View Full Version : Schoelkopf interview

Mar. 1, 2001, 08:21 PM
I think a good interview with Susie Schoelkopf on the towerheads web page. She makes some interesting points and seems to know what is going on.I thought it was informative,although I don't know much about those rules.

Mar. 1, 2001, 08:21 PM
I think a good interview with Susie Schoelkopf on the towerheads web page. She makes some interesting points and seems to know what is going on.I thought it was informative,although I don't know much about those rules.

Mar. 1, 2001, 09:58 PM
I wonder, however, if her obvious ire at Alan Balch stems from the fact she was one of the individuals removed from an AHSA committee under his term. Hmmmmmmmmm? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Mar. 1, 2001, 11:22 PM
Just think they have to up the anti and permit higher drug levels because the new tests can find the drugs too easy!

Cut me a break! What's wrong with zero tolerance at our hunter shows we don't have make rules for everybody RIGHT! Isn't that the whole idea of the umbrella? And, if we have a reason for the drugs then go through channels for the old horses that need help. I still think it wouldn't hurt for horses to have drug limit cards if a veterinarian is willing to certify the need.

But, why should a young healthy Green Hunter on his way up need drugs?

She's a joke! Right I should go to Leo Conroy! He didn't even bother to come to the convention himself and that's her buddy. No one in Zone 2 has had a chance to get elected to to the Zone Committee because they are the ones who want only to be surrounded by people who agree with them or are guaranteed not to dissent.

The only way to get on the Zone 2 Committee is to wait for someone to die of old age, and be so innocuous that you never have a personal opinion. UNLESS, you are part of their very special group.

And, if you want to know about the NHJC just look at the records. I just posted the financial reports and I won't make accusations, I think you're all smart enough to figure it out for yourself.


I have no doubt that the reason that Sunday was such a dreadful meeting (in the opinion of SS friends) was because Alan Balch actually permitted someone to speak up about problems without being shut down by the Zone Committee or the NHJC.

And, if you want to believe they care about anyone's opinion but their own then you tell me how the Rule Change to give New Jersey a fair break got passed unanimously at the meeting (and many of the Board of Governors were there) and then turned down!

Why should anyone spend money and time to make such self-serving "leaders" feel more important than they are by attending useless meetings. Don't try to say I'm self-serving just because I tried to represent the opinions and problems that we beat up on this BB for a year. There's a difference I'm not trying to perpetuate the worship of "elitism" but to make this sport affordable and goals achievable "heaven's what a concept" to people who maybe can't afford it because they think that children should go to school. OH! Yes! I forgot they call their idea of elitism the "pursuit of excellence. Imagine I'm such a low life because I think children should go to school and that every responsible adult should contribute their labor to society in any way they can.

The so-called bottom is not LOWER VALUED, nor is it less important, just because we choose a different life style. I believe there are 100's of really talented young riders who don't know the "right" people to buy them a million dollar horse.
We talked plenty about how that works if you're cooperative.

SS is part of the self sustaining incestuous ledership that refuses to let anybody else in. They're the ones you can't disagree with. Alan Balch aggrivated them because he opened the doors and invited everyone to the meeting. Sure from the point of view of SS that's a real waste of time and we really ought to know our place and be willing to recognize their competence.

Reminds of of the old plantation owner who just wanted to take good care of his little slaves. Well, for my part I am thrilled that we have so many people out here thinking and suggesting and beginning to understand. I believe Alan Balch and the other AHSA Leaders are glad to hear from us. I know a lot of them were, even if it wasn't the NHJC where I'm supposed to be a MEMBER. MS.S would be really surprised by the number of very important people who have contacted me an agree. It really too bad so many are afraid for their jobs if they say something to displease the wrong people.

I know I'm weird but as a Member of this sport and one who is supposed to be represnted in this association, I don't think I need to go and beg for their approval. If an idea is good it should be considered, modified or adjusted if necessary or if it isn't good then deal with the problem in some other way.

What kind of a leader says well, I didn't consider the ideas because they weren't in the right forum. Well, maybe someday Zone 2 will have a meeting that isn't between classes at a AA Show so us lowly commoners can attend and talk with the high and mighty.

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Mar. 02, 2001 at 02:30 AM.]

Mar. 2, 2001, 04:35 AM
Wow and whew snowbird.I didn't get the same inmpression from reading the interview as you who certainly have more inside information than we bbs do.I know that from my pt of view in Zone1 I think the NHJC reps do a good job for the zone and our finals are the highlight of the year for me and my friends to attend.To say that people are afraid to speak up because they might loose a job is the craziest thing I ever heard.

Mar. 2, 2001, 05:31 AM
No doubt about it! She has a big bee in her bonnet about that....

It was my good fortune (ha ha??) to be perched on the rail in Detroit a few years back, with SS holding court from her golf cart nearby. I say holding court, as she was giving a lengthy discourse on Alan Balch, his alleged shortcomings, the shortcomings of the AHSA, and the shortcomings of almost everyone - (execept herself, of course!)

Having never known this woman, this was fascinating to me that she was so stridently opinionated in almost every area. There was no room for disagreement. And this discourse was so vehement and so loud - well, it was amazing is all I can say.

There is a given that she is knowledgeable and experienced. Too bad some of that cannot be used in a more constructive manner by being less inflexible.

Mar. 2, 2001, 05:40 AM
do people take such offense at those with opinions. You may not agree with Susie but at least give her credit for standing up and forming an opinion!

I read the article and didn't see anything that could be construed as an attack on Vikki.

Yes Susie had some criticism of Mr Balch but she has been pretty open and honest about her feelings for him from the get-go. Anyone who has read letters she wrote to the COTH and other articles where she has been quoted wouldn't find this to be new news.

You may agree with Susie or not but at least she is an involved professional. She has a sucessful horse business, is an active judge, puts on shows and is involved in commitiee work.

My question is why aren't there more like her?

Mar. 2, 2001, 05:42 AM
I am sure there are more like her.

Mar. 2, 2001, 05:52 AM
IMO given the number of people who are "professional" trainers, horse show managers, judges, etc... the number who are actively involved outside of their own little world is appalingly small.

Worse yet are the number of AHSA members who have never even cracked a rule book let alone attend a meeting or event.

I may not agree with Vikki very often but at least she puts her "money where her mouth is" too.

Mar. 2, 2001, 06:05 AM
It is appallingly small.

Unfortunate, but one cannot legislate "being involved" to those who are determined to sit on their hands...

The uninvolved are the ultimate losers.

Mar. 2, 2001, 06:10 AM
havaclu, I beg to differ. There is a very large amount of "professionals" involved in the happenings of this industry. Maybe it's your zone that leads you to think otherwise. The numbers are more of the professionals, than the amateurs. Which is a another bone of contention for many. I do agree completely with you on "the numbers of members who have cracked a rule book", that is laughable and sad!

People don't seem to take an interest till something goes awry. Then they jump on what ever box that is available. My feeling is we should try to stop the situation before it gets out of hand. Make an issue of not going to the convention. Committee's members should do this. Also, one committee per participant. NO 2-3 committees, no one wins with those numbers.

Mar. 2, 2001, 06:13 AM
You got that right!

Mar. 2, 2001, 06:18 AM
I think we have a "symantics" disagreement.

When I say number who are involved - I'm looking at the total pool of folks involved - every person who teaches, every person who shows, etc. Not just the "card carrying" members.

Granted we all don't have to belong to the AHSA but if you are a professional with a business shouldn't you have some affiliation? shouldn't you at least be involved at the local level?

Mar. 2, 2001, 07:16 AM
Thanks Havaklu!! You're right....

Mar. 2, 2001, 08:12 AM
When Jimmie Carter was the President he complained about the "Malaise" of the people.

The lack of involvement is directly related to the degree at which you feel that there is some purpose to be accomplished. People don't bother to go to meetings to be preached at or lectured to on the issues.

Don't misunderstand, no one including Alan Balch is all bad or all wrong. SS seems to think the apathy is from the outside and it's not. We've proved that it's from the inside and the basic structure.

Sure, there are people who are still in a trance and only worry about what color britches match what color jacket but there are also thousands of talented and intelligent people who would be glad to contibute opinions and talent if they knew someone cared.

The problem with power is that it tends to be self-sustaining. It's a whole lot easier to deal with the 5 people who make up an executive committee that a room full of people asking for explanations.

