“The Depo Debate”: Medroxy Progesterone Acetate (MPA) is back!

Saugerties to Sonoma, Balmoral to Blenheim, Tryon to Aachen, Colorado to Kentucky. Torano is tearing it up in Vermont, Kessler breaks her maiden in Cleveland, Cudmore scores two in a row. Tori derbys in Traverse and Karazissis in Cali.

The horse show season is in full tilt. East coast to west coast, north to south, an ocean across- international, national, and local show circuits are roiling.

Screams of foul play and injustice resound on social media. Glefke and Farmer are loading their ammunition for a second battle. Association and Foundation differences are revealed. The groups lean in and move on. Amidst the cyclone of events, one small funnel spins in Lexington, KY: the USEF Mid- Year Board of Directors meeting. The leaders and law makers of our National Governing Body gather to review plans, policies, and rules. On the docket is the ubiquitous subject of the ban of Medroxy Progesterone Acetate, MPA or Depo-Provera.

Amidst the cyclone of events, one small funnel spins in Lexington, KY: the USEF Mid- Year Board of Directors meeting. The leaders and law makers of our National Governing Body gather to review plans, policies, and rules. On the docket is the ubiquitous subject of the ban of Medroxy Progesterone Acetate, MPA or Depo-Provera.

The subject has been examined, inflated, opined, and argued. Voices were raised and fingers pointed. Certainly, the conversation is polarizing; possibly it is rupturing. On Monday and Tuesday of next week, the MPA controversy will have its moment in front of the leaders who will determine the next step. Will the USEF ban its use, as was forecasted in 2016? Will they push forward for actual scientific studies to determine the effect of MPA on the behavior of performance horses? Or will they continue with the current status quo on use of the substance?

Those of us who advocate further study have been clear in our desire to have research based facts on the substance as it relates to performance horses. The only studies presented by the USEF are about the effects on estrus cycles in breeding stock.

We can scream into the wind on social media which will have no effect on the decisions of the USEF. We can email our Federation leaders and give our opinions in a constructive manner, perhaps also having no effect on our USEF leaders. But, let’s opt for the latter and hope that our governing body will continue to represent the majority of its membership. Short of revolt, we have no choice but to trust their wisdom and respect and follow the rules they give us. We can only hope our leaders reciprocate in honoring our voice. This is your time to make sure we are on the right side of history. Here is your chance to demand USEF collects more data before a final decision is made. All we ask is for more research and analysis to be done before making such a grave decision that will affect all of us indefinitely.

Contact USEF now and feel free to copy and paste from this Plaid Horse article. Get your voice heard and email USEF CEO Bill Moroney at [email protected] and USHJA President Mary Babick at [email protected].

This is your sport and your responsibility to speak up. The more of us they hear from, the louder and stronger our voices will be. They need to know we care and they need to be held accountable. 

Learn more about the debate on Depo-Provera by clicking the following articles:

The Dope on Depo 

It Shouldn’t Be Our Goal to Become FEI 

10 Things that Keep Me Up at Night Other Than Depo Use