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AHSA Hearing Committee Results (Reserpine)

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  • AHSA Hearing Committee Results (Reserpine)

    The AHSA has posted the Hearing Committee decisions on all of the supplement/reserpine cases. Here's the link:

    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry
  • Original Poster

    The AHSA has posted the Hearing Committee decisions on all of the supplement/reserpine cases. Here's the link:

    "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


    • #3
      that should end the speculation.

      I think the AHSA made the appropriate decision under the circumstances. I do not know the supplement they were using, but it is possible it was being administered for reasons other than tranquilizing, and the trainers evidently made their case for having been mislead about the ingredients.

      We have heard of this happening in other sports many times, when an athlete takes a (for example) cold medication after being told it is OK, and then testing positive for an illegal substance. Yes, they should be more careful, but poor decisions aren't grounds for punishment, IMHO.

      Also, if the accused hadn't been concerned with using illegal drugs, they wouldn't have gone to the trouble of contacting the manufacturer to ask these questions. It seems they were trying to do the right thing.



      • #4
        I disagree 110%..IF you are responsible for your horses welfare would that include feeding a "supplement" which you have NO IDEA what is contained therein?? They fed the "supplement" to "relax" their horses...So if I relax my horse with reserpine called at ease or calm me down or whatever, I am not culpable becasue I am not aware of the content, but I am aware of the resulting sedative affect? This is a cheap shot at the rest of us who play by the rules and ignorance of the law has never been a solid defense ever that I know of....
        The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


        • #5
          Agree wwith you Jump high. I was watching figure skating on a sports channel: one of the skaters was introduced by the commentator as the person who had been stripped of her World Championship when she tested positive for a substance that was in a cold medicine. Ignorance is not an excuse in other sports, nor should it be in ours.


          • #6
            Not to be cynical, but I bet they contacted the manufacturer to find out if they were going to be busted or not, not was the stuff illegal. Also as the name of the supplement was Temprelax, not Temp-stop-coughing, its a safe assumption that they were trying to get the feisty beasts to RELAX. The AHSA is setting a bit of a precedent here regarding the intent of individuals to use calming agents the way I see it. This ruling says its okay to try, just get your stuff tested in America before you whip it out at a show. (My interpretation anyway). By the way, two of the offending horses are chestnuts and we all know NOTHING calms those buggers down.


            • #7
              I agree with you, Laurie, though I doubt this will end the speculation.


              • #8
                According to the AHSA report the supplement involved was Tempralax
                When I looked up Tempralax I got the following

                "Advanced nutritional technology maintaining a calm approach to training and competitions

                Constant travelling, changes of stabling and the environment of competitions, ensure that performance horses are subjected to repetitive competition stress

                All horses, especially those destined for competitions, are exposed to stressful situations when in training or competing. Within limits, these situations ensure an adaptive response, which means that the next time the same situation arises, the horse will not find the situation so stressful.

                However, some horses, especially those which have temperamental characters, experience great difficulty adapting to various stages of training, new surroundings, transport, or being in groups of horses, without becoming excitable and difficult to control.

                It is essential that the horse's approach to work is calm and concentrated in order that training work and competition results progress satisfactorily.

                Constant travelling, changes of environment, nocturnal competitions and so on ensure that performance horses are subjected to repetitive competition stress. Those which react adversely cannot, because of lack of concentration and stress-induced fatigue, give the results required of them.

                N.A.F. has responded to this problem by developing a new generation magnesium-based compound in liquid form, easy to use and very effective.

                Simply administer the required dosage (the dosage can be tailored to the individual horse) 4.5 to 5 hours before effort, orally, by syringe.

                N.A.F. Tempralax is currently considered by many leading riders to be the ideal solution when stress-induced situations are likely to affect the per-formance of a particular horse during training or competition.

                N.A.F. Tempralax contains no substances considered by the F.E.I. or the Jockey Club as doping, and does in no way diminish the mental or physical capacity of the horse.

                Containing extracts of Hops, Valerian, Hypericum, Passiflora, Papaver,

                Magnesium Sulphate, Tryptophan.

                Hops, Valerian, Hypericum, Passiflora, Papaver, Magnesium,

                Ascorbic Acid, Tryptophan."

                Now- first of all - that list shows Valerian - listed on the Drugs & Meds sheet as verboten.

                Second - if this is intended to "calm" a horse then doesn't that violate rule 410.1.a
                "For purposes of this rule, a forbidden substance is: Any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, local anesthetic, psychotropic (mood and/or behavior altering) substance, or drug which might affect the performance of a horse and/or pony (stimulants and/or depressants are defined as substances which stimulate or depress the cardiovascular, respiratory or central nervous systems), or any metabolite and/or analogue of any such substance or drug, except as expressly permitted by this rule."?

