To Finish Is To Win

American Endurance
Ride Conference

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AERC Prohibited Substance Testing Policy

Revised October 2019

Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for the implementation of the AERC Rule 13 on Prohibited Substances. It is not intended to alter or supersede Rule 13. 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 to three other members of the Veterinary Committee and the Chair of the Veterinary Committee. Testing services will be supervised by the AERC Drug Testing Subcommittee, and testers will be selected from the AERC pool of veterinarians, with outside, private veterinarians hired as needed. The sample analysis of the collected samples will be performed by the Maddy Laboratory of the University of California at Davis. The state of California and Canada are exempted from this testing, as the CA Equine Medications and Monitoring Program is responsible for all drug testing of equestrian events in the state of CA and Equine Canada is responsible for drug testing in Canada. The AERC Drug Testing Program will be funded by a rider drug testing fee of $6 for each starting rider.

Selection of Rides for Testing. The Drug Testing Subcommittee, with consultation with the AERC Executive Director when needed, shall select for each ride season two rides per region, except for the Pacific Southwest Region, which is largely composed of California. At least one additional ride from any region will be tested, and both days of the National Championships for Prohibited Substances. The selection of rides to be tested will be kept confidential.

Selection of Equines for Testing. In each ride tested by AERC Drug Testers, the testers and technicians shall collect blood samples from twelve equines. Depending on the ride selected, testers may be directed to collect samples from multiple distances, with a minimum of twelve total samples collected for the ride day. Testing is to be performed in a non-directed manner representative of all equines competing. Testers ideally are to test from first place to last place, and in general will be directed to select equines for testing based on the number of ride entries, versus how many samples are to be collected per distance. Testers may select an equine that has not completed the ride and was eliminated from competition. Testers will be directed to collect their samples as soon as an equine has received its completion exam and before it leaves the veterinary area. Equines standing for Best Condition will be tested at the conclusion of their completion exam, even if it is before their Best Condition presentation.

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.

Last updated 10/28/19