In keeping with its mission to deliver safe, fair and clean sport, Equestrian Canada (EC) reviews and updates its Equine Medication Control Program on an annual basis.

The Equine Medication Control rules can be found in Chapter 10 (pages 41 to 50) of the EC General Regulations, Section A. Additional information and guidelines to assist EC Sport Licence Holders in planning their equine partners’ health care can be found in the Equine Medication Control Guide.

Equine Medication Control may occur at any level (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) of any EC sanctioned competition. You are invited to review the EC General Regulations and the Equine Medication Control Guide for further details.

In addition, below are important updates about the Equine Medication Control Program for all levels of EC sanctioned competitions for 2019.

New Equine Medication Control Rules for 2019

Prohibited Practice: Injections
The administration of any medication or substance by injection to a horse is not permitted before competition on the day in which the horse competes, other than IV rehydration fluids and antimicrobials (except procaine penicillin G), which must be administered by a licensed veterinarian more than six (6) hours before the start time of the class. By exception, horses competing after 6 p.m. can be treated by injection until 10 a.m. on the day they compete.

Note: The elimination guidelines published for the EC Medication Control program still apply. Both the elimination guidelines and prohibited practices described above must be adhered to.

For example:
Class begins at 8 a.m. – No injections before competition on the same day.
Class begins at 6 p.m. – Last injection must be given before 10 a.m. the same day.

Bisphosphonates Testing
Clodronate and tiludronate are the only bisphosphonates approved for use in horses (aged four and older) in Canada. No other bisphosphonate is licensed for use in horses in Canada. EC recognizes the importance these drugs can have in the treatment of lameness and will follow the Canadian Pari-Mutual Agency’s (CPMA) Elimination Guideline of 30 days for horses four years of age and older, which aligns with withdrawal periods previously set for these drugs by the British Horseracing Authority and the FEI.

In 2019, testing will occur at all levels of EC sanctioned competitions for clodronate (OSPHOS®), tiludronate (TILDREN®) and all other bisphosphonates.

For horses aged four (4) and over, a positive test to clodronate or tiludronate will result in a published warning letter. Starting in 2020, it will result in a Class 3 medication violation.

For 2019 and beyond, the use of clodronate or tiludronate in a horse under four (4) years of age, or the use of any other bisphosphonate in a horse of any age, is prohibited and any positive test will result in a Class 3 medication violation.

Presence of clodronate or tiludronate    2019    2020 and Beyond
4 Years Old and Over Published warning letter    Class 3 violation
Under 4 Years Old Class 3 violation    Class 3 violation


Presence of any other bisphosphonate    2019 and beyond
4 and Over Class 3 violation
Under 4 Years old Class 3 violation

Further information on clodronate, tiludronate and other bisphosphonates can be found on the EC bisphosphonate information page.

Equine Medication Control Rules Changes for 2019

Medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera®) – Class 5 Violation
Starting in 2019, the presence of medroxyprogesterone in an official Equine Medication Control sample will constitute a Class 5 Medication Violation.

Recognizing the prolonged elimination period of medroxyprogesterone, a subsequent infraction will not be issued within 30 days of a prior infraction. Any subsequent positive tests in the same calendar year will be sanctioned as another Class 5 Violation, but not as a repeated second or third offence.

If you have any questions or comments concerning the EC Equine Medical Control Program, please contact:

Shauna Curran-Cooper
Coordinator, Technical Programs – Equine Medication Control
Equestrian Canada
Toll free: 1-866-282-8395 x 117