The Joint Measurement Board (JMB) is to carry out random dope testing at routine annual and full measurements from 1 January 2018.

As is already the case for re-measurements and those for gold certificates, animals presented for annual or full certificates will be selected at random for body-fluid samples, usually blood, from next year, the JMB has confirmed.

A spokesman for the board confirmed that official measurers have always been able to take samples if they feel this is necessary, but that the new protocol “adds a stronger dimension”.

“We have no hard evidence that doping does occur, but a progressive and pragmatic regulator should cover the possibility and deter the temptation,” she said.

“Some random testing should satisfy these factors.

“Many of the member societies of the JMB are re-visiting their doping rules, so this move supports the general aim to provide a level playing field to all competitors across all disciplines which use height as a competition classification.”

Equines will be selected using “anonymised data issued by the JMB office”, and all costs will be borne by the JMB.

“This new procedure should go a long way to ensure that animals presented for measurements are free from prohibited substances, are in a healthy condition and mirroring the rules of their relevant competition, be it pony racing, showjumping or showing,” said a JMB statement.

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Information including a list of prohibited substances, a definition of the different certificates and a guide to preparation for measurement is available on the JMB website.

The member societies are: British Showjumping, the Pony Racing Association, the British Show Horse Association, Sport Horse Breeding (GB), the National Pony Society, the British Show Pony Society, Ponies (UK), the Coloured Horse and Pony Society, the British Skewbald and Piebald Association, the British Connemara Society and the Welsh Pony and Cob Society.

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