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Wanderluster
Apr. 4, 2011, 10:56 PM
I am a huge supporter of all things that keep the playing field level including having random testing at all levels of horse shows/competitions.
This past weekend I had riders at a rated show on Sat. and the "b" team at a local on Sun.
I was schooling a rider in the warm up on Sunday where I could look over to the trailer parking. I watched a tester collect a urine sample from one of my horses tied to the trailer. Also saw her go inside the tack compartment with what looked like a piece of paper.
I was too busy to stop what I was doing and go out to see what was happening. I usually deal with the USEF protocol of having the vet/tester tech tell you that the horse was selected, please fill out the paperwork blah blah blah so I just made a mental note and carried on.
When I returned home last night I remembered to call the owner of the horse who's urine had been collected to see if she had filled out the owner info. She responded that NO she left the show when her classes were finished.
I got curious so I called the show secretary today to ask if the tester had been in the office that day and had she by chance asked about any of the horses I had there.
Well yes as a matter of fact, the tester came in the office and requested the info on # X because she found the number in the tack compartment of my trailer.
EXCEPT that # was actually assigned to a different horse I had at the show.
BIG MESS, (no worries since neither gets a gram of anything) but I had to get on the phone to Sacramento this morning to alert the the head of the CDFA that the sample they pulled from one horse was going to the lab with another horses' name and owner information. Thank goodness the paperwork does list the horse description, one is a huge gray, the other is a large chestnut. Does this give me any confidence in the system... hmm, not so much. Frankly it would never have come to light since only owners/trainers with a positive result are contacted, but can you imagine having to defend yourself if a sample was sent in under a misidentified horse... or I was in another ring and never saw the whole episode. UGH !!! :no:

goodmorning
Apr. 4, 2011, 11:55 PM
Disturbing.

Atlas Shrugged
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:05 AM
Extremely! And illegal?

RumoursFollow
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:09 AM
I didn't know that they could take a sample without your knowledge! Sounds like a liability to me.. seeing as I have a few that I wouldn't want someone who didn't know them to approach them without me there. Some of the drug testers I've met in my life have not exactly been serious horse people and a few of them were downright afraid of a big horse.

Like you, my problem with them certainly wouldn't be with the fact that they wanted to test my horse, but I would be not so happy that they'd approached my horse, tied to my trailer, and collected a sample. What if they'd done something careless to spook the horse and it had pulled back and injured itself? Or another horse? Or the tester?

CBoylen
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:09 AM
Is the CA system usually so open to disaster, or did you just happen upon a moronic volunteer tester? Curious as to what the protections are that are in place to protect them and you, if any, because everyone's open to liability in that little above scenario.
Moronic testers however, those are hard to govern, even for USEF. I was stabled next to someone last year whose tester waved the horse off to the wash stall alone (!) so she could continue her chat on her cell phone from her perch on the tack trunk. Then upon the horse's return she became confused and attempted to collect a sample from a different horse stabled across the aisle (!!).

Peggy
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:52 AM
Never ever dealt with anything that unprofessional in years of showing in California. All encounters have started with the tester coming up, introducing themselves, and stating that they want a sample. They will let you cool down the horse, etc. Many of them aren't vets, at least in my experience, so can't pull blood. I really don't think they are supposed to go skulking around the showgrounds with their jar on a stick.

Not saying that I haven't had a few interesting encounters. Like the one who came up to me as I was exiting the ring (at the sideways prance) on a jumper and wanted to test him. Trainer's comment: "Do they think we give him uppers?" I asked for the time to cool him out. She did let me walk away from her, so not too bright. When I returned with my now-calm horse (he was a different animal on the ground vs over jumps) she asked me if I was sure that it was the same horse.

A few years later. Same tester (and anyone who showed in our area in the 80's to early 90's knows of whom I speak). Different horse. I warned her that he was a bit quick with his hind end. He was also cat-like in his ability to figure out what you wanted and do the opposite. So, the horse who usually peed volumes as soon as I got off, stood in the stall and waited. And waited. Finally he stretched out, dropped, and started to pee. She came forward (quite cautiously, given my warning) with her stick on the jar. Whereupon, he stopped, sucked it back in, and glared over at her. No sample that time.

They do pay them. Not sure how much.

LetsGoXC
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:07 AM
I had an encounter with a CA tester a little over a year ago. She approached a friend of mine after winning a pleasure class at a small schooling show seeking a sample.

Friend was all done showing for the day, so she and the tester hung out with the horse back at the trailer. About an hour and fifteen minutes later, the rest of our crew was all done and ready to leave the show - horse still hadn't produced a sample. The tester acknowledged that everyone from our barn was waiting on Friend and gave us permission to leave, even wishing us a nice night.

About a week later, Friend got a nastygram from the state trying to say that she left without permission. I had to write a few emails clarifying the situation.

