The American Quarter Horse Association drug testing process is implemented at every AQHA world championship show and has protected the welfare of the horse and integrity of competition for more than 40 years. The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission has implemented rules and sanctions for the Association and members to follow, with drug testing being one of those.
“AQHA began drug testing in 1973 and was among the first, if not the first, equine breed association to do so,” said AQHA Chief Show Officer Pete Kyle. “Our drug-testing program is designed to ensure that horses competing in AQHA-sanctioned competitions are doing so in a manner that will promote the safety and well-being of all horses competing and ensure the enforcement of fair and equitable rules and procedures.”
“Members often have questions about the selection of the exhibitor numbers that are randomly selected for drug-testing process at the AQHA world shows,” Kyle added.
Every world champion is tested for the use of forbidden substances at the AQHA world championship shows.
All other drug tests for a respective class are randomly predetermined before draws are assigned. When entries are received, months before a show, a computer program randomly selects draw numbers from the list of entry numbers. This is done in an effort to remain impartial and to protect exhibitors.
It is understood that certain medications in responsible dosages align with the mission of AQHA animal welfare policies; however, they must be in accordance with AQHA rules. There are two resources at members’ disposal, the AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations and the Therapeutic Medication Hotline (1-800-633-2472), staffed by USEF representatives.
The drug testing process ensures that the American Quarter Horse is treated humanely, with dignity, respect and compassion at all times, which is a tenet of the Association’s mission statement.
For any questions regarding the drug testing process, please refer to the AQHA Handbook(VIO300 – VIO 305, pages 40-41) or contact AQHA.
For more information on AQHA world shows, visit www.aqha.com/shows.