Ensuring a Fair and Level Playing Field

Disciplinary action regarding drug testing at the 2017 Lucas Oil World.

The American Quarter Horse Association

The American Quarter Horse Association has very specific rules regarding humane treatment of animals.

The American Quarter Horse Association has very specific rules regarding humane treatment of animals. These rules include, but are not limited to, drug testing and tail testing at AQHA-approved events by AQHA-approved veterinarians. 

At its recent meeting, the AQHA Executive Committee took disciplinary action in a case against Mozaun and Sarah McKibben as a result of four of their horses testing positive for guanabenz at the 2017 Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show. Guanabenz is a depressant of the cardiovascular system and is a forbidden drug per AQHA Rule VIO401.2. At AQHA world shows, each world champion is drug tested and additional horses are tested based on random drawings that are selected months before each event.

As a result of the positive drug tests, disciplinary action was taken. Disciplinary actions from the Executive Committee’s April meeting are available on AQHA.com. An AQHA suspension list can be found in The American Quarter Horse Journal and at www.aqha.com/suspensions. This list contains suspensions issued by AQHA ranging from failure to pay fees to animal welfare cases and is updated at the beginning of each month. Disciplinary actions taken at the April meeting will not be reflected in this list until May.  

AQHA has adjusted its records to reflect the disqualifications and is notifying those exhibitors whose horses moved up in the placings as a result of such disqualifications. AQHA has reciprocity agreements with a number of other equine associations for animal welfare, medication and unsportsmanlike conduct related violations. This means that when AQHA suspends people or horses, these people and/or horses are also suspended from the groups that have a reciprocity agreement with AQHA.   

Questions have arisen regarding whether other horses owned by violators of AQHA drug rules are subject to disqualification if they were shown at the same show. AQHA is in the process of reviewing its disciplinary rules/penalties through the Administrative Penalty Task Force. Recommendations regarding any changes to such rules will be reviewed by the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission and the AQHA Executive Committee. AQHA will update and notify AQHA members if changes are made to AQHA’s medication and disciplinary rules.   

The Executive Committee is committed to ensuring a fair and level playing field in competition and protecting the integrity of AQHA-approved shows, and furthermore, protecting the welfare of all American Quarter Horses. 

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.