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Posted by Equestrian New South Wales on 01/06/2018.

Warning Regarding Detection of Banned Substance Synephrine in Teff Grass Hay, Common Rush and Supplements

Equestrian Australia wishes to warn its members about the prohibited substance Synephrine which is currently listed by the FEI on the FEI Prohibited Substances List as a Banned Substance. Banned substances are substances that are deemed by the FEI to have no legitimate use in the competition horse and/or have a high potential for abuse. They are not permitted for use in the competition horse at any time.

Synephrine is a stimulant known to affect the metabolism of body fat and has been demonstrated to cause an increase in blood pressure in human subjects consuming synephrine orally.

Synephrine is traditionally found in the peel extract of bitter orange (also known as Seville orange), an ingredient found in a number of herbal and nutritional supplements which are promoted as weight loss supplements and appetite suppressants in humans. Members are advised to avoid using supplements containing bitter orange or similar products as well as supplements whose active ingredients are not listed on their packaging.

Synephrine has also been detected in certain plants, including common rush (Juncus usitatus -also called pin rush or mat rush), Mullumbimby couch (Cyperus brevifolus) and the leaves of citrus trees (mandarin, orange and lemon). Members should ensure that their horses do not have access to these plants. Racing New South Wales has recently advised that high levels of synephrine has been detected in Teff Grass hay analysed by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory. Although this does not imply that all Teff Grass Hay is affected as this is likely a seasonal and regional issue, EA recommends that members do not feed this hay to competition horses. Synephrine has previously been detected in race day samples from racehorses in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.


Dr Kirsten Neil, FEI National Head Veterinarian

Dr Cate Plummer, EA National Medication Control Officer

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