Chad Keenum USEF GABA Suspension Chad Keenum Facebook image

Chad Keenum GABA Duad Leads to USEF Suspension

True Colors and Vanderloo

A Virginia horse trainer is taking a forced vacation from rated horse shows after two of his training horses tested positive for GABA.

US Equestrian, the new face of USEF, suspended Chad Keenum of CK Sporthorses for 6-months for two GABA violations.

The Hearing Committee states Keenum exhibited True Colors after the horse was given GABA. It happened during the Brandywine Valley Summer Series Horse Show. The Devon, PA show was from June 23-25, 2015.

The Committee also found that Keenum gave GABA to the horse Vanderloo the week prior during the Loudon Benefit Horse Show.

The panel said it recognizes the “performance enhancing effects of GABA including calming and quieting a horse without the necessity of lunging. GABA can be administered shortly before competing but still allow[s] the horse to jump or compete effectively.”

Keenum appeared for the hearing, but “did not testify to any efforts that he would make in the future to safeguard his horses,” according to the suspension notice.

US Equestrian banned gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, in 2012. The Federation said after its in-house research and administration trials involving “Carolina Gold,” containing GABA, that “many adverse reactions were documented”.

In April 2015, a peer-reviewed study done at UC Davis evaluated the pharmacologic effects of GABA on horses. The Knych Study, conducted by Dr. Heather Knych, found GABA did not have a calming effect on horses.

The Committee also fined Keenum $6000. His suspension begins February 1, 2017.