Being in charge and a leader has a responsibility that goes with it to be responsive. So while I can respect the time, effort and money that the present group have spent being involved I cannot appreciate the fact that the system is not democratic and does not make use of opportunities to reach out and welcome new ideas and new ways of seeing what is happening. When you are too close to a situation with people who all agree then you can't take an objective view.

I can respect the AHSA for recognizing that. For example the "Rule Book". Portia has taken on the job of re-organizing it from a new perspective. Those too close didn't see the problem, a new mind and new eyes see it more clearly.

On the issue of drugs and medications, I don't want a committee that tells the veterinary and the Drugs and Medication people what is acceptable. I want a drugs and medication program where the best interests of the horses are first and I trust the vets for that. As people we can adjust our methods to accomodate the horses needs.

There are people who pay their mortgage by being an AHSA licensed judge or steward, there are people who make their living selling products in this industry and they are intimidated when they fear they will lose their job.

Peggy Fackrell in California disagreed with making the $3.00 fee per horse a mandatory part of the Zone program. She is a licensed official and a show manager, because she disagreed she was fired by Larry Langer. As soon as I can scan them in I will publish her letter to Larry Langer as an Official of Zone 10, and his reply to her.

They say it's not mandatory, but the show must pay the $3.00 if the exhibitor doesn't pay. Now, if you're an exhibitor and you refuse how popular will you be with the show manager who pays for you?

Mar. 2, 2001, 10:00 AM
Should we not move that to it's own thread Snowbird? Not that we don't want to read it, but since this is about the interview, just a thought.

Mar. 2, 2001, 10:28 AM
of the way the NHJC which SS says functions so well actually is headed. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Mar. 2, 2001, 01:00 PM
The example you give about the woman who was fired by Larry because she held different views isn't a result of the NHJC - it is a result of the fact that Mr. Langer "owns" lots of shows and can determine who he hires.

That bit of power was created by the AHSA not the NHJC.

Lets keep our cause and effect straight...

Mar. 2, 2001, 01:47 PM
I'm just back to this thread after reading the interview last night. As you brought up earlier, I applaud people that have strong opinions, the courage of their convictions, and the fortitude to stand up for them. I wasn't trying to bash SS's opinions, just trying to shed some light on the fact that we all come upon many of our opinions through our personal experiences.

Ms. Schoelkopf is entitled to her opinions,as are all the posters on the BB. Though I've never met either of them, I guess if she spoke about Snowbird directly as an opinion, Snowbird has the right to do the same.

As ohnowwhat's recollection points out, her observation of Ms. Schoelkopf produced her version of the very same behavior she was slamming Alan Balch for. Am I defending Alan Balch? No, never met the man and couldn't speak to his demeanor in his job. However, it is interesting to me that several posters found it possibly an issue of the pot calling the kettle...well, you know. That's just my opinion.

Mar. 2, 2001, 01:59 PM
I also thought the interview was informative and well-balanced. Snowbird, are you sure you didn't take offense when none was meant -- i didn't see SS pointing fingers at anyone. I did get the impression that there exists a protocol within the current structure and there are ways of getting your voice heard. Perhaps you feel these avenues are closed off to you because you've become a watch dog for the industry? I do have one question though ( for anybody who knows) -- I thought the Zones all elected their officers -- and it was an election open to the members of that Zone. Am I wrong? If it's an open election, I say get your name on the ballot, Snowbird! A dissenting voice working within the power structure and not outside of it can be incredibly effective. Your ideas are so well thought out and innovative, I'm sure the Zone members would vote you in! Anyone familiar with how Zone 2 does their elections and when a new slate of officers is due to come in?

Mar. 2, 2001, 02:07 PM
I want to be able to find it later, and I know SS and LC personally, and I want to read the interview first before making any comments... Why can't we all get along??????

Mar. 2, 2001, 08:51 PM
After 30 years in this sport the protocol is silence and agreement with the judgement of those "in charge". I was at the convention, I attended every forum and not once did SS try to engage me in dialog to find out what I was thinking.

I do agree the TS and LL did give me that courtesy. As members we ought to assume that those in charge know better than we do and they will take care of us.

Mar. 3, 2001, 06:44 AM
Jaime, I think we would all like things to be pleasant. But sometimes, we need to stand up for our convictions. These topics allow all of us to discuss, read and become better educated. In many instances, we learn what is actually happeneing within the sport we love so much. What has happened or is happening to, people many of us know professionally is outrageous and unacceptable. Thank goodness for Snowbird and Portia for keeping us apprised. Sorry to be so long, will step down from my box now /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

With that, I look forward to reading the letters Snowbird you mentioned.

Black Market Radio
Mar. 3, 2001, 09:10 AM
Oh yes Vicki, that article explained you to a T. I always knew you were self-serving and jealous! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif That was harsh!

I saw a bit of hypocricy in there, she is calling you self serving for fighting for what you want, but when she fights for what she wants, what does that mean?

All I can say is that I found that part of the article quite tasteless, although it seemed like KK was sticking up for you!

Mar. 3, 2001, 09:44 AM
Vicki - for what it is worth, that is the most unprofessional interview I have ever read/heard/seen.

I am not the heirophant of graciousness, but I think a truly gracious interview-ee would have avoided naming names like the plague. Also, making the "self-serving" comment was . . . pedestrian. There had to have been a more gracious, indirect way to indicate she thought your motives were self-serving. That's what separates the good speakers from the poor. The former can kick the legs out of opposing arguments without directly making an ad hominem attack. SS made herself look small, not you. Keep up your war against the system. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Mar. 3, 2001, 10:27 AM
what separates a true journalist from a wanna be.

Mar. 3, 2001, 12:05 PM
Or maybe she just didn't want to make the attempt to be gracious. Maybe she said it just like she wanted to. How scary is that?

Mar. 3, 2001, 12:08 PM
Man, weeble, frequently, when I say things like I want to, I insert my foot so deeply into my mouth that I have to breathe through my nose.

I *hate* when that happens!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Mar. 3, 2001, 12:14 PM
but at least I try to do issues, not people. Methinks SS didn't make and error in judgement with her comments, I think they were quite intentional. /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif

Mar. 3, 2001, 03:52 PM
What letters ?? and what articles ?? I am getting the impression that SS Dissed you Snowbird.So whats new about that Snowbird you are in a very big group if she has.But what letters or articles ?If it's the Towerheads one I cant get it to download so I cant read it.

Mar. 3, 2001, 03:57 PM
SS makes a huge effect on the horse business and she deserved a ton of respect. She will say exactly what she's thinking, that's just her. Maybe people should look a little past her attitude and a little more at the message. She has horse shows ranging from huge to tiny, "A" to unrecognized. Both types are great for her area providing something for everyone in Buffalo to start a horse or qualify for indoors. People don't go to her shows for her personality, because everyone that goes knows just how it will be. She is great for the industry and great for her area, no matter if people like her or not.

Mar. 3, 2001, 04:12 PM
but jabprincess was kind of right... Been there done that, and know SS and alot of others like her---they add color to our world....

OK, I'm going to state my point... I used to show excessively on the "AA" circuit, and then some... Even went to Snowbird's pad to get my last Medal or Maclay. This business is VERY old, and has been of the ol' boys club for MANY years... It's not going to change overnight, but it takes strong opposing forces like SS and Snowbird to make it work....

Can't afford to do what I used to.......

Mar. 3, 2001, 06:22 PM
I don't think anyone would take away the contributions SS has made to the industry. But how can you take atitude away from the message? It was delivered with attitude and as you say, she calls it as she wishes.

I know plenty of people on the West Coast who make similar contributions to the industry. Some have attitude, many more do it with manners and grace and get an equal result. You may choose to go to the SS shows because they fill a need and I won't judge because I don't live in NY. Given the choice, and I am lucky to have one, I go to the shows where the management produces a desirable, well, run event with NO bulls#%! from the managers. I work too hard for the money to show my horses to give it away to a manager that doesn't treat me with the same respect and courtesy that I treat them. There's always another show.

Mar. 3, 2001, 09:13 PM
And, I was today. So I'm late responding.

First we're talking about the interview with S.Schoelkoff that's published on Towerheads.

Second part the letters are from Zone 10, I haven't gotten the letters up yet because I've been jammed and I'm going up to bed and crash.

The letters are wonderful because it is a letter from Peggy Fackrell to Larry Langer as a Member of Zone 10 complaining that she doesn't approve of the merger with WCE to the extent that they as a "Zone" have mandated a $3.00 per horse fee for shows that want to offer Zone Awards.

The response is from Larry Langer basically telling her that she is no longer and approved person. There are also Financial reports from the Benefit show showing about a $6,000 net profit and the Zone Show with another $5,000 net profit yet that income is not reflected in the financial report to the AHSA from Zone 10.

