Jun 29, 2009

New Week, Same Controversy -- Michael Whitaker

So, Michael Whitaker now too, huh? He's been suspended by the FEI under suspicion of doping. His horse Tackeray tested positive for altrenogest (Regumate). Now, the horse is a stallion, so...clearly, they're using the stuff off-label for controlling some aggressive behavior. I've never actually seen someone administer the stuff to stallions, but I know of the practice. You can read more about it here. The weird thing is that while many people use it off-label in this manner, there hasn't been a lot of research done into the long-term side effects of this practice. So, it seems a bit risky to administer this to stallions that could be potentially worth a great deal in the stud barn. But I am clearly not the target audience, I suppose...

Regumate's usage is admissable when used on mares in international competition; it has been determined to give a mare no advantage, just allow her to focus on her job without the other side-effects of estrus (which can be far more than just behavioral -- my mare, for example, exhibited major painful, physical symptoms when in estrus - in fact, she was quite prone to hematomas on her uterus). However, its usage in stallions is clearly prohibited by all equestrian regulating bodies and I am interested to see how this progresses. Whitaker has requested the release of sample B, so I'll post later with updates to the story.

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