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Chronicle report on USEF Town Hall Meeting in Wellington

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  • #81
    Who else is on this taskforce? Left up to Bill and Geoff, this will swept under the carpet, IMO.

    Comment


    • #82
      Originally posted by pds View Post
      And lets not forget those stable horses off site while showing like many do in Ocala or Wellington or trailer in.

      I have been following this topic since well before the "big noisy incident" and I agree, simply establishing a 12 hr rule is really not any more enforceable than what we have now.

      What ever changes are made, I think they need to include the following;

      1. Increased testing along with harsher penalties for drug/medications infractions. Craft it so that first offense in more than a slap on the wrist and then escalate penalties up to banning from association for third offense within a ten year period.

      2. Establish extreme limitations (zero tolerance on most substances and IV) on what can be administered to a registered to compete horse/pony while on show grounds.

      3. Partner with AAVSB (American Assoc. of Veterinary State Boards) so that when offending Vets are discovered, charges are brought up so that vet (if found guilty) is fined. I would escalate this so that third offense they lose their license. Maybe something like this would help stop certain vets from developing "cocktail mixes" and the handing out of controlled substances to trainers like candy.

      4. Give Vets an incentive to input medical data into a searchable database so that potential buyers of a horse can see what meds. have been being administered. Kinda like what Car Fax does on cars.

      5. Change the course design and judging criteria as someone stated earlier in this thread.
      Has anyone read the proequest article? It sounded pretty skeptical, but it also said something about testing for first through third places - can anyone verify this? I wish I could quote the paragraph from the article but I'm on my phone. It sounded very bitter, but it was basically "USEF says they WILL test first through third..."

      Was there any mention of testing top three in classes?

      Comment


      • #83
        Originally posted by Angelico View Post
        I agree. How do we counter this, though? The best horses will always cost more, as they should. Is there a way we can rearrange the sport to discourage the kiddos and ammies from biting off more than they can chew?
        One of the virtues of placing a horse that is 'too good' for the client is that the trainer gets sole ride for a while. Price is higher; commission is higher; trainer gets more fees for riding the horse in shows; and the client is stuck with extra training to get horse dulled down for client, and extra lessons to learn to ride said horse. In short, this is a gravy train for a trainer.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire

        Comment


        • #84
          This probably wouldn't work, but:

          The USEF baselines for drug presence and metabolites could be determined for 12 hr. before competition. If a horse owner believed that his/her horse had a different metabolism, give them the option of determining an individual baseline for that horse which would be filed with the USEF. They are beginning to do that with human athletes, and the FEI made such a procedure available at the Olympics for horses.

          But in order to get a realistic baseline, the horse would have test drug free and then injected 12 hours before being tested again.
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
          Thread killer Extraordinaire

          Comment


          • #85
            Originally posted by lrp1106 View Post
            Has anyone read the proequest article? It sounded pretty skeptical, but it also said something about testing for first through third places - can anyone verify this? I wish I could quote the paragraph from the article but I'm on my phone. It sounded very bitter, but it was basically "USEF says they WILL test first through third..."

            Was there any mention of testing top three in classes?

            That would be interesting to know. While testing EVERY top 3 horse would be cost prohibitive and mostly insane, I do believe that the USEF can borrow a page from racing's book here.

            I think a few divisions should be randomly selected for testing of the winners/top placing horses. Let's face it, the people who cheat AND win are the people most likely to be emulated if they continue to go unpunished. If yer cheatin' and not winning, yer doin' it wrong. But if you test random horses and random winners, there is no argument for bias/being picked out because of who you are/perceptions (correct/incorrect) about your training methods. You won, you are up. Too bad so sad, no bias there.

            It would also say something to EVERYONE if the winners were clean. Right now the perception of a great many people is that may not be the case. Testing winners sounds like something that is good for the horse, the trainers of winning horses and the public face of the industry.
            Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

            Comment


            • #86
              Originally posted by lrp1106 View Post
              Has anyone read the proequest article? It sounded pretty skeptical, but it also said something about testing for first through third places - can anyone verify this? I wish I could quote the paragraph from the article but I'm on my phone. It sounded very bitter, but it was basically "USEF says they WILL test first through third..."

              Was there any mention of testing top three in classes?
              Yes, an audience member brought it up, and it was very briefly discussed as an "It's an idea that we're considering."
              Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.

