The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) will conduct a public workshop on the use of medroxyprogesterone acetate, often referred to as Depo-Provera, in competition horses.
The public workshop will take place on March 13 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Additional information will be available on USEF Network.
Some veterinarians and horse owners use this synthetic progestin in an attempt to suppress or control estrus and related behaviors in mares. The purpose of the workshop is to address concerns that have been voiced regarding the efficacy, safety, and use of this substance in competition horses. As such, the USEF is considering whether to make any changes to the rules regarding the use of this substance at USEF-licensed competitions. Prior to making any decision, and consistent with its goals of transparency and good governance, the Federation will openly review the science and practices regarding medroxyprogesterone acetate. Public participation in the process is essential.
The USEF will provide members, stakeholders, and industry experts two ways to participate. First, the USEF will host the moderated public workshop. An expert panel will hear presentations from the public, the membership, and industry experts prior to making a report to the Board of Directors at its mid-year meeting. Second, the USEF will accept written comments, which must be received no later than one week following the public workshop. Comments can be e-mailed to email@example.com.
To participate in the open workshop, attendees must register prior to attending by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to provide adequate space, only registered attendees (including press) will be permitted. Individuals interested in presenting must identify their area of focus (e.g. trainer, veterinarian, owner, competitor, manufacturer, scientist, etc.) and provide a short description of what topics or concerns their comments will address. Presentation times will be limited and strictly enforced for all presenters. In the event that more presenters register than time will permit, presenters will be selected by the expert panel to ensure a sufficient diversity of topics are covered.
Due to their specific expertise, the following presenters have accepted an invitation by USEF to participate:
- Stephen Schumacher, DVM, chief administrator of the USEF Drugs and Medications Program;
- Patrick McCue, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, director of the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory;
- Jim Heird, PhD, Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair, executive professor, and coordinator of the Equine Initiative at Texas A&M University; and
- Mary Babick, president of the United States Hunter Jumper Association.
A full agenda will be published one week prior to the meeting, which will include presentation times.
Please note, the USEF expert panel will not take questions from the floor during the public workshop. The panel itself will be able to ask clarifying questions to the presenters, which will not affect their allotted presentation time. The panel will also not comment or offer immediate opinions on the presentations. Rather, the body of evidence presented, along with subsequent written comments submitted to the USEF, will be reviewed as a whole following the close of the comment period and will provide the basis for the panel’s non-binding recommendation to the Board of Directors.
For those members who are unable to attend, the public workshop will be live-streamed on the USEF Network. Although USEF membership is not required to attend in person, membership is necessary to access the live stream.