These will be published on our "unfettered" USHJO website. I use that address because it is not my intention to use this media for personal advertising but simply to publish information I think is useful. And, I wouldn't want anyone to think I did it to drive traffic to my own web site.

As to SS I am quite certain that in reaching for a reason why someone would not agree that "they" the NHJC are better equipted to make these decisions and that "me" a lowly member is just jealous. That is not an unusual defense when someone chooses to not look at any possibility that their personal opinion is flawed, and they have an inflated view of their position.

I agree that KK did an interesting job, while trying to stay professional when he diverted the attention of SS from her obvious pleasure that she has control over Drugs and Medications rules to the NHJC members.

As I said above, I too run horse shows, from schooling to A Rated. So I am not unfamiliar with the system. I am not interested at all in discussing the quality of the shows that SS runs or her ability as a show manager, that is totally irrelevant. The interview was not with SS as an exhibitor, trainer or show manager but as an important person in the management of the NHJC.

I am therefore more than happy to discuss my opinions of the NHJC and their effectiveness. I am also very much opposed to their lack of democracy and the lack of representation from the zones of all types of members who compete for whatever reason at all shows, thus, the proposed Revisions to the BY-Laws of the NHJC.

While I am so pleased and happy that so many are beginning to think for themselves, I was very disappointed that a prominent member of "MY COUNCIL" to which I am forced to belong and which is supposed to represent me never took up the problems which the rule changes tried to address.

I also felt that while Dolores Swann has given many hours of her time and spent many years on various committees, she and I have no relationaship in our approach to the "establishment". She takes her positions from having been invited to be on committees while mine are from someone never so invited or considered. We therefore are not speaking from a similar place although we may agree on many problems.

LL said over an over on the NHJC BB go write a rule change or shut up and let us do it all because we are hard working volunteers. Well, the financial reports indicate this might not be so clear as to how much is without any compensation. So, we took his suggestion and wrote 10 rule change proposals.

LL who was then Chairman of NHJC said that was the route to take. SS and TS seem to feel that rather I should personally have called them privately so they could tell me why what I seek was impossible.

I on the otherhand have this old fashioned idea that a "Service" organizaton such as NHJC is not in charge but rather there to serve my requests and interests as well as those of all the other members. I thought they were supposed to filter and focus the problems referred to it by the members and then find solutions.

If you do not even identify the problem and if you do not consider the proposed suggestions then how can they (NHJC)determine that the solutions are unworkable just because they didn't think of them.

Surely, even SS couldn't believe that all these proposals were written just because I'm jealous and self-serving, at least not if she had even read them.

My point is very simple while the NHJC was a well conceived and well intentioned concept it has gone awry. It needs to be totally re-structured to properly be representative and not continually perpetuate all the same people with all the same interests until they either die or retire.

While the AHSA still has oversite I trust they will correct the situation. SS seems to believe that the NHJC is already an independent association, it is not. It is simply a committee which is subsidized by our membership money.

I cannot imagine any reason why anyone who is an AHSA Member would ever want to pay $30.00 more so they can get a decal, membershipo card etc.

I hope the AHSA will not make the same mistake with the NHJC that they made with the USET in permitting them to be autonomous in 1998.

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Mar. 04, 2001 at 12:21 AM.]

Mar. 5, 2001, 10:11 AM
I may not agree with all the D & M committee does, but they're not out to create "unlimited medication."
They do set limits.
They do look out for the welfare of horses.

Ms. Schoellkopf is a wonderful leader, and I applaud her efforts.

Mar. 5, 2001, 10:26 AM
I have heard that the decisions have been made for those charged because their horses tested positive for the use.

I have heard that they all got off with a crack on the knuckles. No suspensions just the owners who footed the bills lost all their ribbons and awards.

Does anyone know more? If this is true then I don't think I can be very proud of the job done by those who influence increased levels of chemicals that alter performance. Nor, a hearing committee that let everyone off the hook.

I'm sorry to say I still remember the press release of Dr.Lowe who said there was no similar situation in any other discipliner for outside contamination of horses.

My other question is if medicating horses to alter performance on otherwise sound horses is not permissible why is show management required to provide containers for medical waste items. Certainly, if vets are perdorming these duties they know how to dispose of medical waste.

So, while Ms Schoelkoff and others are very proud of the job they've done. Unless, there are more details to justify it, I don't think I agree it is a good job well done. Rather than deal with the issues of medicating they seems to be wanting to deal with ways for those trainers not to get punished when they get caught.

Mar. 5, 2001, 01:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I agree that KK did an interesting job, while trying to stay professional when he diverted the attention of SS from her obvious pleasure that she has control over Drugs and Medications rules to the NHJC members. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Snowbird, I think that statement is not a lot different from SS using the term "self serving" about your goals in her interview... Tough for us to know anything about her pleasure in being on that committee, obvious or otherwise...

I also thought that her call to have vets who are actively practicing was a good idea. And given the sensitivity of the ELISA test, it is probably a good idea to understand what happens when you give your horse a drug to treat him for some illness/treatment (dormosodan in order to do x-rays/ultrasound, for instance), and it shows up in trace levels 4+ weeks after administering it. It makes even more sense to clearly define what amount of an acceptable drug is considered trace verus performance altering.

I also agree with her that if there is a perception people are being targeted with the testing, then you MUST address that issue, whether it is based in fact or not. Life is a lot like Marketing - Perception IS Reality.

The one thing I found interesting was her statement about the AHSA committees and AB. If I read correctly, she said that AB would not have anyone on a committee that didn't attend the convention or the meetings. Then made the statement that he kicked off anyone that didn't agree with him. I read this as an almost "cause and effect" relationship, although I am not sure that is how she meant it.

Given that, I can only guess that this was a poorly presented statement on behalf of the interviewer, or the interviewee needs to understand that in this day and age, that is pretty standard practice for a functioning committee. I promise you, if you are on one of MY committees, and you do not attend, you will not be long for my committee. This is a fairly common trait of committees that would like actually produce work product. Most people in business today have at some time in their life, been on the other kind of committee. Everyone I know agrees they are a waste of good oxygen.

Mar. 5, 2001, 04:37 PM
I just now got to the the interview and I think she took a pot shot at Snowbird.
I find SBS and Snowbird a couple of opinionated pains in the butts (<sigh> guess it takes one to know one)but I think she fired a shot across Snowbird's bow.

I tend to think SBS's opinion on the D&M situation to lean to the benefit of the pro and not the horse.

Perhaps if she was always diligent in doing the right thing, I would have more respect for her.

Mar. 5, 2001, 04:57 PM
I have no doubt that I am a royal pain in the butt to anyone who keeps their head in the sand and hides from the truth.

So while we may agree to disagree at least you have entered the dialog. I'm happy so long as people start thinking about issues whether they agree with me or not.


I admit I can be terrible nag when people take credit for upping the quantities of permissible drugs because the tests have gotten so sophisticated that they now can find a tiny bit.

I really hate this whole concept of outside contamination so that people can be absolved of responsibility. I resent the new formula whereby the owner can be punished by losing their awards and points but the trainer skips happily through life as a coach instead.

If a horse has a physical problem that can be documented by a veterinarian then I am in favor of these being card carrying horses with their permitted dosages printed and public with it's special card.

I see no reason why there is so much effort put into learning all the receipes for cocktails for the poor horses instead of training the horses. And if a horse has a mental attitude that needs adjusting it should be done the right way or no way.

The point is that I disagree that the group of "horsemen" who formed a committee to fight the conservative recommendations of the Veterinary Committee should be proud of what they accomplished. I also think it was wrong of the NHJC to give them $10,000 for their advertising the need to use drugs.

How in the world do we as sportsmen who put the welfare of the horse first, justify demanding the right to use supplements that are mind altering
drugs. Is that really something You would be proud of?

I really get very angry with people who pass rules which will favor specific groups in not favor other groups and then say they did it for the benefit of the horse.

Because we are first of all a Riding School we get those horses after they have been abused and after they have soured and no one wants them anymore. We have to pick up the pieces and then rehabilitate these horses so that they will again trust people.

Most of them have totally lost confidence in any rider. So, those riders from families that will never be able to afford a $500,000 horse take these throw-a-ways and teach them how to trust again.

Can you imagine how bad a horse feels that has been medicated and drugged for years while it is pounded at an endless number of shows to pacify some rider who has enough money to insist they they must win whether they learn to be a rider or not? That poor horse suddenly, is dumped and has to get over his addiction cold turkey.

