Horse riders, owners, vets and trainers from around the world are to be involved in a global debate on the use of drugs such as bute in horse sport.

The governing body of horse sport, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), has launched a global consultation on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) drugs in competition.

The consultation will begin next month, when existing research on the use and effects of NSAIDs on the competition horse will be published in a dedicated website.

Everyone involved in horse sport around the world — from event organisers to grooms — will be invited to contribute their thoughts to the FEI via the website.

In July, information will be sent out to equestrian nations worldwide to enable them to attend a debate in Switzerland in August over whether limited levels of NSAIDs such as bute should be allowed in horse sport.

The August debate will be chaired by a panel of leading vets from around the world — many of whom spoke out in horror last November at the FEI’s plans to introduce NSAIDs.

Following the August meeting, a formal consultation will begin with National Federations, to allow them an educated and informed vote before the FEI general assembly in November.

British World Class Performance Director Will Connell said the consultation is “exactly what is required”.

He told Horse & Hound: “I hope riders, owners and every involved in the sport participates — this is a hugely important subject and people need to get involved.”

Last November the FEI met with huge opposition after a vote was passed to allow NSAIDs in horse sport without prior discussion with national federations.

The governing body later backtracked, saying more consultation was needed.