Northamptonshire animal food firm issues statement after Queen’s horse tests positive

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Following the news that one of the Queen’s race horses has tested postive for a banned substance, the firm that supplied the food, Dodson & Horrell, of Islip, has issued a statement.

It said: “Following recent media reports regarding positive tests for prohibited substances in a small number of racehorses. Dodson & Horrell now has further information available with regard to possible component contamination affecting Alfalfa Oil Plus. The company believes in transparency and open communication with its customers, and can reassure them that a thorough investigation is taking place with the supplier of this component to assess how any contamination may have occurred.

“Preliminary investigations suggest that any contamination of this component product did not occur at Dodson & Horrell’s site. The investigation is currently centring on Dodson & Horrell’s supplier.

“Dodson & Horrell has recalled batch numbers week 20-28 of Alfalfa Oil Plus as a precautionary measure, in accordance with our procedures and NOPS protocol.

No positive test results have been recorded in any other Dodson & Horrell product currently in the market

“From information currently available to us it appears that any contamination may have come from poppy seeds that occur naturally in the environment. Please note this does not affect the welfare of the animal.

“NOPS or ‘naturally occurring prohibited substances’ are substances that are “either naturally present within certain feed ingredients or that occur as a result of inadvertent cross-contamination during processing and/or transport and storage”. These substances may be banned under BHA or FEI rules, although the exact definition of a prohibited substance depends on which rules are being competed under or followed.

“Several of these NOPS can be found naturally in germinating barley, herbs and pasture plants. It is therefore possible for a crop of feed ingredients to be contaminated with plants containing one or more NOPS.

“The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) NOPS assurance schemes are designed to reduce the risk of NOPS in equine feeds, through various methods including rigorous testing. More information can be found by contacting the British Equestrian Trade Association or at

“Dodson & Horrell conforms to the UFAS BETA NOPS Code and monitors for the presence of specified naturally occurring prohibited substances (NOPS) as required under the rules of racing and affiliated competitions which are in line with the established BETA/UFAS NOPS guidelines.

“Investigations are ongoing through the official and correct channels. Information will be shared by Dodson & Horrell as it becomes available.”

The racehorse at the centre of the investigation, Estimate, tested positive for morphine.