After uncertainty followed increased out of competition testing and the unprecedented suspension of three horses on the eve of a racemeeting in July, the National Horseracing Authority have moved quickly and instituted a rule amendment, showing that they are determined to level the playing field and stamp out illicit drug use.
In a statement issued on Friday, the NHA advise that following their Press Release of 4 August 2023 and ongoing investigations, an amendment to Rule 72.1.46 was approved by the National Board at a meeting held on Thursday 24 August.
- SPECIFIC OFFENCES (PROHIBITED PRACTICES)
Without in any way derogating from the provisions of the RULES, no PERSON shall:-
72.1.46 race a HORSE within 7 days, calculated inclusively from the date of treatment, after the administration of any intra-articular treatment.
This rule amendment, although not the panacea to the horse welfare and integrity issues that have been raised during the early stages of the investigation, will advance the end goal of ensuring that horses are participating within their physical limits.
The NHA advocates a level playing field for all and this includes the horse, which is the most important link of the chain, but is without a voice.
Any future decisions that are taken following the conclusion of the investigation will cater for this objective and the accurate recordal of any administration of substances, prohibited or not, will form the basis of this continued initiative.
The NHA is currently considering various options to ensure compliance.
Trainers are reminded to ensure all treatments and procedures are accurately and legibly recorded in the Veterinary Treatment Registers by their Veterinarians, including the route of administration.
Other Rule amendments have been published in the Racing Calendar of Friday 25 August 2023.