Horse riding


American Quarter Horse Association Rule Change for Clenbuterol

Beginning November 1, 2015, clenbuterol will be considered a forbidden drug per American Quarter Horse Association Rule Change: AQHA Rule VIO401. Earlier this year, positive drug tests for detection of clenbuterol in American Quarter Horse racehorses resulted in significant penalties. As previously announced April 24, that policy was expanded to put an end to the abusive use of clenbuterol in show horses, and in time for the 2015 AQHA World Championship Show.

With this change in classification, clenbuterol is no longer reportable on a medication report form. Therefore, all horses, at all AQHA shows, including those competing at the AQHA World Show, must be clear of clenbuterol on or before November 1. To avoid a positive test, AQHA is recommending a minimum 60-day withdrawal time.

The penalties for positive clenbuterol tests are as follows:

  • First Offense = $5,000 fine, disqualification of horse and 180-day suspension of responsible party;
  • Second Offense = $7,500 fine, disqualification of horse and one-year suspension of responsible party;
  • Third Offense = disqualification of horse and five-year suspension of responsible party.

The penalties referenced above also apply to positive tests for Class 1 and Class 2 drugs.

A bronchodilator marketed as Ventipulmin, clenbuterol is a legitimate and valuable medication used by veterinarians to treat horses with breathing difficulties, but its use has gotten completely out of hand because of its ability to act as a beta-2 agonist to increase muscle mass when used in dosages exceeding recommended amounts.

Contact Arizona Equine today to make sure the medication levels you are giving your horses are healthy, safe, and legal for any potential competitions.

This information was retrieved from the AQHA at

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/6/2015) Karen Roe (Flickr)

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