On December 1, 2013, the following new “12 Hour Rule” goes into effect. This rule governs equine injections prior to competition and falls under a new category, “Prohibited Practices” in the USEF Rule Book. This rule, along with “The Collapse Rule” (GR 843) was recommended for adoption by the USEF Veterinary Committee in March 2013 to help protect horses and ponies from being subjected to potential problems when competing that may result from injections. The Collapse Rule took effect August 1, 2013.)
GR 414 Prohibited Practices states:
1. No injectable substances may be administered to any horse or pony within 12 hours prior to competing, with the following three exceptions subject to paragraph 2 below:
a. Therapeutic fluids, which amount must consist of a minimum of 10L of polyionic fluids; and which must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines. The fluids must not be supplemented with concentrated electrolytes, such as magnesium.
b. Antibiotics. Procaine penicillin G is prohibited under this exception.
c. Dexamethasone. This is permitted only for the treatment of acute urticaria(hives). The dose must not exceed 0.5 mg per 100lb (5.0 mg for 1000lb horse) if administered more than 6 hours and less than 12 hours prior to entering the competition ring, and must not exceed 1.0 mg per 100lb (10.0 mg for 1000lb horse) within any 24-hour period.
2. The above exceptions are permitted only when (i) the substance is administered by a licensed veterinarian and no less than six hours prior to competing; and (ii) the “Trainer” as defined under General Rule 404 properly files, or causes to be properly filed, an Equine Drugs and Medications Report Form with the Steward/Technical Delegate or competition office representative within one hour after the administration of the substance or one hour after the Steward/Technical Delegate or competition office representative returns to duty if the administration occurs at a time outside competition hours. The Steward/Technical Delegate or competition office representative shall sign and record the time of receipt on the Equine Drugs and Medications Report Form.