Challenge Hair Testing Protocol

Hair testing will be required for the horses competing at the 2016 Bank of America Challenge Championships.

AQHA

Hair testing will be required for the horses competing at the 2016 Bank of America Challenge Championships.

The American Quarter Horse Association will partner with Los Alamitos Race Course to conduct out-of-competition hair testing for clenbuterol on horses competing in the 2016 Bank of America Challenge Championships and associated undercard races. The annual event will be held October 29-30 at Los Alamitos. Per Los Alamitos rules, horses competing in the Challenge Championship races will be required to be on the grounds no later than October 12.

Clenbuterol, a therapeutic respiratory medication, has anabolic effects on horses and can be abused as a performance enhancing drug. As a condition for eligibility for all Challenge Championship races held at Los Alamitos, AQHA and Los Alamitos Race Course in cooperation with the California Horse Racing Board will require out-of-competition hair testing for clenbuterol as a criteria for eligibility. In addition to clenbuterol, Los Alamitos also requires that all horses participating in major races such as the Challenge Championship races also test free of albuterol, zilpaterol and ractopamine in hair tests to be eligible to race.

The presence of clenbuterol can be determined by testing hair samples at the University of California Davis Maddy Lab. UC Davis provides post-race sample testing for Los Alamitos and New Mexico racing jurisdictions and will process hair samples from out-of-competition testing for the Challenge Championships. As previously announced in press releases regarding hair testing at the Challenge Championships, AQHA recommends a minimum six-month withdrawal time to avoid a positive hair test for clenbuterol. In addition to hair testing, traditional post-race urine and blood testing will occur during the event under California Horse Racing Board authority.

Horses competing in the Challenge Championship races will be required to be on the grounds no later than October 12. Hair samples will be collected by the track veterinarian within 48 hours upon arrival. To ease the testing workload, owners of horses already at the track prior to October 12 are encouraged to contact the track veterinarian to have a hair sample collected.  Cost of the test will be borne by Los Alamitos Race Course. 

A positive hair test will result in a horse being ineligible to compete in the Challenge Championships. There will be no other penalty for a positive hair test other than ineligibility to race. As stated above, traditional post-race urine and blood testing will occur during the event under California Horse Racing Board authority. A positive test for a urine or blood sample will subject the responsible party to California Horse Racing Board penalties.

Per the AQHA Racing Challenge Condition Book, by entering a horse in a Challenge Championship race, an owner agrees to abide by the results of the initial hair testing and waives his or her rights to have a secondary or split sample tested or contest the results of the initial test. See the official conditions in the 2016 AQHA Racing Challenge Condition Book.

In addition to agreeing to abide by the 2016 AQHA Racing Challenge Condition Book, horsemen competing in the Challenge Championships agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the California Horse Racing Board and Los Alamitos. 

Pre-Transport Testing
AQHA has worked out an agreement with the UC Davis Maddy Lab for horsemen to conduct pre-transport hair testing for those who wish to determine the status of their qualifying horse prior to arrival at Los Alamitos. The laboratory recommends that those horsemen who wish to check their horse for traces of clenbuterol, albuterol, zilpaterol or ractopamine order a pre-transport hair test by September 20 so as to have ample time to collect a sample, send it to the lab and receive results prior to transport. AQHA will send order forms to the owners of the top three qualifiers for each of the Challenge Championship Races. Pre-transport hair tests can also be ordered by calling Jeremy Sadler, UC Davis Maddy Lab Sample Custodian, at 530-754-5595. Pre-transport samples must be collected by and submitted by an official racetrack veterinarian. 

Pre-transport hair samples will be tested solely for informational purposes, as a means to appraise that horse’s connections of the then-detectable presence of any of the four prohibited drugs. The results of a pre-transport hair test are simply to support a horseman’s decision to go on to Los Alamitos, and there will be no repercussions for a positive pre-transport hair test. Test results will be reported to the owner of the horse, AQHA and the California Horse Racing Board. Pre-transport samples shall not be deemed or considered qualifying hair samples, nor will they be considered in any fashion should a sample subsequently collected on-track produce a positive finding. Similarly, such samples do not constitute “split samples” under the hair testing program.

The cost of a pre-transport test is $250. AQHA will fully reimburse a horseman for such cost if the horse tested qualifies for the Challenge Championships and is transported to Los Alamitos for the Challenge Championships. 

Key dates, facts and instructions:
• 2016 Challenge Championship race day is October 29.
• If you so choose, submit pre-transport hair test sample by September 20 to ensure ample time to receive results prior to transport.
• Nomination deadline is October 3 .
• Arrival deadline and stable check-in to Los Alamitos is October 12.
• Hair samples will be collected by the track veterinarian upon arrival.
• Entry deadline is October 26
• Hair testing results from the UC Davis Maddy Lab will determine race day eligibility.
• A positive hair test will only result in ineligibility to race in a Challenge Championship race.
• To avoid a positive hair test for clenbuterol, a minimum six-month withdrawal time is recommended.
• For questions regarding the 2016 Bank of America Challenge Championships please contact Malynda Reed at 806-378-4740.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.