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New regulations prohibit CBD oil for use in APHA competitions

Cannabidiol—commonly known as CBD oil—is now classified as a Class 2 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. As such, it is considered a forbidden substance by APHA and is prohibited for use in horses competing in APHA-approved events, per rule SC-085.C.1 in the APHA Rule Book.

The ARCI revision took place in January 2019. Per SC-085, drug testing can be conducted at any APHA-approved event; most notably, drug testing takes place at the APHA World Championship Shows. If found in violation of Rule SC-085, the horse owner and caretaker—among others—can be subject to disciplinary action by APHA.


From the 2019 APHA Rule Book:

SC-085 Drugs and Medications

C. FORBIDDEN SUBSTANCES. A horse shall not be shown in any class at a show approved by the APHA or event held in conjunction with an APHA-approved show, whether or not the event is approved by APHA, if the animal has been administered in any manner a forbidden substance. A forbidden substance is defined as:

  1. Any drug or substance considered a Class 1 or Class 2 substance as defined in the most recent version of the Association of Racing Commissioner’s International, Inc, ARCI, Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances.
  2. Any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer or sedative which could affect the performance of the horse (stimulant and depressants are defined as substances which stimulate or depress the cardiovascular, respiratory or central nervous system).
  3. Any substance, regardless of how harmless or innocuous it might be, which might interfere with the detection or quantization of any substance defined above.
  4. Any anabolic steroid.
  5. Any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) other than those listed in section A.
  6. Any metabolite and/or analog of any of the above described forbidden drugs or substances.

In the event any forbidden substance is administered to any horse for any reason, the owner and/or trainer should withdraw the horse from competition until the drug is no longer present in the plasma or urine.

D. CAUTION AGAINST MEDICINAL PREPARATIONS. The use of medicinal preparations and tonics of any kind in which the ingredients and quantitative analysis are not specially known is also cautioned against as the use of such may result in a positive analysis of the specimen taken from the horse.


Find out more information about APHA’s drug policies at http://press.apha.com/Drugs-and-Medications-2.pdf and an updated list of drugs on the ARCI website.

Questions? Contact APHA Drug Testing Coordinator Jennifer Crites at jcrites@apha.com.

[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.