This was a leaflet that was given out at BETA, and, given recent dramatic shenanigans in our sport, prohibited substances are definitely something we should all bear in mind.
Here are the main points:
There are 2 main categories of substances within the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR):
These have been deemed by the FEI to have no legitimate use in equine medicine and/or have a high potential for abuse such as human anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and nervous system stimulants.
*Controlled medication substances
An exhaustive list of medication that is prohibited in competition and made up of all known substances recognised as therapeutic and/or commonly used but with the potential to enhance performance at certain levels. Some examples are anti-inflammatories, local anaethetics, cough suppressants and other commonly and uncommonly used medications. Clearly, substances on this list might also enhance performance, depending on the timing and the size of the dose.
The FEI’s List of prohibited substances is here and can be revised and updated at any time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the page.
Also be aware of NOPS (Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances), defined as “either naturally present within certain feed ingredients or that occur as a result of inadvertent cross-contamination during processing, and that are listed in the BETA NOPS appendices.”
The NOPS currently listed are: caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, morphine, hyoscine, hordenine and atropine.
Be aware that prohibited substances can therefore be present in a wide range of items, including:
Food such as cocoa, chocolate, bakery products, confectionary and biscuits.
Drinks such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks with caffeine.
Feedstuffs such as feeds comprised of food by-products, germinating barley, canary reed grass and some herbs, including valerian.
Reducing the Risk: key points
Owners and riders should understand the supply chain in their horses’ diets.
Make sure everyone on the yard understands the possible sources of contamination and how to avoid them.
Wash hands thoroughly after treating a horse – or wear a pair of disposable latex gloves.
Stable staff should declare any medication they are taking in case extra precautions are necessary.
Keep standards high: clean and disinfect the stable, manger and water bowls before the arrival of a new horse, and when using temporary stabling away from home.
Empty and decontaminate the horsebox/trailer after every journey.
Give horses on treatment their own box – try not to share.
Avoid sharing tack or equipment between horses.
Do not give tidbits of human food to your horse. Never eat or drink in the stable.
Be extra vigilant at competitions.
Buy feed or supplements with the BETA NOPS logo on the packaging.
Keep labels and delivery notes which state the batch numbers of any feed bought. (This information will prove invaluable in tracing the source should a problem arise.)
Take samples of feed with the same batch number on delivery and keep it for two months after consumption – just in case of any investigation.
Lock the feed store when not in use.
Do not keep first aid and grooming kits in the feed room.
Check withdrawal periods with your vet.
Take care when using powder forms of medication during treatment because this may be more prone to spreading and contaminating the surrounding environment.
Do not use homemade remedies or unknown substances or blends.
Keep all medications locked in a secure first aid box on the yard. Ideally, each horse should have its own kit.
Keep a detailed record of any medication or treatment prescribed in a day book or diary.
Clean any mangers or feed buckets used to administer medication thoroughly after use. Ideally, avoid using a fixed manger for this purpose.
Avoid using the same stirrer to mix feeds, particularly when one horse is given medication in its feed.
(Another tip: have a distinctive colour of bucket set aside for medications such as bute, so that it is only ever mixed and fed in that colour bucket. Bute is notorious for sticking to stirrers and buckets, and cross-contaminating.)