I'm really not a fan of how the CA testers go about their duties at all. The best part of it all is that a rated show with a big-money GP was going on less than 30 miles away - but for some reason, the testers figured they'd catch the dope fiends at an evening schooling show where the majority of participants were doing walk-trot classes.

Wanderluster
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:21 AM
Great questions, I ran some of them by the dept, chief veterinarian.
Can you collect from a horse without an attendant present ? In CA the answer is yes but you must find a person -friend, groom, owner or trainer to identify the animal.
They can obtain information that is openly available, if your saddle has a number attached and is on a stand outside of your trailer or your horse is standing with the number tied around his neck that information can be gathered.
Also CA govt standards are tougher than USEF so you should know them to avoid prosecution.
What really galled me was the idea of someone going into the tackroom of my trailer looking for a number, wth. I thought that some things are my personal property and were only available by permission, I presume that after the investigation is complete there may be stricter standards. Nevermind... I just remembered the world is stupid and makes no sense.

SnicklefritzG
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:22 AM
That kind of behavior the OP described is really unprofessional. I hope someone raises a stink about it. I don't know of any sport where someone can just walk into someone else's trailer/tent/support vehicle/whatever and just start doing whatever. The testers are supposed to introduce themselves, say what they are there for, show documentation to that effect, at least in the other sports I participate in.

Sounds like these horse show drug testing people are totally clueless.

Napoles
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:22 AM
Are they not vets? I know in our bigger shows like the RDS it's vets who do the testing and do it with the riders present and observing. Surely it would be very easy for foul play if the horses are tested without a representative present?

kelsey97
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:07 AM
WOW! I would go off on somebody if they went near my horse or my trailer!

California tests at schooling shows?!? Your local shows must have some amazing prize money and sponsorships!!

trubandloki
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:20 AM
I am aghasted that someone would go into your trailer, find a random number and walk away assuming that is the horse tied there for something as career ruining as a drug test.

danceronice
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:34 AM
I think that's illegal entry unless there's something in the show rules saying that any show officials can enter any trailer parked on the grounds without permission. How do you know they weren't going to steal something? And like trubandloki says, how the heck do they know that number goes with that horse and owner? Would they have gone into your truck if they didn't find the number? The tester sounds like an unprofessional idiot.

findeight
Apr. 5, 2011, 11:40 AM
Is the CA system usually so open to disaster, or did you just happen upon a moronic volunteer tester? Curious as to what the protections are that are in place to protect them and you, if any, because everyone's open to liability in that little above scenario...



IME and that of my many friends still out in Ca they are less competent overall then the USEF.

It is a state run program where, at least, USEF is operated by USEF, not the hosting state.

In fact, I recall being tested TWICE one time during a 4 day show...Del Mar when it was still at the racetrack. Once by the State and once by the AHSA. I hear if you come up a positive, it is a beaurcratic nightmare trying to even prove the sample is from the correct horse EVEN when the description on the sample paperwork says it's bay mare when you have a Palomino gelding.:rolleyes:

MHM
Apr. 5, 2011, 12:48 PM
I am aghasted that someone would go into your trailer, find a random number and walk away assuming that is the horse tied there for something as career ruining as a drug test.

Yes. Very haphazard. I hope this was a fluke, not a regular practice!

And I don't think I understand how this works. If you're tested by the state, not a horse show organization, what happens if the test is positive? Can the state fine you? Or suspend you from participating in shows they don't run?

And do they use the same medication rules and standards as USEF, or did they make up their own?

sthomas
Apr. 5, 2011, 01:27 PM
Wait...What??

First off, the STATE pays people to do random drug tests at horse shows?

Second, they can just approach a horse at any time, and ask the owner to id it? What if Joe Trainer or Jane Owner decided to give the name of another horse at the show? And like MHM I would definitely want to do a little research into how they test, what is illegal, how they discipline, yadda, yadda.

I don't live in Ca, and have never had USEF/AHSA testers do anything other than approach me as I left the ring, and act in a professional manner. I did have one tester get tired of waiting and asked if they could administer lasix (sp?) which I denied, (didn't see any reason to give the horse drugs) and they eventually gave up. I did have paperwork saying that they couldn't obtain a urine sample, I guess to avoid the situation mentioned above.

Peggy
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:05 PM
Yes, California tests horses at all levels of shows, even USEF shows. IIRC, there have been shows where both agencies have been testing.

No, the testers don't have to be vets. Hence the collection of urine only as opposed to urine and blood.

I think that what happens in the event of a positive is that you're fined by the state. Unlike USEF where it seems to be the trainer that bears the brunt of the punishment or FEI where it is the rider, I believe it is the owner that is the responsible party for Cal Dept of Food and Ag.

