Beginning January 1, 2020, albuterol will be considered a prohibited substance per AQHA Rule VIO401. Albuterol is a selective beta-2 adrenergic agonist that has similar systemic effects as Clenbuterol, such as increasing lean muscle mass.
Earlier this year, the American Racing Commissioners International implemented a no allowable limit of detection for albuterol in American Quarter Horse racehorses. To establish consistency across disciplines, albuterol was added to the list of prohibited substances to prevent it from becoming an emerging problem in our show horses.
With this change in classification, albuterol is no longer reportable on a medication report form. Therefore, horses, at all AQHA shows, including those competing at AQHA championship shows, must be clear of albuterol on or before January 1st. To avoid a positive test, AQHA is recommending a minimum 60-day withdrawal time.
The penalties for positive albuterol tests are as follows:
First Offense = $2,500 fine, disqualification of horse and 90-day suspension of responsible party.
Second Offense = $5,000 fine, disqualification of horse and one-year suspension of responsible party.
Third Offense = $10,000 fine, disqualification of horse and five-year suspension of responsible party.
The penalties referenced above also apply to positive tests of other prohibited drugs.
A bronchodilator, albuterol, is a legitimate and valuable medication used by veterinarians to treat horses with breathing difficulties when using a nebulizer. When injected, albuterol has the ability to act as a beta-2 adrenergic agonist to increase lean muscle mass in equines.
Similarly to Clenbuterol, illicit albuterol usage has been linked to the racing industry. However, regardless of discipline, its usage is prohibited whether on the racetrack or in the show arena in efforts to protect the welfare and integrity of the American Quarter Horse.
The health and well-being of the American Quarter Horse is AQHA’s utmost concern. In accordance with AQHA’s mission statement, the American Quarter Horse shall be treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times. It is the goal of AQHA to educate members and non-members on this issue.
At its July meeting, the AQHA Executive Committee voted to add albuterol to the list of prohibited drugs, per AQHA Rule VIO401.
For more information on AQHA’s rules related to prohibited drugs or substances, visit www.aqha.com.
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