Brinicombe Equine strongly believe that a positive post race or competition dope test is a disaster, not only for the trainer or rider concerned, but also for the sport, and for any company whose products might be found to contain a prohibited substance. We are delighted to have been accredited to the BETA NOPS code, which demonstrates the stringent quality management procedures that we undertake during every step of the manufacturing process for each product to produce the highest quality products, traceable right back to the field where it was grown.

What does it stand for?

BETA- British Equestrian Trade Association

NOPS- Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances:

The definition of a prohibited substance is “any substance that can exert an effect on a horse” which is a broad, all encompassing definition. A naturally occurring prohibited substance (or NOPS) is one that is either naturally present within certain ingredients or that occurs as a result of inadvertent cross contamination during processing before arriving at the feed manufacturer’s facility.

What are the main NOPS and their sources?

  • Caffeine – (cacao)
  • Theobromine – (cacao)
  • Theophylline – (tea)
  • Morphine – (opium poppy, Papaver somniferum)
  • Hyoscine –  (nightshade, Datura)
  • Hordenine – (germinating barley)
  • Atropine – (nightshade – Atropa belladonna)
  • Nicotine – (from tobacco)

Historically the principal risk has come from caffeine and theobromine, but more recently several incidences of morphine contamination of feed have occurred, coinciding with the cultivation of morphine poppies in UK.

What does the code mean for us?

The BETA NOPS Code requires us to evaluate the risk of a NOPS contamination during every step of the sourcing, storage, transport and manufacturing processes of our products, and ensures that our quality management systems are in place to minimise the risk of NOPS contamination.

Conforming to the Code allows us to use the BETA NOPS logo on our products and reassures our customers of the strict manufacturing practise that is in place for every step of the process for all of our products. Only the highest standard of ingredients are sourced from approved suppliers, with full traceability – from the packaged product right back to the field where it was grown.

All raw materials are risk assessed before use, and no ingredients that knowingly contain a prohibited substance are used. We are regularly audited for quality assurance and make sure testing of raw materials and finished goods are carried out.

How does this benefit you?

  • You can rest assured that we have instilled the strictest measures to minimise the risk of a NOPS contamination.
  • All the raw materials going into the products you buy have been risk assessed before use and no ingredients that knowingly contain NOPS have been used.
  • The products you purchase have been regularly audited to ensure we are adhering to the code.
  • The Code has been endorsed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and the National Trainers Association. The endorsement of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is currently being sought and it is hoped to work with the FEI in the future.

Our top tips for helping to minimise the risk of NOPS through feed management:

  • When buying nutritional products for your horse always look for the BETA NOPS logo as reassurance of the stringent quality management procedures undertaken by the manufacturer.
  • Close the feed store when not in use and don’t allow eating or drinking in the feed room or stable. Enjoying a cup of coffee and a biscuit in the stable environment could lead to NOPS contamination
  • Prevent any cross contamination by keeping first aid equipment, medicines and grooming kits away from the feed room.
  • Designate one person who is well-informed of the risk of contamination with NOPS to prepare and distribute the feed rations.
  • Record the batch numbers of feed and supplements to ensure traceability.

For further information on the BETA Code see the BETA website