The way it works from the show management side is that you send your paperwork into the state beforehand and then collect $5 per horse. They send you back an assortment of stuff, including a poster for the show office and drug declaration forms. The tester is supposed to check in with the show management or show office before they start testing. I think they check back in at the end to verify information, but I'm not sure. After the show, you send the state their $5/horse.

More information here - http://www.cdfa.ca.gov//ahfss/Animal_Health/EMMP/

poltroon
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:21 PM
So yes, in California, there a drug testing program as created by state law. Thus, you can be tested at any horse show here - even a schooling show - and you have to pay a drug fee to the state for unrecognized shows.

USEF and California have joined forces in some way so that you no longer have to pay two drug fees at recognized shows. I forget if USEF contracts to the state or the state contracts to USEF, but they coordinate now.

I have never had a California tester act unprofessionally: all have introduced themselves and then worked with the rider to get a sample.

I think dealing with an unattended horse is foolish on many levels, and going into a trailer is just flat out wrong. Seems easy enough to stand by the horse and ask someone to make an announcement to get its people to show up.

Giddy-up
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:28 PM
It is a state run program where, at least, USEF is operated by USEF, not the hosting state.

I am amazed that CA has a state run equine drug testing program.

Are the fines so high it is worth keeping the program going? Do they follow the same drug rules as USEF?

I am trying to picture IL having a state run & funded equine drug testing program. Yeah...no.

mypaintwattie
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:35 PM
Every time I've called the Dept of Ag they have stated they are going buy USEF guidelines. They are usually pretty good about responding to questions about what supplements are legal. I keep print outs of email correspondence just in case. I've been tested once, the tester walked up to me, asked if I was finished then followed me to the trailer. I had to fill out information, and after 30 min when my mare wouldn't pee she had me sign another form and left.

There was a tester at the county rated show I was at this weekend, and she followed the same protocol- introduced herself and stated she wanted a sample, waited until horse was finished, got all information, and had trainer sign off when the horse crossed her legs. I would be livid if a tester went into my trailer or tack room without me being right there knowing what was going on. I would take that up with the Dept of Ag. I don't mind having testers at any show (a drug fee has to be charged any time entries are over $5 per class I believe). It helps keep the playing field level.

Peggy
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:50 PM
IIRC the USEF and California guidelines are pretty much the same. There used to be something that was subtly different, maybe having to do with azium?

I suppose that the $5/horse funds the program. It's paid for every horse in every show so it must add up. They don't test every show.

Rockfish
Apr. 5, 2011, 03:28 PM
wow. just wow.

I know my horse barely likes me going around his bidness, let alone someone who isn't Mom. I can only image the mess it would cause if someone went down "there" without me around and he smashed their head in.

Giddy-up
Apr. 5, 2011, 04:24 PM
Another question--

What happens if the CA test is positive for drugs? Fines, suspensions? Do they also report their findings to USEF?

Do other states do this or just CA?

Peggy
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:45 PM
Another question--

What happens if the CA test is positive for drugs? Fines, suspensions? Do they also report their findings to USEF?

Do other states do this or just CA?



<beginning deleted>I think that what happens in the event of a positive is that you're fined by the state. Unlike USEF where it seems to be the trainer that bears the brunt of the punishment or FEI where it is the rider, I believe it is the owner that is the responsible party for Cal Dept of Food and Ag. <cut>

More information here - http://www.cdfa.ca.gov//ahfss/Animal_Health/EMMP/

To answer the other questions, I don't think they report to USEF. And, based on the level of astonishment that results when people on this BB from other states find out that they test in CA, I'm going to guess that there are few, if any, other states that also test.

MHM
Apr. 5, 2011, 05:57 PM
And, based on the level of astonishment that results when people on this BB from other states find out that they test in CA, I'm going to guess that there are few, if any, other states that also test.

They don't do it in New York. And I've never heard of such a thing in Florida.

So now we just need people to check in from the other 47 states! :lol:

And now I'm wondering how often horses at USEF shows get tested in Alaska and Hawaii. Probably not too often, considering the logistics of sending testers.

Ibex
Apr. 5, 2011, 06:13 PM
There are testers at most of the rated shows in Canada...

Someone I know took his jumpers to a couple dressage shows (stallions and sale horses... well rounded training!). Got tested Every Time. At one show it was multiple horses. Random my a$$... (and yes, the horses came up clean).

MHM
Apr. 5, 2011, 06:35 PM
Ibex, in the US I think it is pretty random. I've had drug testers tell me they just pick a horse as it walks out of the ring, and some testers will try to pick the horses who look sweet, since they will have to be around them for a while. I guess that would be the one advantage to having one who looked like a maneater in the jog- you might get tested less often. :lol:

One tester picked a pony of ours who looked sweet, but was actually kind of a stubborn brat. Then she insisted on sitting in the stall with him, even though I told her he would not go while she was in the stall, and she'd have better luck if she waited outside his door. Well, she insisted on sitting inside that stall with him for about two hours. She finally gave up and left without a sample, and sure enough, he went as soon as she was gone. Too funny. That pony was a character!

findeight
Apr. 5, 2011, 08:39 PM
Lest some think this is some kind of new deal out in LaLa land that will soon go away??? No such thing.

