16 August 2010 – FEI President HRH Princess Haya welcomed the FEI initiative to hold a Congress on Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) Usage and Medication in the Equine Athlete, declaring it as long overdue and the first real opportunity to bring together all the new science on NSAIDs since the FEI’s 1993 ban on their use in competition.
“Knowledge and an understanding of all aspects in the debate on NSAIDs is key to an informed decision,” the FEI President stated in her opening address. “What we all most want from this Congress above all else is to give us, the FEI family, the tools and the confidence to have the wisdom to do what we all so clearly have shown we want to do – that is what is right for our partner, the horse,” she said, emphasising the universal message of the Congress and the paramount principle of the sport, the welfare of the horse.
The President was speaking at the first day of the Congress, which is being held in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. During today’s three sessions, 12 leading research experts outlined the current state of knowledge on NSAIDs to over 200 Congress participants representing 29 nationalities.
Congress participants heard that there is a substantial amount of new scientific evidence on the nature of NSAIDs, including improved ways of detecting them, their effect on the body and their side effects, as well as the effect of low levels of intake and combining different NSAIDs.