On March 13, the U.S. Equestrian Federation will conduct a public workshop on the use of medroxyprogesterone acetate, often referred to as Depo-Provera®, on competition horses. The workshop will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
The purpose of the workshop is to address concerns that have been voiced regarding the efficacy, safety and use of this substance in competition horses. As such, the USEF is considering whether to make any changes to the rules regarding the use of this substance at USEF-licensed competitions. Prior to making any decision, and consistent with its goals of transparency and good governance, the federation will openly review the science and practices regarding Depo-Provera®.
The USEF will provide members, stakeholders and industry experts two ways to participate. The first will be the moderated, public workshop. An expert panel will hear presentations from the membership, as well as industry experts, prior to making a report to the board of directors at the mid-year meeting.
Second, the USEF will accept written comments, which must be received no later than one week following the public workshop. Comments may be submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To participate in the open workshop, attendees must register prior to attending by emailing email@example.com. In order to provide adequate space, only registered attendees (including press) will be permitted. If you are interested in presenting, you will be required to identify your area of focus (e.g. trainer, veterinarian, owner, competitor, manufacturer, scientist) and provide a short description of what topics or concerns your comments will address. Presentation times will be limited and strictly enforced for all presenters. In the event that more presenters register than time will permit, presenters will be selected by the expert panel to ensure a sufficient diversity of topics are covered.
Due to their specific expertise, the following presenters have accepted an invitation by USEF to participate:
- Dr. Stephen Schumacher, DVM, chief administrator of the USEF Drugs and Medications Program
- Dr. Patrick McCue, DVM, Ph.D., director of the equine reproduction laboratory at Colorado State University
- Dr. Jim Heird, Ph.D., Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair, and executive professor and coordinator of the equine initiative at Texas A&M University
- Mary Babick, USHJA president
A full agenda will be published one week prior to the meeting, which will include presentation times.
The USEF expert panel will not take questions from the floor during the public workshop. The panel may ask questions to the presenters, which will not affect their allotted presentation time. The panel will also not comment or offer immediate opinions on the presentations. Rather, the body of evidence presented, along with subsequent written comments submitted to the USEF, will be reviewed as a whole following the close of the comment period and will provide the basis for the panel’s non-binding recommendation to the board of directors.
For those members unable to attend, the public workshop will be live streamed on the USEF Network. Although USEF membership is not required to attend in person, membership is necessary to access the live stream.
The Chronicle of the Horse has investigated the use of medroxyprogesterone and altrenogest (Regu-Mate) in the show ring, and a full-length article will be forthcoming in the Feb. 27 issue. This article will also be available online.