When I got tested back when, I believe the California Governor was Reagan...that was even before Jerry Brown the first time and way too many years ago for me to admit to.

I should think if any other state wanted to initiate a program like this, they would have done it by now. I wouldn't worry about it spreading.

Old Fashioned
Apr. 5, 2011, 08:54 PM
So yes, in California, there a drug testing program as created by state law. Thus, you can be tested at any horse show here - even a schooling show - and you have to pay a drug fee to the state for unrecognized shows.

California drug testing for horses... And the state wonders WHY it's so far in debt. :no:

QM2
Apr. 5, 2011, 08:58 PM
And, based on the level of astonishment that results when people on this BB from other states find out that they test in CA, I'm going to guess that there are few, if any, other states that also test.





No testing by the state at all and no testing by USEF at schooling shows or anyone for that matter in PA, NJ, DE, or MD and pretty sure VA too. I've never heard of such a thing.

Do they drug test little league players too?

Old Fashioned
Apr. 5, 2011, 08:59 PM
And what if my horse tests positive for marijuana in California but has a prescription??? (preferably from a Doctor located in Venice Beach :cool:)

Wanderluster
Apr. 5, 2011, 09:49 PM
Peggy thanks for fielding the questions and posting links, I knew you would have the facts. ;)
As far as CA drug guidelines being in sync w/ USEF they are nearly the same . CA does not allow any use of bute/banamine "stacked" or used together.
Additionally you are right about Azium or any steroid such as Dex cannot be given within 24 hrs of competition.
I think the show secretary came up with the most logical scenario, CA has cut back on funding for everything so a tester might have to drop in to 4 or more events in a single day. I'm sure that the horse wasn't targeted, he was peeing at a perfect time and the tech just grabbed her sample (which proves she was present at the show) and then "found" a number to attach to that horse. I wasn't alarmed because I had nothing to hide and when I saw her put the paper in the trailer I figured that it was one of the multiple copies those forms typically have. I had no reason to suspect foul play and there wasn't anything nefarious about the incident.
It was just a bad, bad, bad mistake that was discovered after I did some checking.
However said that if they had simply gone by the announcer and asked for a representative to identify the gray horse... etc. all this could have been avoided. I almost feel bad for the tech, until I really consider all of the implications that both myself and the owner could be subject to with a wrongly labled sample.
Old Fashioned you are FUNNY- I have wondered if they turned the tables and started testing the humans. :lol:

Tex Mex
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:22 PM
I had one of these CA testers stop me at a county show. I was headed back to the barn after I was done showing. She said she needed to pull blood right then and there on the road back to the barn. Well I am not the owner of the horse and the trainer was not around. I said no way are you sticking a needle in this horse right here, I don't own him and I don't know how he will be with a needle, and he was not happy about standing still on the road after being out at the show ring for over an hour. She got really defensive and acted like I was hiding something. I told her she could follow me back to the barn and she argued with me. I was so furious. After a big confrontation, she made me get off and took blood. Luckily horse was fine about it but I was so upset. She said she was from the CA state dept of agriculture.

GreystoneKC
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:33 PM
I had one of these CA testers stop me at a county show. I was headed back to the barn after I was done showing. She said she needed to pull blood right then and there on the road back to the barn. Well I am not the owner of the horse and the trainer was not around. I said no way are you sticking a needle in this horse right here, I don't own him and I don't know how he will be with a needle, and he was not happy about standing still on the road after being out at the show ring for over an hour. She got really defensive and acted like I was hiding something. I told her she could follow me back to the barn and she argued with me. I was so furious. After a big confrontation, she made me get off and took blood. Luckily horse was fine about it but I was so upset. She said she was from the CA state dept of agriculture.

Wow, I can't even imagine. I think I'd run a cow like that over before I let it take blood from one of my horses. How rude.

Peggy
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:35 PM
Lest some think this is some kind of new deal out in LaLa land that will soon go away??? No such thing.

When I got tested back when, I believe the California Governor was Reagan...that was even before Jerry Brown the first time and way too many years ago for me to admit to.

I should think if any other state wanted to initiate a program like this, they would have done it by now. I wouldn't worry about it spreading.The website says it's been around since 1971. And, IMHO, more of a good thing than a bad thing. I've always felt it was pretty random. A number of years ago they tested every single horse from our barn. The tester was the barn's vet and I guess she figured our horses were safe to handle b/c she knew them. Can't remember if she was testing for USEF or CA. My most recent encounter was with a CA tester at a county show. She looked disappointed when Star rapidly produced a sample for her. I think she picked him because he looked sweet and figured that the next one might be less so.

meupatdoes
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:40 PM
I can not BELIEVE they WENT IN YOUR TRAILER!
:eek::eek::eek:

What is next, if they don't find it in the trailer they jimmy open the cab and look in the binder on the front seat???

