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claire
Sep. 25, 2009, 09:19 AM
The Global Dressage Forum will be very interesting this year with a number of key issues being discussed: Judging/Scoring and Doping/Medication.

Is anyone on COTH planning on attending the GDF?

From EuroDressage:http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2009/09gdf/doping.html

Doping Discussion at 2009 Global Dressage Forum

The past year was a disastrous period for the equestrian sports as far as doping and medication control are concerned. An analysis of the situation will be discussed during the Global Dressage Forum, on 26 and 27 October 2009 in Hooge Mierde, the Netherlands. Ex Director of the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) veterinary department, veterinarian Frits Sluyter, will give an introduction to the discussion.

Frits Sluyter, a veterinarian who now works as the General Secretary of Holland’s top equestrian organisation ’Sectorraad’, left the FEI very shortly before the Olympic Games 2008. During the Games the medication or doping issue hit the equestrian disciplines heavily, as about 30% of the positives during the Olympic Games originated in Equestrian. A communication breakdown between FEI, riders, vets and the laboratory probably played a role in this. The test results have caused a lot of discussion among insiders and outsiders.

After Hong Kong, important medication cases followed in endurance (Middle East) and in dressage (Germany), concerning an ex Olympic champion. Frits Sluyter, who has many years of experience in international medication policies, will give his opinion on the current situation and on the different opinions concerning medication and doping. The much discussed ‘zero tolerance option’ is among the points to be discussed.

SGray
Sep. 28, 2009, 10:26 AM
one hopes they can come up with some recommendations re trace amounts of substances

CatOnLap
Sep. 30, 2009, 11:02 AM
the "zero tolerance" policy would cover it.

Why should a performance horse in active competition be allowed ANY medication? Shouldn't a horse who is injured, ill, or recovering be spared the stress of competing?
It is not life and death, this showing business. We do not need to compete horses who are less than at their best. Give them the deserved rest, pull out another horse who is sound and sane enough to be a good horse without chemical help.

Sometimes I think we lose track of the horse in the showring.

torontodressage
Oct. 1, 2009, 08:15 AM
the "zero tolerance" policy would cover it.

Why should a performance horse in active competition be allowed ANY medication? Shouldn't a horse who is injured, ill, or recovering be spared the stress of competing?
It is not life and death, this showing business. We do not need to compete horses who are less than at their best. Give them the deserved rest, pull out another horse who is sound and sane enough to be a good horse without chemical help.

Sometimes I think we lose track of the horse in the showring.

What make you think that competing is stressfull for a horse ?

The most horses I know love it.

hoopoe
Oct. 1, 2009, 08:38 AM
stress can also be physical

Eclectic Horseman
Oct. 1, 2009, 08:50 AM
What make you think that competing is stressfull for a horse ?

The most horses I know love it.

Actually, the recent studies done regarding ulcers show that travel may be one for the biggest mental stressors. So traveling to and from shows, staying in unfamilar stables with unfamiliar horses where a horse does not know his place in the herd--all very unnatural and stressful.

Competing at ones best--absolutely pushing the evelope to get the best performance possible is, of course, physically stressful as well.

But all that is besides the point. I think that the drug rules should be reviewed to rule out amounts consistent with environmental contamination. But I also think that the PTB need to take a serious look at other sports, particularly horse racing, but also human sports, to get a handle on what a cat and mouse game doping can be. It has proven very difficult to keep ahead of in other sports--just when a test has been developed, the dopers find another way around it. When big money is involved, concern for the welfare of the animals themselves becomes less important.

Thylacine
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:21 AM
the "zero tolerance" policy would cover it.

Why should a performance horse in active competition be allowed ANY medication? Shouldn't a horse who is injured, ill, or recovering be spared the stress of competing?

[...]




WHAT!? :eek:

and miss out on gold medals?!

:rolleyes:

Thylacine
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:24 AM
Sometimes I think we lose track of the horse in the showring.



whaddya mean, "sometimes" ?

:) [excellent post BTW.]

poltroon
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:27 AM
the "zero tolerance" policy would cover it.

Why should a performance horse in active competition be allowed ANY medication? Shouldn't a horse who is injured, ill, or recovering be spared the stress of competing?
It is not life and death, this showing business. We do not need to compete horses who are less than at their best. Give them the deserved rest, pull out another horse who is sound and sane enough to be a good horse without chemical help.

Sometimes I think we lose track of the horse in the showring.

