US Equestrian Federation Initiates Horse Welfare Rule Changes: Injection Times and “Collapse Rule” Approved


The mid-year meeting of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Board of Directors last week included two important changes to rules for competition horses that fall under the category of “horse welfare”. Each of the changes brought forth received a majority vote of approval but will take effect at different times.

Both of these important Proposed Extraordinary Rule Changes were introduced in March of 2013 by the USEF Veterinary Committee. Following extensive feedback from USEF Technical Committees, Working Groups, and from attendees at USEF Town Hall Meetings held in Florida in March, and via interactive webcast in June, the USEF Board of Directors has approved the following two changes.

The Jurga Report passes along information originally provided directly from USEF.

GR 414 Prohibited Practices:?Injection Times Effective December 1, 2013

The first change introduces a new category of rules called “Prohibited Practices” to the USEF Rule Book; this rule will take effect?December 1, 2013, and will effect the timing of injections that competition horses receive.

Important points in this change include the following:

  • No horses or ponies may be injected within twelve hours prior to competing;
  • There are only three exceptions to this rule: therapeutic fluids, antibiotics, and Dexamethasone for the treatment of hives (specific dosing guidelines are provided for the exceptions concerning fluids and Dexamethasone); and
  • All excepted substances must be administered by a veterinarian and cannot be administered to a horse or pony within six hours of competing.

To read the entire rule change click?here.

GR 843 Mandatory Reporting and Cooperation of Horse/Pony Collapse Effective August 1, 2013

The second rule change becomes effective on?August 1, 2013, and concerns the actions taken should a horse or pony collapse at a USEF Licensed Competition. This rule change proposal has been commonly referred to as the “Collapse Rule” and is the first to be presented in the formation of an over-arching Catastrophic Incident Protocol.

The intent of this rule is to keep the USEF informed of any collapses, empower the USEF to investigate the circumstances surrounding such an incident, and hold the trainer, or the owner if the trainer is unavailable, accountable for refusal to cooperate.

Important components of this change are summarized below:

  • A collapse is defined as “a fall to the ground with no apparent cause”;
  • The trainer, owner, or rider of a horse must report a collapse no later than three hours after it has occurred;
  • Any horse or pony that collapses is subject to drug and medication testing and inspection by a USEF-appointed veterinarian (at USEF’s expense); and
  • Cooperation with the Federation as to an investigation concerning a horse/pony collapse or death is mandated.

To read the entire rule change click?here.

Extensive documentation and a “Q&A” regarding the rules can be viewed at this link:?

If you have questions about either of these rule changes, please email them?[email protected].

You can find the USEF Rule Book online, and mobile friendly, at?




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