To Finish Is To Win

American Endurance
Ride Conference

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AERC Prohibited Substance Testing Policy

Revised May 2013

Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for the implementation of AERC Rule 13 on Prohibited Substances.  It is not intended to alter or supersede Rule 13 in any way.  It is intended to clarify how testing for Prohibited Substances will be accomplished in an effective and defensible manner.

Administration. The testing for Prohibited Substances shall be supervised by a Drug Testing Subcommittee of the Veterinary Committee with consultation as necessary from the Legal Committee.  The Drug Testing Subcommittee shall be composed of the Chair of the Drug Testing Subcommittee, along with two other members of the Veterinary Committee and the Chair of the Veterinary Committee.   The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will provide testing services for AERC rides, with the exception of rides in California and rides in Canada sanctioned by Equine Canada.  (Testing by USEF for rides in California and for rides in Canada sanctioned by Equine Canada is unnecessary because mandatory drug testing programs by other agencies than the AERC are already in place for those rides.)  Funding for the USEF drug testing program will be based on an annual contract with USEF and will be provided for by rider drug testing fees of $3.00 for each starting rider.

Selection of Rides for Testing by USEF. USEF shall select for each ride season, with the advice of the Veterinary Committee and the AERC Executive Director, one ride from each region except the West, Pacific Southwest and Southwest regions.  An additional ride will be selected from the combined area of the Southwest region and the State of Nevada.  At least one additional ride from any region will be tested for Prohibited Substances.  The identity of rides to be tested shall be kept as confidential as possible.   USEF shall also test equines at the AERC National Championship.

Selection of Equines for Testing by USEF. In each ride tested by USEF, the USEF appointed testing veterinarian and technician (“USEF testers”) shall collect blood and/or urine samples from sixteen equines.  If less than sixteen equines are entered in the ride, USEF only needs to test the number of equines entered.  The equines shall be selected for testing in a non-directed manner representative of all of the equines competing, whether finishing in the top, middle, or end placings, or even finishing at all.   It is recommended but not required that the USEF testers test the first place equine in at least one distance of the event.  Horses pre- selected for testing that are eliminated from competition (pulled) may be tested.  Pursuant to Rule 13, equines standing for AERC best condition judging are considered to still be in competition and may be selected for testing also.  The selection of the equines for testing may take into account scheduling needs, personnel needs, weather conditions, and/or any other situations arising during the ride that warrant flexibility.  Under no circumstances shall the USEF testers test only the top finishing equines at a ride.  For example, it is unacceptable to collect samples from only the first eight placings of a 50 mile ride and the first eight placings of an associated Limited Distance ride when there are more than eight equines entered in each of those distances.   If USEF determines that the particular circumstances of a ride selected for testing do not allow the USEF testers time to test a representative sample of the equines at the ride, then USEF shall select a different ride for testing instead.

USEF Liaison for Testing. The AERC Veterinary Committee shall appoint an AERC veterinarian to act as the USEF testing liaison to monitor, direct and guide the testing procedures at rides.    The testing liaison shall communicate with the USEF testers prior to each ride to be tested to make sure that the USEF testers are familiar with how endurance rides operate in general, the circumstances of the ride to be tested, and with testing procedures under this policy.

Testing in California and Canada. The AERC will rely upon and adopt the testing procedures of the Equine Medication Monitoring Program in AERC sanctioned endurance rides taking place in California.    The AERC will rely upon and adopt the testing procedures of Equine Canada in AERC sanctioned endurance rides that are sanctioned by Equine Canada.  The AERC rider drug testing fees will be waived for those rides held in California and those rides sanctioned by Equine Canada.  The AERC will charge a rider drug testing fee for rides held in Canada that are not sanctioned by Equine Canada, and those rides will be considered for drug testing by the AERC.

Protest Procedure. The procedures for reviewing positive tests by the independent laboratory and filing protests are described in Rule 13 and the procedures for handling protests are described in Rule 14.  Additionally, when the AERC Executive Director transmits any laboratory report to the Veterinary Committee and the Legal Committee for their initial review under Rule 13, the Executive Director shall not include the name of the horse tested or its rider.  Also, once a protest has been filed, the Drug Testing Subcommittee shall mail a letter to the protested party following the filing of a protest for violation of Rule 13 that shall give notice to the protested party of the right to a confirmatory analysis of the “B” sample at that party’s cost. 

Publication of Test Results. In order to keep the AERC membership informed of the AERC’s ongoing testing program to enforce Rule 13, all testing results for prohibited substances, whether negative or positive, shall be published in Endurance News without identification of the equines tested or their riders.  This publication of test results is in addition to the required publication of protest decisions under Rule 14.


Equine Performance Sports and Drug Rules: This article, based on Dr. Duane Barnett's seminar at the 2009 AERC convention, describes in more detail the philosophy behind AERC's drug policy.

2013-05-15 15:24:00