I am fine with not administering meds to horses to compete, but there are two issues to consider:

1. environmental contamination - it appears that a groom eating spicy food might be able to create a positive test, or a groom or rider using a topical medication on an entity other than the competition horse.

2. withdrawal times - a medication used well in advance of a competition can well be appropriate.

The point of the rules is to act in the best interest of the horses. It is also a fact that sometimes horses don't get meds that maybe they should because of the competition rules. Should athletes be allowed to take an aspirin to cover a headache that they get when they fly?

CatOnLap
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:44 AM
WHAT!? :eek:

and miss out on gold medals?!

:rolleyes:

Yeah, I know what WAS I thinking?

The environmental contamination and trace amount thing are valid concerns. However, I doubt most purely environmental contaminations are innocent before they are discovered. The "reasonable" explanations come afterwards. Yes it may be a cross reacting suvbstance that is not a drug, a topical medication (a medication for sport competition, coming back to let the horse recover completely...) or sloppy horsemastership (not using gloves or not washing hands in between treating an ill horse and moving on to the healthy one? BE MORE CAREFUL IN YOUR TECHNIQUE!) Sabotage is also valid. I wouldn't put it past people deliberately feeding small amounts of banned substances to top horses in order to sabotage. Security at these big shows is getting tighter all the time.

Since the quickest way to detect a chemical in the blood just tells you the substance is there, does not give an accurate titre. Getting accurate titres take longer tests...$$$$$. For sure its a problem for which I guess the answer is very difficult, since apparently a zero tolerance is not achievable?

Forgive me, I am swiftly fossilizing. Recent threads on using long acting depot antipsychotics for horses just have me scratching my head at the incredible lengths supposedly good horsemen are driven to in order to stay at the top.

CatOnLap
Oct. 1, 2009, 10:55 AM
The point of the rules is to act in the best interest of the horses. It is also a fact that sometimes horses don't get meds that maybe they should because of the competition rules. Should athletes be allowed to take an aspirin to cover a headache that they get when they fly?

I dunno. I am not a pill taker as most of them have severe or even fatal side effects for me. A headache is hardly going to kill you and rest and rehydration and return to your regular altitude will take care of it in most cases. If you get constant daily headaches that only respond to meds, maybe you shouldn't be an olympic athlete, as there are probably others who DON't get headaches who could take your place. But as a human, you have rights that a horse doesn't have. A horse doesn't have the right to say "I feel pain somewhere and would rather laze about in my pasture for the next few weeks". As a human, you have the right to say "I choose to take an aspirin and compete anyway" or the right to say "I don't feel like it". And if a horse NEEDS the medication for whatever reason- reduce inflammation, cure an infection, etc, any vet and any doctor will tell you that the chief factor in healing is rest and removal of stress. If the horse NEEDS medication to heal, I don't think we should be asking him to compete during that time.

Anyone who thinks competition is not stressful to horses needs to do some reading on the effects of travel, changes in surroundings, etc, do to a normal horse's physiology, as has already been cited. And maybe stop anthropomorphizing as much.

poltroon
Oct. 1, 2009, 11:05 AM
I dunno. I am not a pill taker as most of them have severe or even fatal side effects for me. A headache is hardly going to kill you and rest and rehydration and return to your regular altitude will take care of it in most cases. If you get constant daily headaches that only respond to meds, maybe you shouldn't be an olympic athlete, as there are probably others who DON't get headaches who could take your place. But as a human, you have rights that a horse doesn't have. A horse doesn't have the right to say "I feel pain somewhere and would rather laze about in my pasture for the next few weeks". As a human, you have the right to say "I choose to take an aspirin and compete anyway" or the right to say "I don't feel like it". And if a horse NEEDS the medication for whatever reason- reduce inflammation, cure an infection, etc, any vet and any doctor will tell you that the chief factor in healing is rest and removal of stress. If the horse NEEDS medication to heal, I don't think we should be asking him to compete during that time.


I am just being philosophical here, so forgive me. One of my concerns is that when horses are traveling and have an issue right before a big competition, there is a bias to administer no medications unless it is absolutely and clearly needed. One of the side effects of this is that a horse may not get needed medications promptly, that non-pharmaceutical interventions such as ice and fluids will be the limit, possibly causing a detriment to the horse in the long term. In a serious case, meds will be administered and the horse will be withdrawn, but there is the grey area where the meds might be in the best interest of the horse a week or two before the event and he might be fine to compete.

Choosing medications for a horse is not unlike choosing them for a small child. There is a gap between "need" and "want".

International travel is very stressful for some horses, for sure.