Friday, 09 April 2021
Are you heading out to a competition soon with your horse? As well as submitting your entry, packing the lorry, and making sure he's perfectly plaited and squeaky clean, you need to consider the rules around anti-doping. Remember, any horse can be tested at any competition at any time of the year. Clean sport begins at home, and carefully choosing the feeds and supplements you give your horse, managing any medication, and implementing strict feeding practices at your yard can all help to reduce the risk of an accidental violation. Here are our 10 top tips...
1.Only use products from reputable feed and supplement companies – You can find these listed on the BETA website.
2. Ensure feed bins are kept clean – Old feed quickly becomes mouldy, and certain types of mould can produce naturally occurring prohibited substances.
3. Don’t feed your horse human food or drinks – As well as not being good for him, this could result in a positive test.
4. Record batch numbers – Keep samples of hay, feed and supplements and any corresponding batch numbers to enable a thorough investigation should contamination be suspected.
5 Use clean buckets or bowls for feeding – It’s not advisable to feed your horse from stable fittings such as troughs or mangers, which are difficult to keep clean.
6. Store feed and medication carefully – Medication can easily be dropped or spilt into open feed bags or storage containers. When not in use, medication should be kept in a secure cupboard.
7. Always check the label – some supplements contain prohibited substances that aren’t listed on the product label. Choose a supplement with a BETA NOPS sticker to be sure it’s competition-legal.
8. Use separate feed buckets for medication – Medication traces can remain, even after washing. Stirrers used to mix in medication must also be labelled and stored separately.
9. Check your grazing – Fields and/or surrounding land may contain plants that could lead to a positive dope test, such as poppies, crocuses, nightshade and lupins.
10. Rest your paddocks – Once your horse has finished a course of treatment, his paddock should be rested for several days before it’s grazed again. All droppings must be removed, too.