This is a wake up call. Get out of bed and get to the barn!
Go see your spotted horse right now and look him in the
eye and ask him if he needs to be drugged to compete!
There is a rumor going around that the Appaloosa Horse Club
now allows drugs to be used on their show horses. This is
not a rumor. I am writing this to inform everyone how this
happened and why so many ApHC members are against the new
In March of 2007, the Board of Directors for the Appaloosa
Horse Club had their spring meeting. On the agenda was a
proposal to improve the club rules regarding Penalties and
Sanctions for drugged horses entered in ApHC Breed Shows.
Someone in that meeting must have gotten excited and asked
that new drugs be allowed. A committee was formed to “look
into it” and a vote was taken. This was not a unanimous
vote, but the proposal did pass and it was put on the Agenda
for the July 2007 meeting.
The minutes of that March meeting were not made available
to the general membership until the last week of May on
the ApHC website and the first week of June in the Appaloosa
Journal. A majority of the ApHC members do not have internet
access, so they would not have been aware of this proposal
until after they got their June Appaloosa Journal. From
personal experience, I know that the Appaloosa Journal does
not always arrive in a timely fashion. Members who read
their June Appaloosa Journal would not have had time to
contact their Director before the National Show and BOD
meeting on June 22, 2007.
During that BOD meeting, a Veterinarian, who is an ApHC
member and also shows Halter Horses, spoke to the BOD about
the need for and safety of the new drugs. A vote was taken
and of the 18 directors present, only three voted NO. This
new proposal passed and was destined to be put into the
ApHC rule book.
With the passing of that proposal, a history of almost 70
years of not allowing drugs into our show ring (except the
trace amounts of Bute or Banamine), now the Appaloosa has
become “Industry Standard”. Not FEI or USEF
compliant - think Stock Horse here!
The list of drugs contains six pain/inflammation relievers
and two diuretics. The pain and inflammation drugs have
guidelines for dosage. The Diuretics, better known as Drug
Masking agents, have very little if any controls and dosage
listed in the new ruling.
Acetazolimide, also known as Acet, Zonisamide, or Dazamide,
is a diuretic drug used to control Epilepsy in humans and
is considered a suitable drug to treat horses afflicted
with HYPP. This drug causes lethargy, slowed breathing and
dehydration. It is also known to cause birth defects in
animals. Because it causes the horse to urinate frequently
(carrying excess Potassium out of the horse), it will flush
most other substances in the horses’ system with it,
causing any drug test actually administered to the horse
to have an inaccurate reading of what amount of any other
drug was really given. Acet is banned by the Jockey Club
because of its’ drug masking nature.
HYPP has proliferated in the ranks of the Appaloosa just
as it has the Paints and Quarter Horses. Breeders set on
producing bulky Halter type horses continue to this day
to breed horses prone to this disease. After 20 years of
knowing about this disease the percentage of horses afflicted
with HYPP has not changed. But now, they want a drug that
will “prop up” the HYPP positive horse so it
can be shown and so it can be more comfortable in the show
Lasix, also known as Furosemide or Salix, is a diuretic
drug used mostly for horses that bleed in extreme performance
events, such as Racing, Barrels and Poles. This drug causes
the horse to dehydrate thru frequent urination, thus reducing
bleeding. This in turn also carries out of the horses’
body any other drug it was given, causing drug tests to
be inaccurate. Lasix causes electrolyte imbalances and is
banned by the AERC and NATRC. There currently is no known
research on repeated usage of Lasix. This drug is highly
controlled by the Jockey Club if a horse has been declared
a bleeder. The new ApHC ruling has no controls or restrictions
on the use of Lasix.
Bleeder Horses have been around for a long time. In the
ApHC, we run games ‘Horse against Horse’, which
is pretty tough competition. Now in Open Gaming, Lasix is
accepted and used, but those horses only run for time, not
multiple bracket runs like the ApHC. In addition to this
type of competition, our National and World shows may have
these horses running for several days straight, with multiple
riders! This type of repeated usage of Lasix has not been
researched. If a horse is a bleeder, it really is not the
horse to run in ApHC Gaming.
The Appaloosa is a tough horse, a smart horse and has always
been a good family horse. Taken to the show pen, the Appaloosa
excelled in any discipline. With good care, many Appaloosa
horses have lived well into their 30’s and still carry
a child around. This horse was an easy keeper, survived
on most any feed and still was a gentle companion to any
rider. That image is what we are trying to preserve.
There is a grass roots movement, by members of the ApHC
that has been pleading on deaf ears of their own BOD to
re-visit the new Drug Rule. More specific information and
links available at the group webpage listed below.
The Show Arena is for the Best of the Best! The ‘Appaloosa
– Just Say No’ group is asking anyone and everyone
interested in protecting the Appaloosa horse from drug use
to contact their Director, the President of the ApHC and
the CEO of the ApHC to make known your concerns of the new
Now tuck in your spotted horse and go back to bed, that
Carrie Giannandrea and The Appaloosa – Just Say No
or sign the petition at:
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