As noted in the previous post, there will be time allocated for discussion of these proposed Rule Changes at the General Meeting on Monday 7 March, 7.30pm. All welcome to participate:
16.1 Rule Changes – Motions for Discussion and First Vote.
16.1.1 Mandatory Rest Periods.
NVP proposed rules on Mandatory Rest Periods for Horses:
The following rules are proposed to proactively provide best practice in protecting horse welfare from excessive competition schedules. There is increasing evidence that horses require a period of rest between competitions to allow for physical and mental recuperation, and while there have not been prospective studies in endurance to define precisely the time each horse might require for this rest, data from overtraining of racehorses and retrospective analysis of data e.g. from AERASpace provide some guidelines.
Overworking horses can result in diminished strength of bone and other structural tissues while they remodel in response to the imposed workload. For example, bone requires a period of rest after strain to lay down strong structural elements that can cope with further imposed load, and until this is completed the bone can actually be weak and may fracture. In addition to physical effects of repeated exercise, there are mental aspects of overtraining that impact negatively on the horses’ exercise performance.
For many years, the national veterinary panel has discussed the imposition of compulsory rest orders on horses after elimination from events; such rules would provide greater consistency of approach to individual cases. Horses which have had an unsuccessful completion as a result of lameness, metabolic problem, or injury require time to heal. It is acknowledged that not every case will be the same, but having a standard rest period would allow recuperation time, in the best interests of horse welfare, and remove inconsistency in application of rules.
- After competing in any AERA or FEI endurance event, as defined below, a horse must be given a mandatory minimum rest period, before it is again eligible to participate in any AERA or FEI endurance event.
For the purposes of this rule, an endurance event is any ride defined in Table 4 of the AERA rulebook or defined in Article 814 of the FEI Endurance regulations, or a specific endurance carnival encompassing several supervised days of ridden competition where a rider prenominates to ride one horse on more than one day of that carnival.
Distance completed and rest period incurred:
start – 40 km 5 days
start – 80 km 12 days
Over 80 – 120 km 19 days
Over 120 km -140 km 26 days
Over 140 Km 33 days
Extended rest periods will apply if a horse has been eliminated from the ride for metabolic or lameness reasons.
The total rest period commences at Midnight at the end of the day that the ride finishes (24:00 hours), as denoted by the maximum ride time allowed, and finishes at the same time on the last full day of the rest period. The published ride start time of the horse’s next ride must fall after the expiry of the rest period.
- Extended Rest Periods for metabolic eliminations that require immediate invasive treatment
Any metabolic condition diagnosed in a horse which has been eliminated that left untreated would compromise or threaten the welfare of the horse is considered a condition requiring Invasive Treatment. It is the responsibility of the Head Veterinarian and the Treatment Veterinarian to review, on a case by case basis, the treated horses at the end of an event and classify each case as one requiring Invasive Treatment, incurring mandatory rest, or Authorised Treatment not incurring mandatory rest.
If a Horse has been eliminated for metabolic reasons which require immediate invasive treatment at any endurance event, it must be given a mandatory rest period as below before it is again eligible to participate in an endurance event:
Invasive Treatment 1st Incident 60 days in total
Invasive Treatment 2nd Incident 90 days in total
The extended rest period for a 2nd incident comes into effect if the horse has been eliminated for metabolic reasons which require immediate invasive treatment at any 2 consecutive endurance events or twice within any 3 month period.
- Extended Rest Periods for Lameness
If a Horse has been eliminated for lameness reasons at any endurance event, it must be given, in addition to the rest period defined in rule 1, an additional mandatory rest period as set out below before it is again eligible to participate in another endurance event.
Lameness 1st Incident 14 days in addition
Lameness 2nd Incident 21 days in addition
The additional extended rest period for a 2nd incident comes into effect if the horse has been eliminated for lameness reasons at any 2 consecutive endurance events.
Elimination for lameness reasons at a 3rd consecutive endurance event will incur a mandatory rest period of:
Lameness 3rd Incident 90 days in total
Elimination for lameness reasons at any 4 consecutive endurance events will incur a mandatory rest period of 6 months before it is again eligible to participate in an endurance event.
If a Horse has been eliminated for lameness reasons at more than 4 consecutive endurance events it will be banned from endurance events.