Good lord, even the PoPo needs a warrant to search a suspected murderer's house, and this random horse tester is rifling through your trailer??!

Am I seriously understanding this correctly??

jolise
Apr. 6, 2011, 12:33 AM
My pony got tested last year at CA show. She was ONLY showing in the leadline, not even a judged class. I was peeved because I had 4 children under the age of 4 with me waiting for pony rides. Try getting 4 little kids to stay still while waiting for the pony to pee, so the tester could get her sample. Needless to say, after 45 minutes of waiting around the little ones got restless and the pony rides were a no go.
Pony tested clean, but really. Why waste money testing pony who only went in leadline.

Kestrel
Apr. 6, 2011, 01:22 AM
If some stranger can't prove that they are a vet or a vet tech, they aren't sticking a needle in my horse. I also want to see their ID before they take a urine sample.

When we make the trip up to Canada, my horses were tested every. single. time. Random my @&&.

klmck63
Apr. 6, 2011, 01:33 AM
If some stranger can't prove that they are a vet or a vet tech, they aren't sticking a needle in my horse. I also want to see their ID before they take a urine sample.

When we make the trip up to Canada, my horses were tested every. single. time. Random my @&&.

I really do believe it is random because my horse pees anywhere, everywhere and about once an hour and he's not a nasty maneater. A tester's dream! They would pick him if they could ;), but he's never been tested.

I also show in Canada in the PNW.

I don't believe testers should be allowed to take a sample without an owner/rider/trainer present. And the one who made you let them take blood right there? I would have called meet you at the barn over my shoulder as I trotted away. I have no problem with a vet taking blood, but the tester needs to prove they're a vet and do it in an appropriate venue.

rustbreeches
Apr. 6, 2011, 01:51 AM
While I realize that , sadly, there is a need to monitor the horse industry in this manner, I am baffled by CA being the state to be so strict about it! Really, Cali? Like horses on drugs are their biggest problem

SuperSTB
Apr. 6, 2011, 02:49 AM
I haven't finished the entire thread but before my internet kicks me off again...

I've had 2 interesting CA testing situations from two schooling shows. Daughter is in leadline a couple years ago- her only class and she was, well, the only one in her class. So she gets the "aww so cute, here's your blue ribbon". The tester is waiting at the in gait as I lead DD and her horse out. She starts asking me- how cute, how old is your daughter? what's her horse's name? etc etc. She never introduced herself and had all her stuff in a backpack, so I'm thinking it's just someone watching the horse show. Then she proceeds to follow right behind us. Odd... it wasn't until we make it back to the trailer, I tie up my mare and glance over to the woman who is just standing there. So I just give her this "what?" face then she must have realized I had no clue who she was and finally introduced herself. I mean really- schooling show, leadline???

The next schooling show- daughter wasn't showing this time but my sister was and I brought along a greenie for show exposure. Sister's horse is a huge solid bay 17+ hand "WB type" off track mare and the greenie is a sorrel paint quarter pony. Tester (this time introduced herself to sister before following- LOL) comes up to the trailer to wait for big mare to pee. So tester is asking all about the pony- totally not even ready for sample taking. I keep wondering to myself- big mare is going to pee any minute and this lady is more interested in the pony. Sure enough- big mare does her pee and tester totally misses.

All other incidents were pretty much non event but still some head scratching, it does make you wonder though...

MHM
Apr. 6, 2011, 09:27 AM
No offense, but... isn't the state of California in pretty dire financial straits?

I wonder if the general population there knows that their tax dollars are being used this way. It seems a little crazy.

comingback
Apr. 6, 2011, 09:44 AM
No testing by the state at all and no testing by USEF at schooling shows or anyone for that matter in PA, NJ, DE, or MD and pretty sure VA too. I've never heard of such a thing.

Are you saying that USEF doesn't test at any shows in these states or that no other organization tests in these states?

tabula rashah
Apr. 6, 2011, 09:46 AM
Are you saying that USEF doesn't test at any shows in these states or that no other organization tests in these states?

Yes, there is USEF testing at rated shows in these states by the USEF- not the state. I can't imagine getting tested at a schooling show- what on earth is the point???? And the poster with the leadline pony test- OMFG!

Soooo glad I live on the east coast

comingback
Apr. 6, 2011, 09:48 AM
Tabula...I know USEF tests, as I work as a tech with the testing vet in some of those states :)

The way the post was worded seemed a little misleading to me.

MHM
Apr. 6, 2011, 10:02 AM
Tabula...I know USEF tests, as I work as a tech with the testing vet in some of those states :)

The way the post was worded seemed a little misleading to me.

