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[RC] Why do we have Rule 13? - Sisu West Ranch

While feeding the herd this evening I continued to think about Rule 13. Why
do we have Rule 13 at all? Why don't we let governments do all the
substance enforcing? I believe that CA requires testing for all horse

As I see it there are three reasons.

1. If a horse is given a pharmacologically active substance it may allow him
to perform better. The result is that another rider, who did not choose to
administer the substance, would be at a disadvantage. This argument does not
hold water. If there were no Rule 13, the effects of various stimulants,
depressants, and other substances would be well known and everyone could use
them and the playing field would be level. Of course, a new substance would
show up and be kept secret for awhile, but the old profit motive would
eventually show up and the word would go out.

2. We do know that some substances are harmful if used to enhance
performance. In fact most active substances are harmful in excess. We
want to ban them to protect the horses. Protection of the horse is a good
thing. I don't expect that anyone will argue that it is OK to give a horse
a substance that will harm them, if it allows them to win.

3. Some substances, which are useful in helping horses recover from injury
or illness can mask pain allowing a horse to participate in a ride when it
should be resting and recovering. I don't seriously expect that anyone
wants to allow horses to participate when they should be home resting.

My bottom line is that we want to protect the horses from the foolishness of
their owners, at least during rides. The problem then becomes what rule or
rules will best do this. I firmly support a philosophy that no horse should
participate when under the influence of a substance that fits under point 2
or 3. At the present time, the vet committee has decided that the line in
the sand is drawn at zero. Too strict? Perhaps, but it is understandable
unless you want to try to raise red herrings about the possibility of
effects from common pasture weeds.

When I hear all of the rhetoric about how hard the rule is to understand , I
am reminded of a country song:

"What part of NO don't you understand?"  I then imagine the mess that would
occur if threshold
limits of stated substances were put into the rule.

There has been talk of how the AERC could loose a lawsuit because the
current rule is unfair (or
invalid or whatever).   If the rule had a list of substances and threshold
limits there would be even more room for a lawsuit. People could then argue
inaccurate testing, bring in experts to show that substance X was not
dangerous,  etc.

There was one post to the point that endurance has already gone the way of
other sports, with rampant use of performance enhancing substances. I
really do not have any knowledge of that. I surely hope not. I only know
one world class rider personally. This rider competes successfully
adhering to both the letter and spirit of Rule 13. I also know the vet
that advises the rider and helps get the horse prepared for competition

This vet would terminate any association with a rider that even appeared

to be violating Rule 13. You don't have to cheat to be world class.

Ed & Wendy Hauser
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875

(406) 642-9640


One would think that logic would prevail. But then, if logic did prevail,
men would ride sidesaddle. 
~  Bob Morris

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