I believe that the high standards set by the FEI should be enforced for all healthy young horses and that they will all be better for it. Let's put an end to rounds by robots without pride or happiness. What I love is the definition of dressage that ny instructor taught me a 100 years ago when I was young. He said that training (dressage) was the skill of getting a horse to do under saddle what he would do from pure joy on his own. Brilliance is not achieved with drugs but with joy!

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Mar. 05, 2001 at 08:07 PM.]

Mar. 5, 2001, 05:08 PM
Keeping in mind the caveat of 'never say never', drug use is never in favor of the horse, if it is used to get him to the ring. I remember when all this discussion first started, one of the points was to keep those old schoolmasters comfortable. I can't help but think those old schoolmasters would have been happy turned out in the field if they were too lame to show wihout drugs.

Snowbird, I understand what you're saying but please don't assume that, since I haven't commented on this BB, I have not previously entered the fray.

Mar. 5, 2001, 05:25 PM
Without being painted as a person who drugs horses to show them, or advocates such actions, I can't help but think this is a grayer area than either camp wants to address...

When we talk about the ELISA test, EVEN with an FEI standard, one must understand how small a level of metabolite this test detects. I fully accpet that it is a bad thing to give banamine and bute to get a horse to the ring. I also want some degree of understanding that IF I administered banamine and bute to a horse during a bout of uveitis, then showed him (drug free) three weeks later, that I wouldn't be in danger of losing my right to show in an AHSA show. Having a defined standard is a big difference from expanding the level of drugs permitted in a horse, unless what we are saying is we should never, ever, ever give our horses drugs again. For any reason. And I know that is not what we are saying. I think that is a pretty reasonable request, and one that does not endanger the lives of show horses.

I also wonder about the FEI policy in light of such medical advances as gastroguard, or what if there WAS a medicine that kept a uveitis or EPM horse from deteriorating? Are these really performance enhancing concepts?

Mar. 5, 2001, 05:38 PM
when are MSM, and glucosamine products going to be considered "contribands"????

Now I AM going to go read the article!!! (while still covered in snow)

Mar. 5, 2001, 05:51 PM
DMK, I agree with you on the levels. I am not particularly knowledgeable about the specific tests, so I cannot offer anything but opinions.

There has to be a definable difference between therapeutic levels given to a horse even five days ago and a level to get an 'off' horse to the ring given 12 hours ago.

Mar. 5, 2001, 06:20 PM
I really didn't see anything wrong (inflammatory) in SS's statemants.

VS (Snowbird) just keep pushing your issues!!!! We need more people like you out there, but remember to breathe!!! It is a veeeeeery BIG mountain to climb, with trees that have DEEP roots. Being "politically correct" is often a hard thing to swallow...

I do agree with SS on the issue of "what if your horse colics 3 weeks before a competition, and the trace is found with legal amounts of other chemicals". Being someone that grew up when unlimited amounts of Bute/Banamine were acceptable, I don't condone it, but that time has changed... I get nervous if I have to give a gram of bute to a horse that has shown on hard ground---not unsound, I just feel sorry for the poor sucker---I'd take some Advil myself!!!


Mar. 5, 2001, 09:24 PM
I have never been such I'm afraid. I've thought about it, and even tried it once or twice but like being anonymous it's just not me. I do have opinions that may not be mainstream or convenient.
But, I don't know that what's "right" is ever convenient.

You missed my point I think, what I said was that IF a horse had a medical problem certifies by a vet a temporary or permanent card would be issued certified by that vet. So if there was a condition which required medication and the horse was off the medication but MIGHT test positive this card in advance would eliminate the violation.

I know that there might be dishonest vets but I can't imagine one who would jeopardize his license for the purpose of an "attitude adjuster" on an otherwise young healthy horse.

If it was a matter of correcting a lameness that too should be on the card. My question would be if this process existed would all the horses that show, be on something with a card, or would we have horses that actually competed as they were.

Mar. 6, 2001, 04:26 AM
This is not a further comment on SS but Snowbird are you really suggesting I need a card from my vet for every bute tab I dispense?

If I had the vet out for every little scrape and what not I wouldn't have any money to show. I guess that is your point. We'll all be so poor from vet bills for needless visits that the only people who could show will be the wealthy amateurs who are married to vets.

And as if those with the financial means still won't find a way to make sure all their horses are lifetime card carrying bute recipients.

I can see horse sale ads where you will pay more for horses with a "medication" card.

Laugh and chuckle but that's how it would pan out.

Mar. 6, 2001, 06:19 AM
I shared your chuckle, havaklu! Hmmm.. $35 call charge to administer $0.35 worth of medication. No thank you - I'll take up another sport!!!

And my vet would probably ring my neck if I called him out for that Sunday 5pm colic that one of my critters is so fond of executing 3-4 times a year. All three of us (me, vet & pony) understand that all it needs is 10 cc's of banamine and some lost sleep on my part as I follow up with 2 night checks (the vet and I are pretty sure this is a plot on the pony's part to amuse himself).

And of course, there are a finite amount of vets to go around. I'd be unhappy if a vet couldn't get to me ASAP when I have an emergency because they are spending all their time attending to some show horse that the owner/barn manager is perfectly capable of treating (and trust me, when I call up and say it is an emergency, it is an emergency of the highest order).

Mar. 6, 2001, 06:28 AM
I agree with Elizabeth..There are more polite ways to agree to disagree. SBS is to entrenched in the system. We need new blood and a new broom sweeps clean.

Mar. 6, 2001, 07:54 AM
I must have missed the points in the interview.I thought Ms Schoelkoph REPEATEDLY praised the AHSA program for drugs.I am confused as to why she was attacked by snowbird and others for her statements about the AHSA.then the comments got way off the subject. Snowbird seems to have a problem with those who are more financially blessed than we are.It seems as if Snowbird is against the elected reps on the zone,could it be sour grapes that he/she is not on the zone?-Our zone committee serves us well and the Zone show is a highlight for us to attend.I am suspect that when A.Balch appoints Snowbird to a committee that his/her position will change-it happens almost everytime.Appoint the complainers and they will shut up.

Mar. 6, 2001, 08:05 AM
The complainers do not get on AHSA committees. Those who do get things accomplished. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Mar. 6, 2001, 08:18 AM
In answer to your post, yes they do{get appointed}
and no they don,t{get things accomplished
].Iknow two who raised hell and got appointed in the last three years and they now care more about the committee that about their causes. Watch the Snowbird "committee appointment" campaign progress.Then Snowbird will become "very understanding" about the AHSA and ask us to be patient and supportive.

Mar. 6, 2001, 08:49 AM
Comment first: I know SS from her days showing AO with Rodney, and I always respected her views and thought she was very intelligent. I thought her comments in the interview were interesting and she obviously feels strongly about them, her right. From my readings, I don't think the NHJC is any more forward thinking and open-minded than the AHSA, a huge dinosaur that needs a complete overhaul. I totally agree with SS and DMK's comment on the need to establish what constitutes a trace, non-performance enhancing amount, and what is performance altering. Don't kid yourself that there aren't vets out there who would sign off on a card in a minute for a big client. And it would put a tremendous burden on the vets and the exhibitors to have to obtain a card each and every time a medication is administered.

Question: Why on earth has reserpine come up again, 20+ years after nearly everyone in the business went down because of this drug? Has it been unused for so long that they stopped testing for it??


Mar. 6, 2001, 08:59 AM
BRAVO well said.But I don't understand.Certainly the AHSA doesn't charge exhibitors with a medication that doesn't influence a horses performance-I can't believe it !!

Mar. 6, 2001, 12:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Watch the Snowbird "committee appointment" campaign progress.Then Snowbird will become
"very understanding" about the AHSA and ask us to be patient and supportive.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you knew me better you would know that I have never worried about being politically correct. Nor, do I envy those with more money. Obviously, I am quite confortable with my 70 acre farm. What I do resent is that those who choose not to be a gypsy living their lives at 5 day horse shows are somehow lesser competitors to be relegated to the garbage heap as not very important.

I don't think people should be prevented from being competitive because they prefer to sleep in their own bed every night. And, if I love my farm why should I spend my time in motels and tack rooms on the road? If the system prevents anyone from qualifying for the prestigious shows unless they choose to leave home I think that is unfair.

If I wanted to do that, I could! and I could afford it. That doesn't happen to be my choice of a life style. Why would I want to be away from my home and my critters for 6 months at a time?

