.