Animal Welfare Resources
Farnam AQHA and Adequan® Select World Animal Welfare Resources
Recognizing that animal welfare is the single most important issue facing the equine industry today, the American Quarter Horse Association implements a variety of animal welfare measures at AQHA world championship shows.
The AQHA drug-testing program is designed to ensure that horses competing in AQHA competitions are doing so in a manner that will promote the safety and well-being of all horses competing and the enforcement of fair and equitable rules and procedures.
All world champions are tested for the use of forbidden substances at the Farnam AQHA and Adequan Select World Championship Shows.
All other drug tests for a respective class are randomly predetermined before draws are assigned. When entries are received before a show, a computer program randomly selects draw numbers from the list of entry numbers. This is done to remain impartial and to protect exhibitors.
All world and reserve world champions are also tested for normal tail function under the provisions of AQHA Rule VIO330, which states, “For the purposes of this rule, normal tail functions defined as ‘being able to raise the tail to or above the horizontal plane.’ A horse’s inability to raise its tail to or above the horizontal plane in response to a tail test conducted on site by an AQHA approved and American Association of Equine Practitioners member licensed veterinarian shall be considered a violation of this rule.” Additional predetermined random placing and draws will be tail tested throughout the show.
Performance Alteration Testing Program
New this year, AQHA is enhancing an industry-leading performance alteration testing program at the 2022 Farnam AQHA and Adequan® Select World. AQHA will be using thermographic imaging, palpation and neck flexion to determine if a horse’s neck has abnormal characteristic(s)/functionality.
All exhibitors qualified for the finals in designated classes will be required to have thermographic images taken of both sides of their horses’ necks prior to competing in the finals. Finalists must be tested at least one hour before their finals class to compete in the finals. Failure to test will result in the horse and exhibitor being disqualified from the finals. Following the finals, all horses sent for drug and tail testing will also have their necks palpated, flexed and thermographically imaged a second time by an AQHA approved and American Association of Equine Practitioners member licensed veterinarian. A variety of classes will be tested throughout the show.
More information regarding testing will be shared onsite at the show and provided to the exhibitors qualifying for the finals of designated classes.
Drug Testing Resources
The AQHA Guidelines and Rules for Drugs and Medications is an educational resource available online to serve as an addition to AQHA’s official medications rules set forth in the violations section of the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.
View the 2022 AQHA Guidelines and Rules for Drugs and Medications.
This resource includes advice about understanding the AQHA Equine Drugs and Medications Rules and applying it in practical situations. The purpose is to help accommodate legitimate therapy in compliance with the requirements of the rules. It is important to note, these are only guidelines to serve as an educational supplement. It is important to consult a licensed veterinarian in determining whether a particular substance is required for the welfare of a horse and when determining the dosage appropriate for such horse under AQHA’s rules. You can also contact the USEF Medication Hotline at 1-800-633-2472, if you have questions about certain medications and the administration of such medications.
Online Medication Report Form
Access the online medical report form here. The form must be completed in its entirety to be submitted. Once it’s submitted, you will receive an email with a copy of the form for your records that can be retained electronically.
Please advise, all sections of AQHA Rule VIO403 are still applicable when completing the online medication report form, including VIO403.8 regarding submitting the medication report within one hour after administration of the medication. If you submit a medication report online, you will not be required to also submit a physical form to show management in the show office onsite. Exhibitors will still be able to complete and submit hard-copy forms in the show office before a horse competes, should they choose that option.
About the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission
Recognizing that animal welfare is the single most important issue facing the equine industry today, the AQHA Executive Committee created the Animal Welfare Commission in 2012. The Animal Welfare Commission serves as AQHA’s primary body for rules, policies and procedures related to all areas of animal welfare. In addition, the commission oversees the educational processes associated with AQHA officials responsible for animal welfare. AQHA's prohibition against inhumane treatment applies to AQHA members and non-members.
Learn more about AQHA Animal Welfare Commission initiatives.