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UPDATED: Statement on Positive 2012 APHA Open/Amateur World Championship Show Drug Tests

For more information, contact:
Laura Stevens
Associate Director of Marketing
(817) 834-2742 ext. 420

Original Publication: January 25, 2013
Updated: January 28, 2013

UPDATED: Statement on Positive
2012 APHA Open/Amateur World Championship Show Drug Tests

APHA received seven positive drug tests from the 2012 APHA Open/Amateur World Championship Show for one or more of the following components:

  • Caffeine &/or Theophylline
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Dextrorphan
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Acetaminophen

As per Rule SC-085.L of the Official APHA Rule Book, responsible parties were notified by telephone after the testing laboratory confirmed the positives, and APHA continued to investigate the cases.

Upon follow-up investigation of the drug-testing process, APHA staff discovered sufficient evidence that the samples were inadvertently contaminated during the collection process. The same specimen collector gathered all seven of these samples and at the time was taking over-the-counter medication for cold and allergy symptoms. The APHA investigation found that the lids for the sample containers may have come into contact with the cold medicine and contaminated the samples.  With the high accuracy of laboratory testing equipment, even trace levels of substances can be detected in samples.

“APHA will take no action against the exhibitors, trainers or owners of the seven horses that tested positive for these substances due to contaminated tests at the 2012 APHA Open/Amateur World Championship Show,” Executive Director Billy Smith said.

The four other positive drug tests from either the 2012 Youth World Championship Show or the 2012 Open/Amateur World Championship Show will be handled in accordance with APHA policy. Rule SC-085.M in the Official APHA Rule Book states:

M. HORSE SUBJECT TO PENALTIES. The horse involved, as well as the responsible or involved parties, may be subject to, but not limited to, the following penalties where appropriate.

1. Barred. Barred from competition.

2. Forfeiture. Forfeit awards, or monies, or points or placings, thereby moving up horses placing behind the disqualified horses and possible redistribution of awards, or monies, or points, or placings.

3. Certificate Relinquishment. Relinquishment of the horse’s registration certificate to the Association for a specific period of time. Although ownership of such horse may, thereafter, be transferred to another party, the transfer of ownership will not dissolve or shorten the terms of disciplinary action.

4. Penalties or fines.

5. Suspension.

APHA’s goal is always to provide maximum accuracy and eliminate contamination of samples. In an effort to remedy any inadvertent cross-contamination, APHA will implement more rigorous drug-testing standards. Additionally, the standards for training and selection of new testing technicians will be strengthened beginning in 2013. One of these steps is to continue education by working with industry authorities on the topic of policies and procedures to ensure integrity of the sampling process. Additionally, Cindy Grier, Director of Compliance and Planning will oversee the drug testing program revisions.

“It’s important that our exhibitors have a level playing field and equally important that our testing methods are accurate and fair,” Billy said. “Members are always welcome to call me.”

To contact APHA Executive Director Billy Smith, email billy@apha.com, or call (806) 679-9412.


About the American Paint Horse Association
The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is the world’s second largest equine breed association. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. In fulfillment of its global mission to collect, record and preserve pedigrees of the breed, APHA recognizes and supports 111 regional and international clubs, produces championship shows, sponsors trail rides and creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses. APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded, and now serves more than 55,000 active youth and adult members around the world. For more information about the American Paint Horse Association, visit apha.com or connect with Paint Horse fans globally at facebook.com/americanpainthorse or on Twitter @APHANews and @WorldShow.