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"carolina Gold" (Aminobutyric Acid - Gaba) Calming Product Banned By Usef

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Is this a sign that the USEF is finally going to start getting tough on drug abuse within our sport? I sure hope so and the vet peddling this crap should have his veterinary license pulled! Makes me sick :sick: to know this vet , Juan Gamboa is in my town.

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Feb. 22The U.S. Equestrian Federation announced Wednesday an immediate ban on "Carolina Gold" horse calming supplement or any other product containing gama aminobutyric acid (GABA).The USEF said in a statement that its Equine Drugs and Medications Program consistently monitors new products and product claims and from time-to-time products appear on the equine supplement market making claims of their effects on the performance of horses in competition.

The statement said: "Recently, reports of the use of a product called 'Carolina Gold' have been brought to the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program. One of the principal constituents of this product is gama aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

"While initially not considered a forbidden substance, the use of GABA as a 'calming supplement' does violate the spirit and intent of the Equine Drugs and Medications Rule. During recent research and administration trials involving 'Carolina Gold,' many adverse reactions were documented. The nature of these reactions has prompted immediate action from the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program.

"Effective immediately, 'Carolina Gold' or any other product containing GABA is considered a forbidden substance under USEF rules. Further, because there are no recognized medical uses for this substance, the use of a Medication Report Form to report its administration is not applicable.

"The detection of GABA is being actively pursued by the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program and will be implemented without delay or notice. No further announcements will be forthcoming regarding the use of 'Carolina Gold' or GABA. All positive findings will be forwarded to the USEF Hearing Committee. Trainers and veterinarians involved in the sale or use of this substance may be subject to fines and/or suspensions."

Edited by psmitty

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Here we go again.

People always have, and always will, want a shortcut to success. Be it Kentucky Red, or Carolina Gold, or the concoction that was improperly administered to the polo ponies in Florida a few years back.

Glad USEF got this one.

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Sadly there's not really a test for it. Suspect use will continue as long as people can get their hands on it. If vets are going to be in trouble for selling the product I'd like to think use will decrease considerably.

People will always try to take shortcuts. I'll stick with my 5-15 minutes lunge full of transitions for my young ones to let them look, get their sillies out, and then focus. Once their focused on me, even if they're still a little looky or up we're done. Hopping on 15 minutes early, warming up and then walking and looking around does wonders that sedation can't duplicate.

Both mine are just really sensitive. Big mare is sorta hot, but as a jumper it's not really an issue. I've shown her in the hunters and will probably continue to do so at least occasionally, but with how she moves and jumps I never expect anything. It's not worth trying to braid her even. I do it for her training and experience. The courses are simpler with more time between the jumps so we can work on perfecting straightness and consistency that we need in the jumper ring. How high she holds her tail is irrelevant- she's not going to pin well anyway. We get ribbons now and then, but only when there are only 8 or 9 people and at least 7 ribbons. haha

As much money as there is in high level hunters- designer drugs will evolve I'm sure. But there will still be people who train horses the right way and teach good riding instead too.

To me it would feel like cheating, regardless of the USEF bylaw. To others a blue ribbon means they did what they came to do, and as long as USEF hasn't specifically banned their latest designer drug they're in the clear. It's not my place to say they're cheating. Horse and rider welfare is my primary concern here. How safe is a drugged horse to ride? How safe is the drug to the horse's body? Weather or not someone else beats me by using this drug isn't my concern. If I prepared my horse as best I could and we put in our best round that's a win for the day, regardless of how we stack up. I want to be better than I was yesterday, not better than the kid from down the road. To others winning and taking home money is more important. I'll let their conscience be their guide. However, I agree it's USEF's (along with FEI, USHJA, etc, etc) responsibility to watch out for the safety issues- and this is a huge one on that front. Fairness is a sham anyway. Life isn't fair. But I applaud USEF for trying to level the playing field at least.

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