Yes, SS is pleased that the trace levels have been increased as per the demands of the so-called "International Horsemens Committee". That in the face of the preferences, beliefs and warnings of the Veterinary committee that it was harmful for the horses.

Yes, she believes in the contamination theories which seem only to happen at hunter/jumper shows.

Yes, Linda Allan and George Morris both said our team would do better if they had more shows under the strict regulation of the FEI standards.

Yes,SS does not agree and believes that horses should be medicated and "assisted" as a matter of kindness to the horse.

I personally can not conceive of the logic that at a horse show and in hunters particularly where the judging is based on performance and soundness that chemicals can be used to alter both to any degree.

No you wouldn't have to call the vet for every bute tablet unless you are competing in a horse show. If the condition is a chronic one then it should be certified "If you are going to compete". I would rather have people admit their use than to continue to keep the use underground, unless they are "caught".

Certainly, it is an idea but only one off the top of my head to try and put legitimate use of drugs into perspective. If you really believe that a horse requires this medication for the good of the horse and not the rider,owner or trainer then let's put it on the table.

To put this in perspective, if the USET became the NGB or even if the AHSA stays as NGB will we have a double standard at the shows for competition?

If you are riding for $25,000 or more you have to meet one standard and if you are doing it for no money then you are required to compete against medicated horses.

Does that sound good to you?

Mar. 6, 2001, 04:30 PM
I honestly thought it was an ok interview .I am not sure I agree with the drug issue .The rest I might think is ok.I still have some problems with ahsa/nhjc deal but at least she seems to be up front about it .

Mar. 6, 2001, 08:50 PM
She is definitely up front and in your face, and I too may disagree but I respect that honesty more than those who lie and pretend to be what they're not. So I do agree for that I do respect SS. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Mar. 6, 2001, 09:06 PM
So you won't play a game that has been going on for decades (to get what you want), and then you publicly bash SS, and then agree with her... Hmmmmm...

I just see some hypocracy here...

I admire you for your ideas, and your dedication, but you have contradicted yourself several times--you may be the bold/outspoken type, but there's a time to be like that.

PS-I'm not some snot-nosed junior trying to get you going, but I've been in this industry long enough to know that sometimes you have to sneak in the back door to get something to work... JMHO

Mar. 6, 2001, 09:57 PM
While I disagreed with her completely, I do think that at least she is up front and in your face which is better the rest who are devious and manipulative but hide it under a false facade.

Now if that's a compliment, OK! I can live with that.

Mar. 7, 2001, 06:03 AM
Reserpine came to the front again because of STUPIDITY....One trainer brings in a "wonder supplement" that is "not testable" and it really WORKED!!! Did anyone even think of researching the "supplement" to see exactly what was in there and was it safe ??? NO..Just give it to your horse not knowing WHAT was in it...Then they were tested and the all natural miracle supplement contained a pig TQ related to reserpine..They were STUPID they got caught with their pants down and then they walked. Fair and equal justice under the law. If any of us nobodys tried that trick we would be suspendended, fined and vilified. If you are important enough and you will impact the horse show in the wallet, you are slapped on the wrist and told please to not do that again...please...

Mar. 7, 2001, 10:02 AM
I have heard that they were assured by the manufacturer that there was no reserpine in the supplement. I have to feel sympathetic with the hearing committee if this is so.

I don't think any of us would run out to the local lab abd have it tested for ourselves. We are inclined to believe the statements of the manufacturer. So, then the hearing committee was probably justified for a 1st shot.

Pocket Trainer
Mar. 7, 2001, 10:17 AM
I saw a bottle of the stuff, it actually said "FEI approved" on the label...

Mar. 7, 2001, 10:59 AM
Hhhmmm, what would make them ask if there WAS reserpine in it?

Mar. 7, 2001, 11:29 AM
I guess we have to go along with the opinion of the Hearing Committee. They did yank the ribbons and awards and the trainers were misinformed.

Of course since they must have recognized that this supplement had remarkable effects, they might enquire. AND, it doesn't justify using artifical attitude changers just because they would pass a test does it?

Mar. 7, 2001, 12:18 PM
The only ones "punished" were the owners who in all probablity didnt even KNOW their horses were given any herb....They forfeit ribbons, money, entry fees and the trainers get a strong power stare. I would NEVER give my horse something like that with someone else's say so as gospel. I can't say as I feel sorry for them, they did a dumb thing and they were caught. I wold think they would do their own screening tests to see if something that was to good to be true, really was....

Mar. 7, 2001, 02:51 PM
And, with the new designation of coach at horse shows, I'm afraid more owners will be in the same place.

It goes back to the self sustaining authority that
those trainers who are responsible for the "International Committee of Horsemen" had on our veterinary committee. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Mar. 8, 2001, 05:16 AM
First,do we know that the hearing committee really let the big shots get away with showing after they tranquilized their horses.It sounds like a rumor to me.Let's wait and see what is printed in Horse Show.However if it is true,which I seriously doubt I bet MS. Schoelkopf is regretting that she repetedly PRAISED the AHSA and the outstanding drug testing program. I mentioned before that I see Snowbird working on a committee appointment{which will happen to bring her into the fold}and when that happens the "support and patience" speeches will begin.This was denied and yet she asks us to support the hearing commmittee which,according to her,allowed the trainers to walk because the manufacturer of the tranquilizer they used,said it didn"t contain reserpine!!!!Snowbird,you need to come down off your 70 acre mountain retreat and join the real world.I don't believe the drug rule says it is ok to use a tranquilizer that according to the manufacrturer doesn't contain reserpine.What kind of logic are you using? You continue to bash trainers.Obviously you have a problem with successful trainers.Thankfully we have them or we AAs would be in trouble. They are not all perfect,but neither are they all corrupt,as you imply.As a matter of fact the trainers in our area under the creative mind of Joe Dotoli have unselfeshly banded together to produce the finest equitation event if not the best equine event in the country.But that is another subject.

Mar. 8, 2001, 05:30 AM
I think your idea of waiting for the "printed word" in Horse Show makes sense.

The whole "reserpine" incident comes in many flavors. I've heard everything from it wasn't reserpine at all just metabolized into it and was picked up by the drug test to it was used by FEI participants and did not test so it must be O.K.

I don't think the D&M lets people just walk. Even first offenders are often fined and set down for a while. So if they didn't get any "real' penalty there must be good reason.

I hope these trainers refunded their professional fees to the clients who were required to return their prize money and ribbons. That seems only fair.

Mar. 8, 2001, 08:21 AM
I am capable of being open minded. I do not expect any committee appointments. Maybe 20 years ago it would have interesting to me. But, I do wish that as long as we have wakened the sleeping tiger of the membership that more of you guys would be interested in the committees.

In this case, what I've been told and yes! it's not in writing but the Hearing Committee apparently was satisfied that in this case since the manufacturer lied to them it was mitigating circumstamces. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't raise the question of why they felt a need for medication that altered attitudes? or that they weren't more cautious.

It certainly does raise the question of why we are endeavoring to increase the amount of medication permitted. But, because in this specific case unless I hear otherwise there is reason to think that the mitigations circumstances were valid, a lot more valid to me than outside contamination from dollar bills.

However, now that everyone has been warned that the FEI approval thing on the label is a lie, then we all ought to be more careful before administering any quick fixes. /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Mar. 8, 2001, 07:55 PM
Snowbird you amaze me. While I don't always agree with your concepts regarding our sport,I appreciate you thoughtful efforts and usually intelligent presentations.However,your statements regarding the deaf committees result on the yet to be seen in writing reserpine case are frightening. You ask us to accept a committee who let people walk who apparently said"the TRANQUILIZER we used tested negative and the manufacturers said it didn't contain reserpine" and then did nothing wrong.That is utter nonsense!! and I believe you know better.Your sources for the thinking of the hearing committee is either a member or knows one well or is making up a story for the shock factor Please!!!! don't insu;t our intelligence

Mar. 8, 2001, 09:29 PM
I read what you had to say carefully, and I must admit that it was hearsay, I haven't spoken to anyone on the committee. And, it probably is my hope that since it was the first time for this supplement, it will be the last.

It certainly looks like a whitewash. I don't disagree, and yes! you are probably right. I have been trying to bend over backwards hoping that there is an excuse. I guess I was feeling guilty for being such a cynic and hoping there might be a good reason for the committee to make it's decision. There are a lot of people on that committee that I have always respected and I really would like to continue to feel that way about them.