              Comment


              • #87
                Even if it's not cost effective to test first through third at every class in every show, you could for example promise to test all the AA shows or all the very most prestigious shows, and perhaps to randomly test one of first through third in every class and guarantee that the division champions are always tested.

                Lots of ways to play with the algorithm to ensure that the most admired and most decorated horses in our sport have been tested during the year.
                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                Comment


                • #88

                  Originally posted by MHM View Post
                  Because the FEI deals with the governance of horse sports at the highest levels. It is not set up to worry about what's best for a 20+ year old pony doing the short stirrup classes, or the older schoolmaster teaching the ropes to the umpteenth person starting out in the 2'6" hunter division.

                  Those animals can benefit from the responsible use of a little Bute or the like, just as I can benefit from the occasional Advil. Could I get through the day without it? Yes, but I will be more comfortable with it. Ditto for those horses.
                  Like here you mean where our rules are to FEI standards. To be fair, I'm actually not anti bute. As in used responsibly. I am sick of Dex being used just because. The amount of horses with "hives" is quite shocking. Aches and pains for older horses, yeah I get that. The other stuff, it's as if people just don't feel right if they aren't giving something. As far as lunging to crippledom, at some point surely horses learn their job. I just don't understand why the heavy lunging. Do horses not get ridden everyday? Are they that crazy? Not enough riders that don't show? What?

                  Terri
                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Someone pointed out that these proposals apply to all divisions, and that is of course true. The question was about dressage; I believe that most dressage and most eventing riders could tolerate even an FEI no foreign substances rule with little angst. In dressage in particular, there is not really any room for a horse that needs NSAIDs or the like - fluidity of movement is built into your score too completely. The main loss would be the occasional use of dex for actual hives.

                    (And, if it takes making dex completely forbidden to stop its abuse in the hunter division, I personally am all for that. The use of dex in hunters disgusts me... the worst case of collective and highly destructive placebo effect that I have seen in some time.)

                    I have no idea what the Saddle Horse and Arabian divisions have as their regular practices. In general, though, I stand by my contention that for the image of our sport, a horse that needs a needle less than 12 hours before competing probably should either scratch or be explicitly cleared by a vet.

                    No one would tolerate a parent giving her kids a performance-enabling injection a few hours before the big test at school, even if it was 'just vitamins'.
                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                      Someone pointed out that these proposals apply to all divisions, and that is of course true. The question was about dressage; I believe that most dressage and most eventing riders could tolerate an FEI no foreign substances rule with little angst. In dressage in particular, there is not really any room for a horse that needs NSAIDs or the like - fluidity of movement is built into your score too completely. The main loss would be the occasional use of dex for actual hives.
                      Dressage rider and competitor, and former barn manager for FEI trainers chiming in here....and I definitely disagree. I DON'T think prepping is as common in dressage as in h/j, but it definitely still happens.

                      Bute is very, very commonly used, especially on schoolmaster types. Because the quality of the gaits is the basis for every movement's score, I think this is an even bigger issue than when we see it in the h/j ring. I have no moral issue with giving a gram of bute to a horse who needs it for comfort; but that horse will show more fluidity and less stiffness, and his gaits score will be higher because of it. And yes, people do use bute for that express reason (when at home, a day off would suffice).

                      Calming agents are also used (although I'd guess it's less often than in the hunter ring). I've personally witnessed L-tryptophan and dex being given specifically for that purpose.

                      ETA: fwiw, you won't see the LTD used on dressage horses in lieu of calming agents, if they're completely outlawed. In dressage, you need a calm mind and sharp movement - LTD doesn't offer that.

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        The "test the top 3" is all well and good, except that most of the drugs these people are using are NOT testable.

                        I think, as someone else said, the best thing to do would be PUNISH those horses that go around course looking half dead and reward those that have some spark. Honestly, the sleepy horses would be much, much less suited for the hunt field than the slightly hot, slightly misbehaving ones. I'd rather have a little "go" when coming to a massive fence with a drop on the other side.

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                          The "test the top 3" is all well and good, except that most of the drugs these people are using are NOT testable.
                          You know, they are not. Until they are. CG, anyone?

                          It's kind of a given that in any sport, the testers are always playing catch up with the more ... creative ... types. That's not an excuse to slack off on testing. It's also not an excuse to avoid looking for the root cause (rewarding the too quiet hunter). It's almost like one has nothing to do with the other.
                          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                          Comment


                          • #93
                            Hey y'all - The USEF Network now has made available the videos from the first Town Hall meeting on D&M which took place at WEF.

