New AQHA Policy Concerning Racing Medication Positives

AQHA has recently updated the policy concerning awards and publicity of horses and/or trainers with racing medication positives.

AQHA has recently updated the policy concerning awards and publicity of horses and/or trainers with racing medication positives.

The AQHA Animal Welfare Commission, a group of 23 industry professionals, met at the 2018 AQHA Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, and approved a policy change concerning awards and publicity of horses and/or trainers with racing medication positives. In doing so, commission members felt it is important for AQHA’s actions through awards and publicity be aligned with the Association’s stance on all welfare and integrity issues. Subsequently, the AQHA Racing Committee was afforded an opportunity to review and suggest modifications.

With the support of the entire AQHA Racing Committee and Racing Council, the modified version of the policy was presented to the AQHA Executive Committee at its April meeting in Amarillo. The Executive Committee approved the policy and requested that it become effective immediately. Such policy will also be incorporated into the AQHA Racing Champions Selection Guidelines that govern the selection of year-end racing champions.

AQHA Policy Concerning Awards and Publicity of Horses and/or Trainers with Racing Medication Positives

For purposes of the new policy, the term “Positive Test” shall mean a positive test for a Class 1 substance, Class 2 substance, clenbuterol or any medications other than those defined by the Association of Racing Commissioners International Inc. as being a controlled therapeutic medication.

1. If a racing jurisdiction reports a Positive Test for a horse, such horse and record trainer as of the violation date in question (“Offending Trainer”):

(a) shall be ineligible to be considered for AQHA awards associated with the calendar year in which the Positive Test occurred; this will include pending appeals of violations; and
(b) shall, unless waived by AQHA, be ineligible to be included in AQHA media (online and publications) during the calendar year in which the Positive Test occurred; this will include pending appeals of violations. 

2. All horses that record an official start under the Offending Trainer anytime in the calendar year AFTER the Positive Test confirmation date:

(a)  shall be ineligible to be considered for AQHA awards associated with the calendar year in which the Positive Test occurred; this will include pending appeals of violations; and
(b)  shall, unless waived by AQHA, be ineligible to be included in AQHA media (online and publications) during the calendar year in which the Positive Test occurred; this will include pending appeals of violations.

3. A horse that has recorded an official start under the Offending Trainer anytime in the calendar year PRIOR to the Positive Test violation date but has NOT recorded an official start under the Offending Trainer anytime in the calendar year AFTER the Positive Test confirmation date may be eligible to be considered for AQHA awards and included in AQHA media if AQHA is able to independently verify either (a) or (b) below:

(a) The owner moved the horse to another licensed trainer in good standing so long as such trainer:
(i) was licensed as a trainer in the calendar year immediately prior to the calendar year in which the Positive Test occurred;
(ii) did not have a Positive Test in the previous year;
(iii) started a horse under his/her own license as a trainer in the calendar year immediately prior to the calendar year in which the Positive Test occurred; 
(iv) was (and is) not the assistant trainer or an employee of the Offending Trainer during the calendar year of the Positive Test; and
(v) is not the spouse or “immediate family member” (defined by AQHA Rule SHW220.1) of the Offending Trainer.
(b) The owner, within 30 days of the Positive Test violation date, removed the horse from the care and control of the Offending Trainer and the horse has no further starts during the calendar year of the Positive Test., 

4. A horse in the care and control of an Offending Trainer that has NOT recorded an official start under the Offending Trainer PRIOR to the Positive Test violation date but subsequently records a start under a new trainer may be eligible to be considered for AQHA awards and included in AQHA media if AQHA is able to independently verify that the new trainer meets the requirements set forth in 3.(a) above.

5. If a horse is ineligible to be considered for AQHA awards and included in AQHA media pursuant to the above provisions, its race records and earnings shall also be ineligible to be considered for any AQHA awards associated with the calendar year in which the Positive Test occurred.

The AQHA Policy Concerning Awards and Publicity is also available.

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