It does prove that we all have our soft spot. I cannot however blame anyone who doesn't buy the story. I have some people I respect who buy the contaminated dollar bill idea, and I don't buy that one. I think that it is too big a stretch.

The good thing out here is that we can disagree without hating each other. And, we can accept that well intentioned people can make a mistake in judgment. So, I hope you will understand that I know I can be wrong. I've made lots of mistakes in my life and I'm far from perfect in my conclusions. But, it will always be thoughtful and sincere, not because I've joined in sweeping stuff under the carpet.

I don't see the mistake yet, but I'm willing to consider the possibility.

Most of the time you can spot a personal benefit from a decision that looks suspicious. In this case I find it harder to locate. If anything those few on the committee that I know are not easily led by anyone. So, I must admit I am inclined to accept the "hearsay" if that was the reason.

I have served on some quasi-legal boards and this can be a mitigating factor the first time. Please however, never doubt that I do strongly believe that it wouldn't have happened at all if the culprits were not looking for a chemical fix for a behavior problem. And, if I were on that committee I think I would have opposed them not being suspended and charged at all. /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

That being said there are weaknesses in the jury system. It's not perfect but it's the best thing we have so far.

Mar. 9, 2001, 06:46 AM
Waiting for the "printed word" in Horse Show is like waiting for a report from the fox about what's going on in the henhouse. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Ruby G. Weber
Mar. 9, 2001, 03:17 PM
DMK...I am in total agreement with you. A recent article in The Horse referred to the sensitiity of the ELISA test to Banamine. Traces of Banamine were found in horses not administered the drug but stabled near a horse who had been.

The split sample is a must.

As far as the Temprelax/Reserpine thing goes, it is my understanding that no decision has been made at this point and probably will not be made until mid March.

Vet cards? Start with totally impractical and go from there. As Laurie points out, some vet's know who grease their palms.

It is common knowledge that the European drug tests ARE NOT as sensitive as ours.

Zero tolerance as in FEI is not working for the benefit of the horse anyway. It has created more neurectomies, more injection of joints and who knows what else.

I am grateful that Susie has been sucessful concerning the split sample and support her other efforts as well.

Mar. 9, 2001, 03:21 PM
There is an article in The Horse about the residual affects of banamine. It is one of the few drugs that can hang around and be testable for a long time. Even horses stabled in the stalls of horses administered banamine, will show a positive test for it. This, I believe, is unique to banamine and not indicative of how other drugs will "test through".

Mar. 9, 2001, 06:40 PM
Wow! so much effort and documentation to prove that it's OK! to test positive for drugs.

I don't get it! It must be the generation gap.

So are you all saying that's it's better to have tests that are not so good, so that people feel better because the horses test clean?

The FEI standard is supposed to be so high that both Linda Allan and George Morris said our horses would do better if they had to show under FEI standards more often.

Gee! I never knew that if I gave a horse a shot of banamine I was making his stall neighbors feel better. WoW! what a concept. Three shots for the price of one. I'm going to have check out the stablemates never knew it worked like that.

So what are we for? More liberal use of drugs? I thought you were all mad at me because I sided with the Hearing Committee that let those guys off. I'm really confused, let me know what the party line is please.

Mar. 9, 2001, 07:05 PM
Having followed the twists of this thread without posting, I THINK a couple of issues are muddying the waters. One is the idea that there should be "reasonable" -- whatever those may be -- acceptable residual levels in a horse's test for certain drugs if it's shown that the drug would have no effect on the horse's performance at that tested level (i.e. the horse with hives/colic/whatever a week ago argument).

The reserpine issue is more one of these folks were obviously trying to get SOME sort of tranquilizing effect by using the product. It backfired on them. The question becomes one of, is it OK for them to be trying to tranquilize in the first place if what they're using is legal? Methinks that's a slippery slope.

As for Banamine ... who knew that I was giving free medication to the horses around mine? But again, it's a legal drug. I think we all know that you favor a zero-tolerance approach; failing that, you'd like horses to have "prescription cards." The Banamine levels would come into play if "your" horse tested at unacceptable levels because of the horse next door ... which I still, somehow, find a difficult concept to grasp. NOT that I don't think it's a possibility ... after all, look at all those horses contaminated by the $20 bills! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Our communication problems are occurring because we're trying to lump all these shades of gray into one huge mess. Keep them separate, and they make sense. Kinda. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Mar. 9, 2001, 08:21 PM
I think I understand.

I can accept the neighbor horse inheriting the banamine as much as the cocaine from the $20.00 Bill. I suppose anything is possible.

But, if the Veterinary Committee sets the limits for what drugs have an effect on the performance of the horse how do we justify a Committee of laymen who say whoops! now that you can test that low you have to up the quota?

Or, how do we justify them saying well the FEI is acceptable because they can't test for the little bitty doses anyway?

That's the logic that confuses me.

As to the card carrying horses, that my friend was very tongue in cheek. My generation the McCarthy generation really doesn't expect to be taken seriously about anything that is "card carrying".

It was just my way, which obviously didn't communicate to say that if you really had to use drugs then either don't show or declare the drugs and be honest. I didn't really expect to establish a whole bureacracy around card carrying horses exempted from drug testing.

I'm disappointed that anyone really thought I was that silly.

Also think that if the purpose of a horse show is to judge performance and soundness, and now especially when these ribbons are supposed to affect breeding fees, it's silly to have horses compete that have been chemically altered.

It's sort of like if you have a stallion that's really ugly but you have a lot of plastic surgery done to make him handsome and he wins a lot, well then what happens when all the babies look like Dad before the surgery? Here you may have a really flighty and inconsistent horse which performs like a robot in perfection. But those babies are going to inherit the other horse, so then the next generation has to be drugged and manipulated.

Where's the logic?

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Mar. 09, 2001 at 11:30 PM.]

Mar. 10, 2001, 05:37 AM
Interestingly, chemical altering any horse, especially when one is thinking of breeding down the line, is silly. For stallions, other breed desciplines are now finding out that the sperm count was greatly altered, and in many cases, impotenance occured. Why would you take this chance? Seems horses have genetic codes too, which some have forgotten. Tampering leaves babies not in the, shall we say, all together? Not all breeding has problems, but prolonged use of any chemical has it's side affects.

Mar. 10, 2001, 06:44 AM
Snowbird there you go again no one said that the neighbor horse was contaminated by the banamine,but what has been PROOVED in as scientific study was that if you put a horse in a stall that had been previously inhabited by a horse that was on banamine,it is VERY possible that your horse who might be on another drug,say bute could test positive for banamine and you would be set down.. Unlike the "elite athletes" who apparently walked on the tranquilizer hearings-reportedly. I still think this could be a total scam by people who are anti AHSA to stirr things up duriing the AHSA/USET conflict-I certainly am not implying that anyone connected with the higher ups of those associations are involved,but probably someone just having some fun. Think about this No Heasring Committee in its right moind would let high profile exhibitors all in one discipline with olympic connections walk on a tranquilizer positive that was so well known throughout the entire sport.it just is IMPOSSIBLE to believe

Mar. 10, 2001, 06:58 AM
I respectfully disagree Upperco..When the economic impact is as great as that threatened to be, they will stoop to anything. It's all about the almighty dollar and the one with most $$$ wins!

Mar. 10, 2001, 07:14 AM
Jumping High stated, according to the Horse' Horse,"Horses stabled in stall of a horse who had been administered banamine will show positive for banamine" Snowbird and Beezer then stated that they didn't know that if they gave their horse banamine their neighbors would benefit.Jumping High and the Horse NEVER said that. Come on guys! How about coming down from the bully pulpit and just say the truth.That kind of spinning or lack of reading comprehension, I suspect the former,is so typical of the offensive current dialogue from the AHSA, especially regarding the drug issues that continue to plague our sport. AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR HORSES.FOR GOD'S SAKE LET'S DO WHAT IS BEST FOR THE HORSES

Mar. 10, 2001, 08:54 AM
What's the difference? If the horse gets a shot of banamine in his stall, and then someone else goes into the stall how do they absorb the banamine?

From the manure, from the pee? If that's the case then it could happen from having the horse on cross ties and if he poops on the aisle everyone in the barn could be tested positive for banamine.

If it's airborne, then why not the neighbors? They might be sniffing each other through the bars.

Does the banamine get transmitted through saliva? HOW? can the next horse in the same stall get enough banamine to test positive? Sweat? What?

Are you sure that it's true? Just because something is in print doesn't make it true! Who did the tests and can document that a horse put into a stall after a horse that had a shot of banamine tests positive for it? What were the controls for the test?