It seemed pretty clear to me- USEF does not test at schooling shows anywhere, and nobody else tests in those states.

SFTS
Jul. 4, 2011, 12:13 AM
Never ever dealt with anything that unprofessional in years of showing in California. All encounters have started with the tester coming up, introducing themselves, and stating that they want a sample. They will let you cool down the horse, etc. Many of them aren't vets, at least in my experience, so can't pull blood. I really don't think they are supposed to go skulking around the showgrounds with their jar on a stick.

Same here. I've had horses tested a few times over the last 30 years by California state testers and they've always been professional. I would be horrified and definitely file a complaint with CDFA if what was described in the OP happened to myself or one of my clients!


Also CA govt standards are tougher than USEF so you should know them to avoid prosecution.

This is not entirely accurate, as there are many substances which are considered show ring legal with the state of California yet are banned substances under USEF rules. For instance "nutriceuticals" or "nutriments" (feed supplements) which contain substances like paprika, devils claw, valerian root and some others are allowable with CDFA but banned by USEF. USEF's drug testing rules are actually ridiculously purposefully vague. In other words, anything that can or may "alter the horse's performance in any way" is considered banned by USEF, even if it does not appear on the current list of banned substances.

Sorry for bumping an older thread, while it's been 110 degrees outside I'm looking through old threads enjoying the A/C!

Jumphigh83
Jul. 4, 2011, 07:14 AM
Sounds like showing in East Germany in the 40s. Wow. Ridiculous, no wonder CA is broke. Nothing like collaring those ace laced lead line ponies! Great bust! :rolleyes::rolleyes::dead:

Are the people next?

Canaqua
Jul. 4, 2011, 08:49 AM
Wow, that's just weird and crappy all the way around. Approaching your horse without permission and without any handler who knows the horse present is not safe, especially if the tester is not a very experienced horse person. If that tester got hurt, I'd bet you'd be hearing from a lawyer. And, poking around in your trailer without permission and without you present? Even the police aren't allowed to do that, they need a warrant.

findeight
Jul. 4, 2011, 11:11 AM
Guys, some of the responses on here are a little...ummm...questionable.

USEF does pull blood if the horse does not produce urine. California does NOT, you sign off if they don't produce a sample within a specified time frame. Testers also have no authority once off the showgrounds (don't recall USEF has any authority off the show property either).

I somehow think being chased down the road from a schooling show to the home barn by a state tester with a needle might be a bit of an exagerration.

It's not THAT bad and 95% of the time, the state testers are professional and knowledgeable...still, most are not vet techs as they are with the USEF program. Imagine the pay is a good deal less as well.

ElisLove
Jul. 4, 2011, 01:04 PM
I certainly wouldn't be happy if someone did that to me and my horse.

In my 11 years of showing in A shows in Canada I have been drug tested once. The ladies came up to me after I had cooled my horse out and told me who they were and why they were there. They chatted with us as we walked back to my horse's stall. Allowed me to untack him, told me to not rush just take my time.
Put him back in his stall and waited. My boy did not want to pee. We tried everything to encourage him to pee, even fake picked out his stall (cause horses LOVE to pee in clean stalls!) and nothing worked. The lady said they only waited (I think it was) 45 mins. If the horse did not pee they moved on to the next horse.

LivviesMom
Jul. 4, 2011, 05:25 PM
Wow... I actually do racetrack drug testing here in Canada. No way in a million years woud we be allowed to take a sample without identifying the horse and having a witness.. It definitely jeapordizes a positive test. Thats a nightmare.
I'm surprised they wouldnt have some sort of standards or procedures similar to the tracks in that state..

Release First
Jul. 4, 2011, 05:44 PM
For all the people worried about California finances, when you show in CA, whether USEF or not, you pay a CA drug fee. They are collecting money for this at every show.

mbarrett
Jul. 4, 2011, 05:53 PM
We used to have our horses tested at Illinois State Fair shows all the time. Illinois Dept. of Ag. could test any horse entered in a show during the fair. (State rules - no drugs in horses showing at the state fair)

We were always nice and friendly to the state vet, since he and his assistant did the testing. Our horses were clean so we never minded them being tested. However, someone from the barn (usually me) would stay with the horse the ENTIRE time with the vet.

Sometimes they got their urine sample, sometimes the horse didn't cooperate. No biggie.

Once in awhile, the vet would come over to our barn to get his required number of samples because he knew we didn't mind.

Sometimes other trainers gave the vet static and didn't cooperate. Sometimes they threatened the vet or threatened to sue the state, etc., etc., etc. They always got blood pulled on their horses.

Anyway, with budget cutbacks in Illinois, we haven't seen the state vet testing at the IL State Fair shows for several years now. So much for a level playing field.

