The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) approved three important new medication rules for show horses, which will be effective on September 1, 2017.
First, starting September 1, 2017, all competitors in USEF shows will be required to file a medication report if their horse has received MPA, commonly referred to as Depo-Provera®, within 90 days prior to the start of a competition. Medication forms will be available to competitors online at www.usef.org .
DR. RAMEY NOTES: This is great news. MPA was initially used in an attempt to control the heat cycle in mares. Most people are afraid that mares will not perform well when they are in head – and embarrass everyone in the process. MPA – which is a long-acting medication used mostly in human women for both birth control and hormone replacement therapy – has been shown to have no effects on the horse’s heat cycle. Still, some people persisted in saying that it had “some” effect, mostly in altering behavior (which is banned by the USEF anyway). With this ruling, the use should be effectively ended in horses. Good riddance.
Second, injectable magnesium sulfate has been another misused substance in the show world, and one that’s actually quite dangerous. Used liberally as a calming agent, the Board approved the addition of this medication as a US Equestrian forbidden substance to be implemented as soon as possible. Furthermore, possession of injectable magnesium sulfate on competition grounds will be prohibited.
DR. RAMEY NOTES: Good riddance. It’s dangerous, and likely ineffective.
Finally, in response to a lot of requests, the Equine Drugs & Medications Department, at the request of the Board, is analyzing the ability to allow the controlled use of pergolide mesylate during competition. An announcement there is expected very soon.
DR. RAMEY NOTES: Finally.