It's to me like all the silly stuff on TV. One day the cranberry growers say that there is a test to prove that if you drink cranberry juice you won't get some kind of cancer, and the rye bread people have a test that shows two slices of rye bread a day will protect you from another kinds of cancer. And, how about the red wine theory? I like that one. But the fact is that each one of these "tests" was run without controls by people with a vested interest.

So refer please to my questions above.

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Mar. 10, 2001 at 12:02 PM.]

Ruby G. Weber
Mar. 10, 2001, 03:13 PM
READ the article in THE HORSE. By the way, for those of you who are skeptical about the validity of the study, THE HORSE is a sister magazine to THE BLOOD HORSE, IMO a highly respected publication in the TB racing and breeding world.

You can be sure TB trainers are just as interested in what tests how, why and when as any show horse trainer, their livlihoods can depend on it.

And to the poster who referred to giving an injection of Banamine to one horse, thereby benefiting two others, that is just the point. That trace of Banamine is of NO benefit to any horse except the one it was administered to, however, should you be so unlucky as to be stabled near it, especially if you compete in FEI competitions, you could be looking at an unscheduled vacation.

Considering the extreme sensitivity of the drug testing in the US, we must agree on a system where .07 nanograms (for example) does not constitute a postive drug test.

Mar. 10, 2001, 08:17 PM
It seems to me that as a horseman I need to know how this banamine is transmitted. I do not accept the possibility that it is by some sort of osmosis.

When I know how that is accomplished then I will be able to control the situation, if true, by correcting the transmission process.

I am too old to believe that just because it is published it is true. My simplistic old brain needs to know so that if this is so, then I know better than to switch horses in stalls. For how long does this effect persist?

Mar. 11, 2001, 05:38 AM
I have been following this thread with interest. I have been trying to locate the banamine article in The Horse with no luck..Can someone tell me what issue it's in ? (please).. As a pharmacist I did not realize this drug could give testable blood levels thru indirect contact. I really want to know more about this. Maybe if I understand it, I could help others understand too..( NO I'm not trying to insult anyone's intelligence here)..Thanks in advance if you can help me find the article..Gotta go to work now.

NinaL aka Chrissy
Mar. 11, 2001, 08:04 AM
I did a search for Banamine at the Horse website and found the article. It was actually more of a news item and was short so I have copied it here.

Banamine Contamination
A study conducted by researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science reported that flunixin (Banamine) given IV or orally (granulate in oats) could contaminate stalls and cause future, untreated horses to test positive for the medication because of environmental contamination. This means that a horse not treated with flunixin which occupies a stall immediately after a treated horse can have a positive drug test for Banamine.

Marianne Sloet, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, head of the Equine Internal Medicine Clinic at Utrecht University in The Netherlands and a member of The Horse Editorial Advisory Board, said she knew one of the researchers, and that the university itself was known for solid research projects. Sloet also serves as an FEI veterinary delegate at various competitions in Europe. She said that it is common at competitions in Europe for a groom to clean a stall, place the horse from the next stall into the clean one, then clean that horse�s stall. The domino effect is that each horse is moved into a new stall each day. She said based on the Swedish research, it seems possible for a horse to pick up enough flunixin in the environment to test positive. Therefore, her advice was don�t change boxes when a horse has been treated. (Several medications are known to be able to contaminate a horse�s environment for extended periods, including isoxuprine.)

In the flunixin study, two geldings were given flunixin (1.1mg/kg) daily for five days. The drug was administered IV in one study, and orally (granulate in oats) in two other studies. In the study where IV flunixin was used and the study where oral Banamine was used, the medicated horses were removed from their boxes after cessation of treatment and replaced with unmedicated horses. Urine was sampled from all horses 14-21 days after each study.

The two unmedicated horses from the IV study had up to 16 and 21 ng/ml flunixin in their urine, respectively, when tested. The last traces of flunixin were found on Days 3 and 4.

The two unmedicated horses from the oral Banamine study had a maximum of 65 and 78.2 ng/ml flunixin in their urine, respectively. On the last day of urine sampling (14 days after placement in the stall where medicated horses were removed), one of the horses still tested at 8 ng/ml.

In a third study, an unmedicated horse was placed in a box stall between two medicated horses. The untreated horse stabled in between the medicated horses did not excrete flunixin in urine in detectable amounts.

The researchers summed their study up by writing: The result from this study indicates that there is a large risk of contamination after oral as well as IV administration of flunixin. Therefore, we recommend an isolation box for medication of competition horses. Kimberly S. Graetz

*** My comments follow:

No information is given about mode of contamination but the study indicates that some sort of direct contact with the treated horse is involved. The positive test following exposure to the horse treated via injection indicates that the positive test was not due to ingestion of flunixin present in the environment following oral treatment. I suspect that the positive test is a result of contact with the treated horse's excretions, most likely urine.

Note that other drugs may also contaminate the environment (see second paragraph).

I have another source that relates that urinary levels of flunixin peak at 60 ng/ml two hours after injection. After treatment of 1.1 mg/kg daily for four days traces of flunixin were still observed in urine 48 hours after the last dose. The peak pharmacological response is 12 hours after administration and this effect persists for 30 hours.

The threat of chance contamination at a normal AHSA show with stabling is huge since it is very common for a stall to be occupied by two or more horses, often from different stables, in a very short period of time. If the new inhabitant's NSAID of choice happens to be Bute and the former inhabitant was administered Banamine for whatever reason the new occupant stands a very real chance of violating the AHSA Drugs and Medication rules through no fault of their own. What are you going to do? Require people to fill out a form for the new occupant listing all drugs administered to the horse while at the show so that the next person can select the appropriate medication?

To me "no medications" is doing no favor to the horses. Most of the vets I know agree. I know a vet who told me that the number of neurectomies he performed exploded following the first implementation of the Drugs and Medications rule. Also, NSAID's are considered therapeutic when administered at appropriate levels. They combat inflammation and subsequent joint fluid thinning and cartilage destruction. They are NOT pain masking in the true sense at therapeutic levels. OTOH, neurectomies and alcohol blocks do mask pain and are far more destructive and dangerous to both horse and rider since the horse can no longer feel any pain whatsoever.

It is time that the AHSA revisit their permissable levels and make some changes. They need to spend some more time worrying about enacting some sort of realistic Azium rule.


Mar. 11, 2001, 08:32 AM
Chrissy---Thanks for posting the article and for your thoughtful and well stated critique. I would imagine that the vet school researchers followed standard and scientifically defensible methods. It would probably help to convince those that are questioning these results if the study could be repeated by other research facilities, or with a larger sample size.

However these preliminary results certainly should be considered...and if there are those that question the results, they should call for more research, not disregared the results simply out of some general suspicion of researchers and their methods.

NinaL aka Chrissy
Mar. 11, 2001, 11:21 AM
regarding the value of the study. Certainly it should be repeated many more times with different groups, time frames, etc. But it does show that additional research is warranted and that there is most likely the possibility for environmental reasons for positive results.

In the meantime one would hope that the AHSA Drugs and Medication committee is aware of this study and will take appropriate steps even if it leads to an extraordinary rule change.

For the most part I have no problem with the spirit of the medication regulations currently in force for the H/J shows. They do need to be fine-tuned.

OTOH, I AM NOT in favor of the no medication rule currently used by the FEI. I have done some readings regarding the history of the rule and, like most regulations, the enactment of the rule was political in origin and not entirely out of an altruistic desire to protect the horse.


Mar. 11, 2001, 01:12 PM
I posted the article with the question on the AHSA Bulletin Board directly to Dr.Lengel.

I am most interested in his response. While I find it difficult to believe that a horse sniffing urine could actually receive enough banamine to be tested, I certainly have an open mind based on the depth of the article.

I can learn something new every day, and am willing to learn. None of my opinions are carved in stone.

Thank you so much for the trouble to locate the article and reprint it here for all of us. This is truly the value of these BB's to open dialog.

Mar. 11, 2001, 05:01 PM
for the article.To avoid redundancy here let me say I agree with your view point. There has to be an intelligent way to administer medications to help our horses when necessary, but keep safeguards in place to prevent "abusers"..On another note, I shared the article with a co-worker of mine who is a veterinary pharmacist. He saw some of the study was done in The Netherlands,and actually knows the pharmacist who works at that university!!(small world).He is going to e-mail him about the banamine study (he was unaware of this drug characteristic also). When I hear back from him I'll post it.

Mar. 11, 2001, 11:20 PM
I do have friends in high places!!!! Keeping this up for skysmom....

