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Keeping Your Stable Safe & Secure During Competitions

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Mar 7, 2023, 9:28 AM

With show season moving into full swing in many parts of the country, it’s important as a barn owner, stable manager, or exhibitor that you remain vigilant and prioritize safety and security in your stabling area, particularly at a competition. Unintended contamination, trespassing, and stealing are all behaviors or outcomes that can occur if your stables aren’t protected and secure. We’re providing a few tips and recommendations on how to ensure your stable and the horses in your care stay safe at a competition.

Tips & Recommendations

  • You are responsible for your stable and the horses in your care at a competition. Ensure that your staff and clients understand best security protocols and practices and are educated in keeping the stabling area safe and secure. Be conscious of how you are monitoring your stabling area, both during the day and after hours.
    • Safety and security measures should or can include stall and tack room cameras, locks on medicine cabinets, securing tack and equipment, and closing trunks when unattended--all simple ways of protecting your property and your horses.
    • Lock stable doors when they’re not in use to prevent trespassing or unwanted access/entry by others.
  • Train your staff and clients on the USEF Equine Drugs & Medications Rules. Understanding the medications allowed or prohibited will help prevent contamination and/or illegal use.
    • Encourage staff and clients to ask for clarification to prevent accidental use or contamination.
    • Be aware of both USEF Equine Drugs & Medication Rules and FEI Drugs & Medication Rules if competing in FEI classes.
  • See Something? Say Something.
    • If you see a fellow competitor, manager, groom, or client engaging in prohibited or suspicious behavior, please report immediately to the show Steward or Technical Delegate and file a report with USEF.
  • Do not allow handwashing in water buckets.
    • Bucket contamination can be easily prevented by enforcing rules prohibiting staff and clients from washing or dipping their hands into stabling water buckets.
      • Have a separate bucket away from contact with horses that is designated as a handwashing or dipping bucket.
  • Be aware of ingredients in overthe-counter topicals for personal human use.
    • Over-the-counter topicals for humans can cause unintended positives after a human or equine drug test. Many of these topical products have chemicals and ingredients which are prohibited substances. Be sure to look at product labels before using topicals and having direct contact with competing horses.
  • No urinating in stalls
    • Make strict rules with your staff and clients to prohibit urination in stabling areas and stalls, both at home and at a competition. This is an extremely preventable way of a horse potentially ingesting contaminated material containing prohibited substances.


For questions about the USEF Equine Drugs & Medication Rules, please contact [email protected]. To report suspicious or prohibited behavior, please file a report online at or contact Emily Pratt, Director of Regulations, [email protected]