MyssMyst
Jul. 4, 2011, 08:42 PM
I would be furious if they approached my horse without me/my trainer/a groom present. I don't care if it's a stall or trailer, it's not ok. What if they let the horse out of the stall? Got kicked/bitten? I bet you anything I am the one getting a call from a lawyer. Law enforcement can't just randomly show up and search my house just because they feel like it. If someone is going to drug test my horse, I want to know who they are, make sure the labeling is right, etc. What happens if they incorrectly ID the horse? What if I'd scratched a horse due to illness/injury, and a vet had administered a drug that wasn't show legal, that horse gets tested and incorrectly ID'd as the horse I'd shown? Do I have any recourse?

Wanderluster
Jul. 4, 2011, 11:46 PM
I"ll respond with a "so far" post script. The state vet has contacted me and has a detailed report of the incident.
I don't know how slowly/quickly the wheels turn in dealing with any government agency,
Taking random samples from horses showing (in CA unrecognized) and recognized is an effort to support humane treatment of animals is both correct and admirable.
The mistake happens when a person trying to fit a qouta of samples that justify "drug testing system" will ultimately do sloppy paperwork to prove that they were working at the show.
It is my understanding that the drug tester will lose hs/her job after the investigation, I feel ambivilent, I don't want anyone to lose their job but I don't want a chance of faulty test impacting my career.

SFTS
Jul. 5, 2011, 11:50 AM
I"ll respond with a "so far" post script. The state vet has contacted me and has a detailed report of the incident.
I don't know how slowly/quickly the wheels turn in dealing with any government agency,
Taking random samples from horses showing (in CA unrecognized) and recognized is an effort to support humane treatment of animals is both correct and admirable.
The mistake happens when a person trying to fit a qouta of samples that justify "drug testing system" will ultimately do sloppy paperwork to prove that they were working at the show.
It is my understanding that the drug tester will lose hs/her job after the investigation, I feel ambivilent, I don't want anyone to lose their job but I don't want a chance of faulty test impacting my career.

While I fully support the California CDFA's EMMP (Equine Medication Monitoring Program), my career as a trainer/instructor is more important to me than the tester's job/career is. Having horses randomly tested is fine. Not properly doing the job of getting samples from those horses is not! So I wouldn't feel too bad if I were you. If the tester had been doing his/her job correctly and made proper contact with you or the horse's owner first before getting a sample, they would still have their job.

meupatdoes
Jul. 5, 2011, 12:43 PM
I am still kind of agog that they have state run testing of horses at horseshows.

Fundamentally, if I wake up one morning and decide to shoot my own horse in the head to euthanize, I can do it. No, I can not light it on fire, starve it to death, or otherwise torture it, but owners have the right to euthanize their animals.

And now we have state testers determining if people are using too much robaxin or ace at horseshows? These are not animal welfare questions, these are questions over making sure one person's hunter isn't artifically "quieter" than someone else's hunter at a horse show. The horse is not going to feel better or worse at the end of the day if he showed aced. He has not been mistreated he has just been sedated. Yes it is unfair to the other competitors but those rules are for the HORSE SHOW to enforce.

So basically if you show your horse Aced in CA and then are mad when it still doesn't win so you go home and shoot it, what the state of CA will have an issue with is that you cheated the other competitors out of a fair shot at a ribbon.

If they are going to commit all these state resources to animal welfare, could they please focus on spaying the thousands of unwanted cats and feeding the horses who never go to horseshows that people are STARVING? Not the ones who are getting a little extra bute so they can hop over the 2'6" at an unrated show more comfortably.

I mean, I am not saying it is ok to pound your 19yo 2'6"-er into the ground and just bute him up so he can do three divisions, but when $100 gets spent on THAT instead of rescuing another horse with xylophones for ribs and feet that look like skis from a hoarder you really have to wonder.

Maybe they can let the horseshows police themselves and focus the state resources on animals that will never see a horseshow in their lives.

Peggy
Jul. 5, 2011, 01:45 PM
Not trying to start a fight here. Really. But, I am curious. meupatdoes- do you then disagree with USEF- or FEI-mandated drug testing as well?

meupatdoes
Jul. 5, 2011, 01:53 PM
Not trying to start a fight here. Really. But, I am curious. meupatdoes- do you then disagree with USEF- or FEI-mandated drug testing as well?

Not at all. These rules simply level the playing field in a USEF/FEI specific sandbox in which the competitors are choosing to play according to a specific set of USEF rules. (Technically, if USEF wanted to make Ace legal, they could). So everyone can give robaxin 12 hours before a show but not 10. Everyone pays their membership fees to join the organization to have a standardized showing experience -and part of those member fees go toward enforcing the rules everyone is signing up to play by. Obviously if everyone is signing up to play in the USEF sandbox they should expect for USEF to enforce the rules.

