THE bags of Bedmax shavings going into the 2022 Badminton Horse Trials stables will be the first bedding ever to carry the official BETA NOPS accreditation badge.
As the competition season gets fully underway, customers and competitors whose horses are bedded on Bedmax can sleep easy knowing their horses’ bedding has been produced with the greatest care to prevent contamination from all naturally occurring prohibited substances (NOPS), which could cause a positive dope test.
Earlier this year, Bedmax became the first equine bedding company to receive BETA NOPS accreditation, similar to the certification already in place for equine feeds and supplements. This is one of the many reasons Bedmax remains the choice of bedding at the top international events including Badminton, Bramham, Burnham Market, Gatcombe Park, Houghton and Burghley.
Cross-contamination by naturally occurring banned substances can occur from plants, but some of the most common causes of failed tests include caffeine found in everyday food and drinks such as coffee, tea (including green tea), chocolate and energy drinks, and hemp or flax from granola and similar energy bars.
Spot testing is commonly carried out at affiliated events and not just at the top levels. Horses from all levels of competition can be selected at random for vets to carry out blood and urine tests, so making yourself aware of what could cause a positive test – and taking precautions to minimise the risk of contamination from your choice of feed and bedding – is paramount to stay on the right side of the rules.
Bedding is often overlooked as a cause of positive tests, but it is regularly and sometimes unintentionally ingested by horses when it becomes mixed in hay, for example. It takes only a tiny quantity to show up in a blood or urine test and affiliating bodies across the board take a no tolerance stance.
The process of safeguarding the entire production process at all three Bedmax plants to comply with the strictest NOPS audit standards took the company nearly two years, and Bedmax Managing Director, Tim Smalley, hopes this will offer customers and event organisers a major step up in quality assurance and risk mitigation.
“We are very proud to be the first equine bedding manufacturer to be awarded this accreditation, which covers our entire range of bedding products. This is a very positive step forward for the industry and all those with stabled horses at Badminton, with anti-doping being an extremely prevalent concern.
“For a horse to fail a test for any reason at this level is devastating for all concerned, and we feel we have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure our bedding is not the source of the problem.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.