Jul 03, 2018

Rule Refresher: Permitted Equine Therapists

By Jessica Duffy - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

For 2018, the Fédération Équestre Interationale (FEI) created a new personnel category called Permitted Equine Therapists (PETs) who are allowed to perform “Restricted Therapies” at FEI competitions. These restricted therapies include electrical current devices (e.g. TENS machines, NMES and H-wave); therapeutic ultrasound therapy; vacuum therapy; and physical therapies (e.g. physiotherapy, acupressure, trigger point massage, myofascial release, osteopathy, chiropractic and spinal manipulation). PETs are required to register with the FEI, providing information on their experience and training and a reference from an licensed FEI Veterinarian.

Because this new rule was approved in November 2017 for implementation in January 2018, there was a very short amount of time to set up the registration process. Therefore, the FEI stated that they would not begin monitoring PET registration until July 1, 2018, although the rules regarding restricted therapies would go into effect on January 1.

From January 1 to June 30, 2018, PETs waiting for their applications to be processed were required to identify themselves to the Veterinary Delegate and inform them of which horse they were treating and which Treating Veterinarian they were working with at the event. As of July 1, 2018, PETs must carry their FEI identification card at all times, which lists the therapies they are approved to perform. In addition, they must complete the PET Registration Form and hand it to the Veterinary Delegate upon arrival at the event.

The following text has been copied directly from the FEI 2018 Veterinary Regulations with emphasis added by the USEA. Additional guidelines for Permitted Equine Therapists can be viewed here.

Chapter VI: Supportive Therapies

Article 1064 Non-Restricted Supportive Therapies

1. Non-Restricted Supportive Therapies include:

a) static magnetic equipment (e.g. magnetic rugs, magnetic leg and neck wraps)
b) low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) machines (e.g. battery powered magnetic rugs and leg wraps, cytowave)
c) laser therapy using lasers of classes I to III
d) massage and massage equipment (e.g. equissage)
e) cooling equipment
f) light emitting diode (LED) therapy devices
g) cooling and heating pads
h) ionic boots
i) kinesio-taping
j) vibration plates

2. Non-Restricted Supportive Therapies may be carried out by PRs, additional PRs and/or Support Personnel. PRs, additional PRs and/or Support Personnel must only carry out Non-Restricted Supportive Therapies on Horses they are directly responsible for.

3. PRs, additional PRs and/or Support Personnel must seek specific approval from the VC/VD to carry out any therapies not listed above.

4. The carrying out of Non-Restricted Supportive Therapies and associated equipment are subject to routine checks by the VC/VD, Stewards and other FEI Officials.

5. The use of PEMF machines is only permitted if their electromagnetic field is below 0.1 Tesla (1000 Gauss).

6. Cooling with ice and water is not permitted if the temperature is below 0°C.

7. Cooling with machines and other cooling equipment is only permitted if the VC/VD can lock the devices so the temperature does not fall below 0°C.

Article 1065 Restricted Supportive Therapies

1. Restricted Supportive Therapies include:

a) electrical current devices (e.g. TENS machines, NMES and H-wave)
b) therapeutic ultrasound therapy
c) vacuum therapy
d) physical therapies (e.g. physiotherapy, acupressure, trigger point massage, myofascial release, osteopathy, chiropractic and spinal manipulation)

2. Restricted Supportive Therapies may only be carried out by a Permitted Equine Therapist or a PTV who has undergone specific training in the therapy they are carrying out.

3. The carrying out of Restricted Supportive Therapies and associated equipment are subject to routine checks by the VC/VD, Stewards and other FEI Officials.

4. The VD may not approve the use of Restricted Therapies should the Horse’s welfare be compromised.

5. Equine Permitted Therapists or PTVs must seek specific approval from the VC/VD to carry out any therapies not listed above.

Chapter XIV: Permitted Equine Therapists

Article 1126 Enrolment Procedure

1. Any trained professional wishing to become a Permitted Equine Therapist must:

a) apply to the FEI via their NF using the online Enrollment Form
b) accept the FEI Permitted Equine Therapists’ Codex, see Annex V.

2. Following approval of their application by the NF, applicants are listed as a Permitted Equine Therapist and receive an FEI Identification Card.

3. Permitted Equine Therapists must have undertaken training in the country of their NF, for the therapy they wish to carry out, and have suitable insurance for their work.

4. The therapies for which Permitted Equine Therapists have been trained are recorded by the NF in the FEI Database. Permitted Equine Therapists are responsible for informing their NF of any additional therapies they may have received training for after their initial enrollment.

5. Permitted Equine therapists may be considered as Support Personnel and may be regarded as additional Persons Responsible in accordance with the Article 118 of the General Regulations

6. Permitted Equine Therapists are not considered FEI Officials.

Article 1127 Permitted Equine Therapists’ Role

1. Permitted Equine Therapists are responsible for carrying out Restricted Supportive Therapies at FEI Events. They are however only permitted to carry out the therapies listed on their FEI Database profile.

2. Permitted Equine Therapists must work under the supervision of a named PTV.

3. Permitted Equine Therapists must carry their FEI Identification card at all times and have it available for random checks by FEI Officials.

4. Permitted Equine Therapists must understand their role as potential Additional Person Responsible and/or Support Personnel.

5. Permitted Equine Therapists must:

a) register themselves with the VC/VD on arrival at the Event before entering the Stable area and provide the VC/VD with the Permitted Equine Therapists Registration Form
b) ensure therapies are undertaken only in the area(s) agreed by the VC/VD
c) seek specific approval from the VC/VD to carry out any therapies not listed under Article 1065

6. Permitted Equine Therapists are not allowed to compete in any Event where they are working as an OC appointed Permitted Equine Therapist. This includes any national class that may be running at the same Event.

7. Permitted Equine Therapists are not allowed to carry out any treating or other official role in any Event in which they are working as an OC appointed Permitted Equine Therapist.

8. Disciplinary actions will be taken against Permitted Equine Therapists who do not follow the Permitted Equine Therapists’ Codex and/or FEI rules and regulations. Such disciplinary actions may consist of a warning, a temporary suspension and/or removal from the Permitted Equine Therapist list.

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