Showing and dressage rider Louise Bell is warning others of the risks of medicating horses prior to competition, after her horse tested positive for a controlled substance.

A post-show test found that Into The Blue (pictured) had meloxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, in his system during a British Dressage competition at Vale View last year (1 November 2014).

Louise was disqualified and fined £750 and the same amount in costs.

The British Equestrian Federation only published details of the infringement last month (18 November).

“Into The Blue was kicked in the wash room at home and Metacam [which contains meloxicam] was administered by the vet to stop any inflammation,” Louise told H&H.

The drug was given to Into The Blue five days before the show.

“I didn’t think there would be any trace in his system and I was not breaking any rules as the detection time is three days for Metacam, but you cannot take anything for granted when it comes to medication,” Louise added.

“You should not compete until you are absolutely sure there would not be a positive test.

“This was a very hard lesson to learn. Even though I had not intended to be in the wrong it turned out I was, for which I am truly sorry. I just hope others can avoid this situation by learning from my experience.”

Louise was competing in the advanced medium class and had been placed first with 69.34%.

In 2011 the FEI published detection times for meloxicam.

“The findings of studies on the use of intravenously or orally administered meloxicam show the urine and plasma (blood) detection time as 72 hours,” said an FEI spokesman.

“It is important to note that detection times may vary depending on the dose and number of injection sites used.”

Ref: H&H 16/12/15