BEFAR - National Anti-doping

British Equestrian have a set of National Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication rules (BEFAR). The rules, which closely mirror the FEI Regulations, affect all BEF Member Bodies in FEI disciplines and are incorporated into their rules.

The system provides for an increasing number of anti-doping tests across the disciplines and all affiliated members should expect their horse to be tested, whether they are competing at grassroots level or at a National Championship.

Failure to comply will incur significant penalties !

The Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules for international competitors remain unchanged. Now that the FEI disciplines have introduced these rules, the prohibited substances, procedures and sanctions will be the same, whatever the discipline someone is competing in. It is important to note that this system, in line with the FEI, adopts their prohibited substances list in its entirety, including a ban on Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Under the National system, these are classed as Controlled Medications, which, if found in a horse's sample during competition, will result in a violation. BEFAR is supported and funded by all BEF Member Bodies and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).

National Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules

The National system, is a requirement of our affiliation to the FEI, will apply to all affiliated members of British Carriagedriving at every level. The system closely mirrors the FEI system and should be relatively familiar to internationally registered members. However, those who do not compete internationally need to take on board the concepts.

What you need to know

Under the BEF Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules (“BEFAR”), Doping (which falls under the World Anti-Doping Code in the same way as doping in humans) is separated out from medication control (which is there for welfare reasons). All substances on the Prohibited List are known as “Prohibited Substances” but this is sub-divided into two substance groups:

  • Banned Substances - should never be given to a horse; and

  • Controlled Medication Substances - legitimate equine medication' but are still prohibited in competition.

Commonly used Controlled Medications substances

  • Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs); Phenylbutazone (Bute) and Flunixin (Finadyne)

  • Sedatives; Acepromazine (ACP) and Detomidine.

  • Corticosteroids; Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone Acetonide

  • Colic Treatments; Buscopan

  • Local anaesthetics; Lidocaine and Mepivacaine

  • Respiratory therapies; Clenbuterol (Ventipulmin) and Dembrexine (Sputolysin)

Prohibited Substances List

Remember that the anti-doping strategy BEFAR is administered by the British Equestrian Federation and competitors to be tested are drawn at random. You are as likely to get tested in the Novice class as the Advanced!

The FEI Clean Sport Website lists all the prohibited substances for ease of reference as does the British Carriagedriving web-site under the Information heading. The 2016 version of the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List came into force on 1st January 2016. There are a small number of changes. For the detail you should look at the revised Equine Prohibited Substances List here: proposed EPSList changes_0.pdf 


Possibly the most significant change is the addition of HARPAGOSIDE, more commonly known as DEVIL’S CLAW, as a Controlled Medication. This is an anti-inflammatory product with pain-relieving properties that comes from the Harpagophytum procumbens root. CAUTION: Devil’s Claw is frequently used in equine supplements. It is important that competitors check all supplements that they may use and discard any that contain Devil’s Claw.

Competitors are advised to be extremely careful when using any supplements; there are no guarantees that any supplements are free of prohibited substances so drivers should assess the need and assess the risk before embarking on the use of supplements.

Other changes to the list are:

  • Ammonium Sulphate and Ammonium Sulphide added as Banned Substances.
  • Codeine re-listed as a Controlled Medication (previously a Banned Substance).
  • Phenibut added as a Banned Substance.

The BEF’s National Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules (BEFAR) adopt the FEI’s Equine Prohibited Substances List in its entirety so the changes that came into effect on 1st January 2016 will also apply at National level. BEFAR applies to all riders, drivers and vaulters competing in any affiliated competition and competitors are reminded that testing can take place at competition of any level.

The presence of a prohibited substance in a horse’s sample can result in a minimum sanction of a period of ineligibility of 6 months, disqualification from the event at which the sample was taken, a fine and an order to pay costs.

BEFAR Equine anti-doping and medication

BEF Equine Anti-doping information

BEFAR Human anti-doping and medication

BEF Human Anti-doping information

FEI Clean Sport - International Anti-doping

FEI Clean Sport website:

Resources and Downloads

BEF rulebook