Regumate may still be given to competition horses, the FEI has confirmed, despite the fact racing trainers have been told to remove it from their yards.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) advised trainers to be cautious when using the product last month after Australian racehorses who had been given altrogenest, the active ingredient of Regumate, tested positive for traces of banned steroids trendione and trenbolone.
Batches of the product sourced in Europe were tested, and found also to contain trendione, leading the BHA to issue the stronger advice.
But FEI veterinary director Göran Akerström told H&H: “Altrenogest is used to suppress oestrus in mares, and its use for this specific purpose is allowed under FEI rules. Its use in a male horse (gelding or stallion) is not permissible.
“The FEI has conferred with the director of the FEI central laboratory and can confirm that, with the currently available information, it is permissible to continue to use altrenogest product Regumate solution 2.2 mg/mL for mares as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The FEI veterinary department recommends that anyone using or planning to use the product on a mare should discuss this with their veterinarian.”
British Eventing also released a statement clarifying that the use of Regumate in mares is not banned.
“The British Equestrian Federation has sought clarification from the FEI and the advice received is that it remains permissible to use oral Regumate in mares in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, until such time as the FEI confirms that this policy should change,” the statement read.
“Please note that any injectable altrenogest products should not be used.”
A spokesman for manufacturer MSD Animal Health said: “Nothing is more important to MSD Animal Health than the safety and efficacy of our products, and the health and well-being of animals.
“Regumate Equine 2.2 mg/ml oral solution for horses is indicated for mares to facilitate breeding. It contains altrenogest, a short-acting synthetic steroidal progestogen. Several products containing altrenogest (including generics and injectables) are available around the world.
Concerns are rising as to whether competition riders should continue to use Regumate or not...
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
‘Ketamine is an anaesthetic; of course you couldn’t ride on it, it’s stupid to think you could jump a 1.50m
“Regumate Equine is tested extensively prior to release, including for trendione (anabolic steroid) as an impurity. Tests indicate Regumate Equine is within the approved specifications and in line with the European Medicines Agency specifications. However, trendione is an impurity of altrenogest and it is not possible to completely exclude its presence from the product.
“The BHA recently advised trainers not to use these products in active racehorses in the UK. This does not affect other equestrian disciplines with breeding mares.
“Regumate Equine is considered safe and effective when used according to the label. MSD Animal Health is advising horse owners to check competition rules for their discipline with their national associations before administering the product.
“We remain confident in the quality and safety of Regumate Equine.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.