                            Find them here: http://usefnetwork.com/featured/USEFTownHallMeetings/

                            I'm about to sit down for dinner & have a look-see, but I figured some of you would want to know. Back later.
                            "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              Okay, my favorite quote so far came from Billy Moroney when he said, 'Humane Society, PETA, Congress.' Flawless grouping of similar organizations!
                              *****
                              You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                My current thought is how USEF's entire pro-NSAIDs argument has been rendered irrelevant in light of events over the past few days *since* the WEF Town Hall. USEF (or rather, Mr. Moroney for USHJA I think) argued that since "our horses are pets" we can get away with using bute/banamine on our show horses, whereas those substances are banned on Planet FEI b/c horses over there go into the food chain and the meat gets tested.

                                Well, don't blink, ladies and gentlemen, but we just legalized horse slaughter in the USA, and our horses will now be going into that same food chain (like they ever weren't), so it may yet be that a zero tolerance rule is going to HAVE to be put in place. I don't think it's going to be avoidable, at some point in the very near future.
                                "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  Originally posted by War Admiral View Post
                                  My current thought is how USEF's entire pro-NSAIDs argument has been rendered irrelevant in light of events over the past few days *since* the WEF Town Hall. USEF (or rather, Mr. Moroney for USHJA I think) argued that since "our horses are pets" we can get away with using bute/banamine on our show horses, whereas those substances are banned on Planet FEI b/c horses over there go into the food chain and the meat gets tested.

                                  Well, don't blink, ladies and gentlemen, but we just legalized horse slaughter in the USA, and our horses will now be going into that same food chain (like they ever weren't), so it may yet be that a zero tolerance rule is going to HAVE to be put in place. I don't think it's going to be avoidable, at some point in the very near future.
                                  Do they use bute and furacin etc. on non-competing horses in the more FEI-governed nations? If so, then there should be no correlation between drug regulations for competition and consumption. Unless the only horses that get eaten have FEI passports. Or am I missing something here? This is quite possible as I just got out of a lab where vast quantities of diethyl ether were used.
                                  The Evil Chem Prof

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    No, the issue is what's permissible in horse *meat*. Bute is absolutely banned in horsemeat for human consumption under European (and I believe Canadian but please correct me if I'm wrong) law. That's what Mr. Moroney claims was the causation behind the FEI zero tolerance rule.
                                    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

                                    Comment


                                    • #98
                                      I realize that bute is banned in horsemeat for human consumption, but I fail to understand Mr. Moroney's connecting that and the FEI zero-tolerance rule. Unless the only horses that are consumed competed under FEI drug rules. Or the FEI drug rules apply to all horses, even non-competing ones. Or bute is banned in Europe. This wouldn't be the first time I've failed to understand something he's said though...

                                      Say someone in Europe has a horse that has never competed because it's had some lameness issues, the owner gave it bute for this issues (this assumes that bute is legal to give non-competing horses), but has now given up on the horse and sells it to the local butcher or whatever. How is the FEI zero-tolerance policy going to help prevent that horse from entering the human food chain? I can certainly see that the ban on bute for horsemeat would help here, but not the FEI rule.
                                      The Evil Chem Prof

                                      Comment


                                      • #99
                                        Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                        Lots of ways to play with the algorithm to ensure that the most admired and most decorated horses in our sport have been tested during the year.
                                        But when we discussed this Test The Winners option, some COTHers objected because they felt all horses, not just the best ones, deserved protection.

                                        FWIW, I think testing the winners and letting it be known that that was going to happen would be most cost-effective way to protect the greatest number of horses.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                          Even if it's not cost effective to test first through third at every class in every show, you could for example promise to test all the AA shows or all the very most prestigious shows, and perhaps to randomly test one of first through third in every class and guarantee that the division champions are always tested.

                                          Lots of ways to play with the algorithm to ensure that the most admired and most decorated horses in our sport have been tested during the year.
                                          That's essentially what happens today.
                                          In an area in the NE that primarily runs 1 day C and B shows no drug testing took place for 10-15 years.
                                          Zone divisions have some prestige but they are all C rated and run at all levels of shows. In practice what happened is if a trainer might be using drugs he/she just avoided A AA shows and happily won their Zone, qualified for Zone finals with no worries.
                                          For testing to be effective it needs to cover all types of rated shows and all divisions although it's not possible to test every division at every show.

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