PS--I think she's my friend...LOL

Mar. 12, 2001, 06:14 AM
Snowbird, this isnt smoke and mirrors, it is a FACT. They too are somewhat mystified at the cross contamination. I think we should be able to give certain meds to horses but the stacking and giving of multiple drugs is NOT the way to go. If I could not take any drugs at all I would be bedridden so what good would it do eliminate ALL drugs? Why shouldnt a horse keep going after getting a bit older and a bit stiffer when they clearly WANT to do thier jobs?I see no benefit to pasturing horses that have a full and active life ahead with the help of anti inflamitories or other pain relieving drugs. It is the CHEATER that we need to address, like in so many other aspects of our business where they get an inch and they take 80 miles...(like with the Amateur rule)

Mar. 12, 2001, 06:24 AM
I don't do AHSA shows anymore because I don't give my horse any medication prior to competition and don't have my trainer ride my horse at shows. I feel that I am at a competitive disadvantage because of these practices, so there is no point in spending that kind of money to do rated shows. I will not return to AHSA competition until the amateur division consists of amateur riders mounted on horses suitable for amateurs. Horse shows have become almost obscenely corrupted where the only thing people care about is winning and will do almost anything to get that edge on the competition. It's no wonder our internation team is no longer a powerhouse. People spend the majority of their learning years riding horses that are medicated and professionally ridden, so they don't learn how to deal with problems and truly bring out the best in a less than perfect horse.

Anne FS
Mar. 12, 2001, 10:29 AM
Chrissy, thanks for the information.

<<I know a vet who told me that the number of neurectomies he performed exploded following the first implementation of the Drugs and Medications rule. [snip] OTOH, neurectomies and alcohol blocks do mask pain and are far more destructive and dangerous to both horse and rider since the horse can no longer feel any pain whatsoever.>>

That's so sad to read. Are horse people really this nasty. We definitely have an image problem.

There's why some people want zero-tolerance drug policies, there's why animal rights people want to get rid of domestic animals. Like Jumpinghigh83 said, we need to catch the CHEATERS.

Don't ban the drugs because the cheaters will do something even worse? I see your point but it sticks in my craw to agree with that statement. What does it say about horse people?

I agree that the horsie equivalent of an aspirin is a good thing. It seems to me that these drug policies won't help as they are a surface fix only, they don't change the attitude that led to the problem in the first place. It's like the American and the Colombian talking about all the cocaine coming into the States from Columbia. The American says, "you've got such a bad drug problem." The Columbian says, "Columbians have been chewing coca leaves for centuries. You Americans want more and more drugs, stronger and more often. You insist upon it. You don't want to use a little to make you feel better. You want more and more, for more and more effect. Excuse me, YOU have the very bad drug problem, not us." (Can you tell I used to live in Miami?)

Some horse people want to make their investments (the horse)pay (and pay, and pay, and pay.....). Change here will have to come from within in order to be effective.

How can we make that happen?

Mar. 12, 2001, 11:15 AM
My tongue-in-cheek comment about the Banamine contamination was based on a comment by a previous poster: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>A recent article in The Horse referred to the sensitivity of the ELISA test to Banamine. Traces of Banamine were found in horses not administered the drug but stabled near a horse who had been.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Having not seen the article at that point, I think it was a REASONABLE impression I got that I could be "contaminating" a neighboring horse. Now that the real item has been posted, it adds more intriquing questions.

Mar. 13, 2001, 04:10 AM
The AHSA did catch the CHEATERS[reserpine],but apparently they got big fish and ooops the hearing committee cut the line and let them go.A sporting gesture to be proud of"catch and release"I heard that Nancy Jaffer reported that the cheaters had indeed "walked" because the hearing committee felt that they had given the horses the medication to relieve STRESS.PLEEEEESE.!!!!!!!I hoped that we would hear via Horse Show what the facts are regarding this matter. I had hoped that the rumors would prove to be just that-rumors,but apparently the impossible has happened.It is UNBELIEVABLE. However, for the first time that I can remember the results of a hearing are being reported before anything has been reported by the AHSA-No press releases and NOTHING on the internet from the AHSA.Why are they dragging their feet?-Silence is suspicious-what are they hiding-Do they think that this will just go away?It really STINKS!!!!!!Drugs and Medication you look pretty stupid.

Mar. 13, 2001, 05:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have done some readings regarding the history of the rule and, like most regulations, the enactment of the rule was political in origin and not entirely out of an altruistic desire to protect the horse.

Gasp! You mean regulations can be affected by politics!!! Tell me it ain't so!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif (nothing like spending almost 20 yars working with regulators to sharpen your sense of sarcasm /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

Chrissy - where did you read this? I would be interested in reading the article too. Or lacking that, can you fill us in on a little of the history?

BTW - you were absolutely correct about the bute/banamine thing. While I am quite sure that the amount of banamine that shows up in the "neighbor" horse is trace, and clearly does not provide any therapeutic benefit, as I understand it, the ELISA test is so sensitive that it will detect to the level of parts per billion. It's a wonderful test, but I would like to be sure that our technology doesn't outrun our ability to use it effectively...

Anne FS
Mar. 13, 2001, 05:47 AM
"catch and release"

upperco, that is so funny! AHSA must have fishermen on the hearing committee.

Of course, suppose it had been a school of little ones who got caught? I really think if that had been the case there would've been a big brouhaha and suspensions for all, while patting themselves on the back for standing tough on drug abuse. But oops, we caught the wrong ones....

But I guess the "little ones" aren't using the drugs so much; and that's why they're little ones and not big fish in the industry. Think about that for a minute.

Mar. 13, 2001, 06:17 AM

It is quite possible if there is residual feed/hay around manure/urine, it is quite possible to ingest excreted medications and thereby result in a positive test. What I wonder is if at these low levels measured, one has to asssume that it clearly couldn't have affected performance or soundness. Also, are they using LC for detection? If so, I would absolutely question how many standards they ran, how many calibrations were done, and how often they change their columns, and I would have 20 million more questions, only cause I am a chemist<G>!

Mar. 13, 2001, 09:39 AM
Thank you Jane. These questions also were rumminating in my mind as well. Having worked in a forensic tox labs.

Mar. 13, 2001, 11:55 AM
I posted our question on the BB Issues and Answers for the Drugs and Medication Committee and received this response.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>We have been attempting to obtain an English translation of the original Swedish paper
about the study, and so far have been unable to do so.

The theory that a stall can be contaminated by a horse which has been administered Banamine� and that another horse which occupies the stall might test positive for Banamine� has not been independently confirmed. It is our experience that this is not a practical problem either in research horses used in our administration studies or in the competitive situation. This is likely due to the differences in sensitivity of the drug testing
methodologies used in the Swedish research as compared to the competitive situation.

When we obtain a copy of the Swedish paper, we will review it and determine whether to conduct an independent study to assess the validity of the Swedish results.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mar. 14, 2001, 02:28 PM
Catch and Release!!!!! ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! Sad but true. If a drunk driver kills someone does he get off if he only drank to relieve his/her "stress"??? If someone does illegal drugs and gets arrested can the then plead "stress" and walk???? Come on AHSA..I would like some answers! Maybe your attorneys would care to tackle these really "tough" questions???? This is a DISGUSTING lack of repect for the intelligence of the membership! We are too "dumb" to understand stress..we need the infinite wisdom of the hearing committee to show us that they really didnt intend to "medicate" their horses to alter their performance, they were just relieving their "stress"...Oh PLEASE!

Mar. 14, 2001, 03:30 PM
Congratulations International Horsemens Committee! You have intimidated the establishment and lost the respect of the members who respect not only the letter of the law but the intention. /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Mar. 14, 2001, 09:37 PM
What is that Snowbird?

Mar. 14, 2001, 09:50 PM
SS was the spokesman for a loosely organized group that called themselves the "International Horsemens Committee". A lot of the prestigious people when into a tail spin because Dr. Lengel wanted to tighten the drug rules. There was one who is an outstanding personality and said that if the rule was passed he would have 100 lawsuits for horses he had sold.

I found it very sad, because I wondered who did the pre-purchase for his clients.

They organized and put full page ads in the Chronicle and they all threatened to quit the AHSA if the rule change was passed. The NHJC arranged for them to get $10,000 to finance their campaign against the proposed stricter changes which were recommended by the AHSA Veterinary Committee.

So you can easily recognize how many of these affiliations were bonded.

And, they won! As SS said, something to the effect that now the Drugs and Medications Committee is very cooperative. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif