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Drug policy

Let me just start out with the disclaimer that I am totally against
drugging a horse
before any competition for the purposes of performance enhancement or

Karen Chaton responded to my withdrawal question saying that some drugs 
can take up to a month to clear out of a horse's system.
I thought about that as I folded laundry and realized that many people,
myself included,
may have violated the drug policy inadvertantly. Here's how. After a
race, I ice my horse's legs
 and then put on some linament and wrap. A lot of linaments have
prohibited substances
 in them and thus cannot be used during a race. But what if you used
linament and then went to
a ride 2 weeks later. Could you test positive? What about if you bute
after the ride and then
go to one 3 weeks after with no additional doses?

What about the fact that even our own endurance vets are unsure of the
rate at which some 
healing drugs take to get out of  a system? Or individual differences
amonst horses? My vet 
(nonendurance) said that the drug we used to control inflammation (7-19
last day)
 has a withdrawal rate of 72 hours and then
she'd test clean. I asked him to clarify and he said that she'd test
clean to acceptable levels for
racing. I asked about zero levels and he said that they would be
practically undetectable and
definately not of any influence on her. PRACTICALLY undetectable. I
called AERC and was told
that their tests detect to zero. I asked about my specific drug and  NO
ONE could tell me how long
it would be until she got to zero. I don't want to compete illegally and
I don't want to compete
while my horse is on drugs, BUT I  do want to compete. I can't even get a
drug test from my vet
 because he said his test  tests for acceptable levels. 

As I said, I'm not for drugging horses to mask pain or injury. If my
horse is in trouble, I want to
know and take care of it. Please don't flame me as a thoughtless horse
owner. I just think
that with the long withdrawal times for some substances, the individual
differences among
hoses and the inumerable number of drugs available for which withdrawal
times are unknown,
 that the policy may need some adjustments.Perhaps some acceptable (
 influence)  levels instead of zero tolerance.


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