But why is a state agency enforcing a private organization's rules? If you cheat at bocce ball at your country club is the state of CA going to come in and fine you?? Your country club can kick you out of the bocce ball tournament but the state should not be involved here.

USEF has other "playing-field-leveling" rules like the Amateur divisions, the Junior Hunters divided into heights, the A/Os divided into rider ages, etc etc etc. But you don't exactly have the state agency measuring Red Panda or taking Betty Oare's driver's license to verify her age, either. The show can regulate its playing field there by itself just fine.

Meanwhile if I want to create my own schooling show series where Ace is totally fine (not that I would, but let's say it's called the "First Time Off The Track Summer Series") who is the state to tell me that administering ACE is animal abuse? It isn't. Or is it actually flat out illegal to Ace a horse in CA, regardless of whether you are at a show or in your own backyard?

findeight
Jul. 5, 2011, 02:05 PM
Meanwhile if I want to create my own schooling show series where Ace is totally fine (not that I would, but let's say it's called the "First Time Off The Track Summer Series") who is the state to tell me that administering ACE is animal abuse? It isn't.

The state can tell you whatever it wants if they have enacted statutes forbidding something and have the power to enforce them. California has been telling any show in the state, rated, breed or backyard, drugging to effect performance (not as abuse) is against the state law for something near 40 years now-and collected a fee from all exhibitors at all said shows so they can enforce it.

Lest anybody get the wrong idea here, they are VERY rarely seen at the average local show and alot of people scratch and go home at the mere hint of a white coat and cup on a stick. It's effectiveness is questionable with soooooo many shows covered.

Peggy
Jul. 5, 2011, 02:44 PM
I think the intent of the law (http://law.justia.com/codes/california/2010/fac/24000-24018.html) is to protect the public and the integrity of horse shows and sales. Not to protect the horse. Unless the entry fee is under some small amount ($5). And I have been to a show where the entry fees were $4.99 just to avoid the drugging regulation, tho I think it was more for avoiding the hassle of filing with the state on the part of the show management than anyone's intent to show drugged horses.

It's been going on for years so was started when the state was far more flush with cash. And we all know it's easier to start a program than to stop it. There is a fee paid at every show per horse, whether or not the testers appear, and that presumably funds (or partially funds) the program.

Both rated and non-rated shows are included and there's some sort of an agreement with USEF and Cal Dept Food and Ag.

While I wouldn't say that I see testers with great frequency, they do show up at maybe 20% (+/-10% or so) of the local shows. It does seem to happen in clumps--you won't see them at all for awhile and then, bang, they're at a couple of shows in a relatively short period of time. They will sometimes hit more than one show in a day. And, I swear it seems that they will show up more often closer to the coast in the summer months when there can easily be a 30°F gradient within 50 miles or less.

HGem
Jul. 5, 2011, 06:05 PM
My only dealing with drug testing was when I worked at a STB racing stable. At the tracks the horses were tested regularly. The horse's groom had to be present for blood gas testing (we actually got fined if we were not there). Winner or random drug tests (urine) had to be signed off and they wrote down your paddock liscene number. Very official. No random testing without the presence of a representative.

I would definitely make it clear to the show management that that was not handled properly at all. And what a headache for you?!?!?

I am very glad that the local shows around here don't drug test (to my knowlege).

Fun Size
Jul. 6, 2011, 12:27 AM
for a run of several shows last year, it seemed like Max was tested at almost every one. I don't know how they choose, but it was never an issue. It was the same tester every time at that show, a smaller local B show, and she always introduced herself and was professional.

I'm hoping you just ran into a crazy and that isn't the norm!!

Tex Mex
Jul. 6, 2011, 02:10 AM
Findeight, I think your post was in response to my story? If so, I assure you that's exactly what happened. Not an exaggeration. I was in tears and the owner ended up complaining to the show office. But I have to say that it's a bit intimidating to argue with people who claim to be an authority. I think my particular experience was unique because the woman was awful. I haven't been to a non- rated show since so I don't know how it's been recently.

findeight
Jul. 6, 2011, 11:39 AM
Show management has nothing to do with or control over the state testers who work for and are schedualed by...the state.

All complaints need to be directed to the state agency administering the program.

Come to think of it, USEF testers are not employed or schedualed by the show management either.

Kind of defeat the purpose if they worked for or had any connection to the show.

Tex Mex
Jul. 6, 2011, 03:35 PM
I'm sorry I wrote that late last night and failed to explain that the show office was going to follow up with the appropriate party to file a complaint abt the situation. I realize this person did not work for the show. Because I am not the owner or trainer I dont know what ended up happening, I only borrowed the horse for that show. But I did feel that I needed to defend the truth of my story because it really did happen and its relevant to the OP. I am obviously not the only person who had an experience that is, in my opinion, completely out of line. It's frustrating that you would say it's an exaggeration.