                In the product literature the instructions for use say in part "starting with 25 ml 1 to 3 hours before competition and changing to more or less as necessary. " - so it is expressly aimed for competing.

                Am I missing something here?
                Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                • #9
                  How long does it take to have reserpine completely out of the horse's system, if given?

                  Of course in this case it was a quieting supplement, but I was under the impression that it takes a while... does anyone know??


                  • #10
                    Just let one of us "nobodies" try this trick and see how long we are set down for and fined god knows how many dollars...This boarders on shamelessly protecting the 3% that clearly not only run the industry but control the policing of it as well.
                    The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


                    • #11
                      I think they were simply looking for the competetive edge. If not all of them, one, I know for certain.

                      I also know a horse in that trainer's barn who wound up dead at a very big vet clinic after it had for "unknown reasons foundered and had a totally depressed immune system". That is fact, not speculation.

                      Also fact, the owner hasn't a CLUE why it happened.

                      If you have been reading these drug threads, you may remember a long post from Chrissy documenting (fact - from vet books and other real sources) the long term effects of Azium abuse - currently in vogue as it supposedly calms down horses. The side effected she The quote above is EXACTLY what she found to be the side effect of azium.

                      And they say they didn't know? Yeah, sure.

                      And I am 10 years old....

                      [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
                      co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


                      • #12
                        Valerian -- Illegal

                        Giving anything to a horse for the purpose of affecting his performance --- Ilegal.

                        So how do these biggies skate by using a drug designed to sedate a horse?

                        I especially liked that part about the one horse which was sharing a stall with the drugged horse. GEEZE -- can't these trainers even get each horse its own stall???????

                        Also, NO mention was made about the amount of reserpine in this "herbal supplement" compared to the amount found in these horse's systems..... Years ago in California, a horse was found to have caffeine in its system. Owner said she let her horse drink a little Coke from her can that morning. Drug levels determined that she would have had to let her horse drink 3 cases of Coke that morning to get the same level of caffeine in its system.....

                        Sad part is: The trainers drug the horses and it is the owners (who probably had NO IDEA what their trainers were doing) who have to give back the money/prizes. Now THAT really punishes the trainers........ NOT. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]
                        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                        Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                        • #13
                          SGray -

                          I found it interesting that the list of ingredients in Tempralax not only included Valerian, an illegal substance as per the AHSA, but also trpytophan. Hum...

                          In humans, tryptophan is metabolized to a substance with significant sedative effects on our central nervous system - i.e. brain. In fact, those of us who eat a hearty traditional Thanksgiving dinner experience this effect. Turkey has a very high content of tryptophan. As such, the sleepiness that we experience after the big Thanksgiving dinner is not only due to having very full bellies, but also is due to the direct sedative effect of tryptophan on our brain.

                          Two things to track down on tryptophan as it pertains to this Temperelax issue are as follows:

                          1) Do horse metabolize tryptophan to a compound with similar sedative effects? Many mammalian species do experience a sedative effect from tryptophan, so I suspect horses would as well, but I do not know this for a fact.

                          2) Is tryptophan banned by the AHSA? Due to a computer clitch today I cannot get on to the AHSA website to check.

                          It is also noteworthy that "hops" are listed as an ingredient in Tempralax. While not as well-established as the case for tryptophan, hops are now being studied as possible sedative agents in human medicine.


                          This list of ingredients, and their known or possible central nervous system effects, makes the case for ignorance less defensible.

                          [This message was edited by Whistlejacket on Mar. 15, 2001 at 02:15 PM.]


                          • #14

                            well, yeah, I noted the tryptophan but when I went to the list of stated illegal susbstances I did not see it listed (kind of strange - I expected to see it there)
                            Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                            The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                            • #15
                              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> N.A.F. Tempralax contains no substances considered by the F.E.I. (emphasis added) or the Jockey Club as doping, and does in no way diminish the mental or physical capacity of the horse. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                              I find this statement VERY intriguing, if correct... I mean the FEI does have a zero tolerance policy, right? So if that is the case, how exactly do you resolve this issue? What exactly is allowed under what I previously considered to be a ZERO tolerance policy? And if the zero tolerance is not exactly zero tolerance, then is it considered a level playing field?
                              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                              • #16
                                25 years ago, when the REAL reserpine hearings were going on, the AHSA didn't hesitate a nanosecond to set down both Rodney and Katie (among others); both of these riders were also to have gone on the USET tour that summer (1978) but because of these developments, couldn't go.

                                If these top professionals could be set down back then, with the added pressure from the USET and the owners regarding the European tour, why would the AHSA back down now, if they didn't feel there was some merit to their arguments? They also didn't exhonerate them. They censured the trainers. If they wanted to let them skate, they wouldn't have done that either. And what of McClain's problems last year? He is another big name that wasn't allowed off just because of stature, and there were some serious questions as to what happened.

