With the announcement of the new NRHA drug rule revisions, we have been hard at work with people hitting the telephones to find out how board members allegedly voted in “SediGate”. The provision to inject horses with a sedative 30 minutes prior to an event during warm-up times.

In the open letter to all members, NRHA President Rick Clark, advised it required a supermajority of 67% vote to pass the new drug rules and penalties; therefore requiring 12 votes minimum. The president can only vote in a tie-breaker, so he is excluded. People can only vote once.

Clark goes on to write “Like the industry, the board was split between the people who wanted the policy and those that were against it. We did not have the support to go to a no allowance for Romifidine (Sedivet) at this time. We were faced with some unfortunate but very likely scenarios if we did not get the support we needed to enact some changes.”

The Way it Allegedly Went:

18 votes on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee:

  • 4 voted – No to Sedivet – 22%
  • 14 voted – Yes to Sedivet – 78%

Each person can only vote once, even if on both the board and executive committee.

Individual member votes are shown below.

If a member of the Board of Directors or Executive Committee believes their vote is incorrectly reported, we invite the particular individual to write to us and advise their vote, and we will immediately update the information.

These Yes voters are the people who, as stated by Rick Clark, did not want any changes to the rules and agreed only if Sedivet was included as an approved drug.

With such a margin of difference, the likelihood of Sedivet being voted out is most unlikely in the foreseeable future. The possibility of the current new penalties being squashed or watered down is extremely high.

With the outcry on social media, their voting certainly does not represent the membership’s wishes.

In a Formal Letter to the NRHA – The American Association of Equine Practitioners warns of the dangers of using Sedivet for horse and rider and its analgesic effect of the drug is performance enhancing. Read the full letter here.

These are the directors, board members and executive committee since 2015. These people are all responsible for the ineffective management of drug rules since the inception of the rules.

Ann Salmon Anderman (Director)
Barbara Brookshire (Director Thru 12/17)
Becky S Hanson (Director Thru 12/17)
Beth Himes (President Thru 12/14)
Brett Walters (Director)
Brian Welman (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/17)
Bub Poplin (Director)
Carol Ivey (Director From 1/20)
Casey Hinton (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/17)
Dallas Schwerdt (Director)
Dave Belson (Director Thru 12/18)
Ed Bricker (Director From 1/20)
Filippo Masi (Director)
Frank Costantini (Director Thru 12/15)
Gary Carpenter (Executive Director)
Ginger Schmersal (Director)
Guy Vernon (Director)
Jeanine Kern (Director)
Jennifer Hoyt (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/15)
Jesse Chase (Director Thru 12/18)
Jim Blumer (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/15)
Joao Marcos (Director)
John Tague (Exec Comm Mem From 1/20)
Josh Visser (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/16)
Kelli Brummett (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/16)
Kelly Hedges (Director Thru 12/19)
Kim Maharaj (Director Thru 12/18)
Larry D Barker (Director Thru 12/16)
Larry J Handley (Director)
Lee Foster (Director Thru 12/19)
Mark Blake (Exec Comm Mem & Director)
Mike Deer (Vice President & President Thru 12/18)
Mike Hancock (Exec Comm Mem & Director, Pres, VP Thru 12/18)
Paulus Beurskens (Exec Comm Mem & Director)
Peter DeFreitras (Director)
Raul Leal (Director Thru 12/17)
Rick Clark (President Thru 12/16, Current President)
Rick Ramsey (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/15)
Roberto Cuoghi (Director Thru 12/17)
Rosanne Sternberg (Exec Comm Mem & Director)
Ruben Pacheco (Director)
Shane Brown (Director Thru 12/16 – Current Exec Comm Mem & Dir)
Susy Baeck (Director Thru 12/16)
Sven Friesecke (Director Thru 12/16)
Tim Anderson (Director From 1/20)
Tim Lynch (Director Thru 12/14)
Tom McCutcheon (Exec Comm Mem & Dir Thru 12/19)
Margaret Fuchs (current member not listed)
Drake Johnson (current member not listed)
Karen Montgomery (current member not listed)
Karen Shedlauskas (current member not listed)


7 replies
  1. Jon Jacobson
    Jon Jacobson says:

    This sport is rotten from the very top to the bottom. Disgusting, immoral and out of touch with the reality of basic animal welfare.

  2. Karen Montgomery
    Karen Montgomery says:

    The quoted statement is totally untrue. The yes votes were for change in the current rules as written that had no severe consequences in place for drug use. Current rule also had no informed consent of owner/rider and no declaration. Partial information on the motion presented is not the big picture.
    “These Yes voters are the people who, as stated by Rick Clark, did not want any changes to the rules and agreed only if Sedivet was included as an approved drug.”
    If you are going to print something that discloses board member votes, I suggest that all information be presented. It appears nowhere what trainers had positive tests which is what brought about this proposed change. Why then are board members exposed for their votes for or against on such partial information?
    I read that we should be ashamed of ourselves in this post. Shame on you for such a misinformed article and shame on whomever supplied this erroneous information to you.

    • Animal Welfare
      Animal Welfare says:

      You, and all other members of the board and executive, have a fiduciary responsibility as an equine sports association, and the horses have not been protected – just the trainers. The board has failed to provide due care to the most vulnerable of all – the horse, as Clark openly admits horses failed their own NRHA drug testing.
      The shame is on all who were complicit in keeping this information hidden from the members and public and allowing what is publicly described as horse abuse.
      We note the Italian Reining Horse Association has posted a serious open letter in response to the board’s decision to allow Sedivet and the damage it will do to their operation and credibility as a clean sport.
      President Rick Clark has stated in his open letter to the membership that board members were aware horses were testing positive whilst still receiving titles, money and prizes since 2015. Where was the fiduciary responsibility during those seven years?
      In our opinion, the board has misled the membership, sponsors, owners and breeder and provided no duty of care to the horse. The bottom line is that as a board and executive committee, you approved drugging horses; the drug amount is not relevant, nor how it came to pass. Instead, it sets a dangerous precedence in equine sport.
      The board’s ability now seems unlikely to enforce new rules; there have been actions that could have been taken the rule book since 2015 and nothing happened.
      We look forward to the board publishing the list of horses and competitors that tested positive and were still rewarded with prizes, titles and money in full transparency and those rewards withdrawn. The rightful winners should be rewarded for competing cleanly and the history books corrected.
      Our article is clear in content and represents the feeling of the broader membership.

    • Gary P
      Gary P says:

      Karen – The way I read it RTE reported is true and exactly what Rick Clark wrote to all of us members. You want the focus to be on the intended new penalties to disguise the fact you have set a rule for an off-label sedative drug to be administered. Waiting for the drug company to get wind of that. Good God where is your conscious? Everyone knows NRHA will continue to hide the results and do everything to protect the big boys.. It’s in the NRHA DNA and it will not change under current leadership. SHAME ON the BOD & EC.

    • marthe reynolds
      marthe reynolds says:

      If the Board Members see an issue with their votes being incorrectly reported they have the option to have the information changed.

      Voting to ok drug use before a competition is what little kids do when they have zero talent but want that trophy; they fucking cheat.


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