                                These trainers were told that the drug was legal under FEI rules, and that information was substantiated by European trainers who used it, and the manufacturer. I don't know their reasons for administering it, and neither does anyone else here, which is why I THEORIZED that there might be other reasons.

                                I do not think the AHSA is intimidated at all by WHO they are catching - if anything, they consider themselves omnipotent. So I just don't buy the argument that it was because these trainers were big shots as opposed to the "little guy."



                                • #17
                                  Sorry. I do not buy one single word. Having read their dfense paper, which is being passed around the horse show, I am very upset.
                                  Temperlex is used to change horses performance. Temperlex was sold in gigantic quantities by one of those poor, honest trainers. He made large amounts of money by selling it and guarenteeing it was untestable.
                                  Temperlex contains Valarian which is not permitted.
                                  I do not know who was on the hearing committee but they should be ashamed. Dr Lengel and Ned Bonny should be ashamed. Alan Balch should be ashamed.
                                  Every person who ever served their time looks like a fool.The Drug committee is a joke.
                                  No wonder te International Olympic Committee looks at us like idiots, and maybe the should be the NGB if this is what goes on.


                                  • #18
                                    would the AHSA cave on this one?

                                    With the exception of Margie, the others are players, but maybe not the most major ones. I don't see any reason for this to be a political thing. Again, the AHSA is not afraid of these people. They know they are the only game in town and that these people will be back to pay their big bucks to show at AHSA shows again if they were set down, so it just doesn't make sense to me.

                                    By the way, I'm NOT advocating tranquilizing horses. I DO believe in therapeutic amounts of certain drugs for horses that pound away week after week, or for older horses with a few aches and pains. I think that is FAR preferable to injecting joints and nerving, procedures that seem to be A-OK with the drug purists that post here. If these procedures aren't performance enhancing, and more dangerous, I don't know what is. And I don't include Azium in the drugs I believe in. We were very lucky when we used to use it, before the horrible consequences were known.



                                    • #19
                                      lauriep - I must respectfully disagree with a comment in one of your previous posts:

                                      <We have heard of this happening in other sports many times, when an athlete takes a [for example) cold medication after being told it is OK, and then testing positive for an illegal substance. Yes, they should be more careful, but poor decisions aren't grounds for punishment, IMHO.>

                                      Humm...I disagree with this comment. Let me see if I can explain my thoughts...

                                      If I recall correctly, in this past summer's Olympic Games wasn't a Romanian female gymnast stripped of her gold medal in the "all-around" competition because of inadvertently taking a banned substance in a cold medication authorized by the team physician? I believe that she had to relinquish her medal was even though her intent, by all reports, was innocent, and the medication had been approved by the Romanian team physician.

                                      What I take from this episode, is that as far as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is concerned, there is a zero-tolerence policy regarding banned substance. NO EXCUSES. PERIOD.

                                      So should equine sports be any difference...i.e. held to a lesser standard of accountability with a more permissive environment for accepting the excuse of "I just did not know"?

                                      I find this possibility particularly thought-provoking in the context of the recent discussions of the AHSA vs the USET in goverance of international equestrian events. Whichever body ultimately ends up "in charge" of international competitions, I hope that their standard of accountability is no less than that of the IOC, and does not become more "permissive" at the "lesser" competitions.

                                      Since I don't know all the details/people involved, I cannot comment on whether or not the AHSA's ruling in the case was influenced by the "Big Names" whose actions were being evaluated. I simply don't know, and as such, choose not to speculate.

                                      I am very concerned however that this ruling by the AHSA to some extent condones a lack of accountability for those individuals responsible for the welfare of the equine athletes. IMHO this is a worrisome precedent.

                                      If trainers and equestrian athletes want the privilege and respect in our society of being considered true professionals (such as lawyers, doctors, etc.), than they must accept and abide by the responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with this elevated position. Specifically...if something "happens on your watch", you are responsible. No excuses. Period.

                                      (As you can tell from the above, I have...err...a strong opinion on this topic, but this is in no way meant as a personal attack on you or your opinions [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img])


                                      • #20
                                        Whistlejacket, I'm confused... it sounds like you think that if the trainers in question relinquished their awards (like the Romanian gymnast in Sydney) that this would be suitable punishment.

                                        But by my reading, that is exactly what the AHSA did. All prizes, monies and awards must be returned. To me that is the same as giving back the medal... The only difference here is that RIDERS/TRAINERS do not win the money or awards - the horses do. So those that own the horses must return the prizes/monies/awards.

                                        Because our sport is different, and there are multiple partners involved, the trainers have also been censured.

                                        But if you think that an acceptable punishment would be the same as what was handed out in the Olympics, what additional punishment would you hand out to the trainers that would create parity with the Sydney decision?
                                        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.