In April 2016, the BHA implanted a raceday cobalt threshold in urine of 100ng/ml total cobalt. Whilst cobalt is an essential trace element and is naturally present in the horse, it may also have the potential to enhance performance when present at concentrations that exceed normal
physiological parameters. However, it is also possible that exposure to significantly increased levels of cobalt may have welfare implications for the horse.
As of 1 April 2017, the BHA has implemented a raceday cobalt threshold in plasma of 25ng/ml. The urinary threshold and plasma threshold are equivalent, and have been determined to permit the use of supplements such as those containing Vitamin B12 in accordance with current practices of good horse management and the requirement for nothing other than normal feed and water to be fed on raceday. The plasma threshold was adopted by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in March 2016.
Addition to Schedule (G)1 Paragraph 10 – Threshold Substances:
Cobalt - 0.1 micrograms (= 100 nanograms) total cobalt per millilitre in urine
Cobalt - 0.025 micrograms (= 25 nanograms) total (free and protein bound) cobalt per millilitre in plasma
Rule (C)13 of the Rules of Racing places a duty on Licensed Trainers and Permitted Trainers to keep a record of all medication or treatment containing a Prohibited Substance that is administered to a horse in their care or control. The current Rule provides minimum standards for
what information must be contained within that record. The BHA is aware that there are inconsistencies in the way Trainers are recording Treatments, which can cause problems when considering whether there are any breaches of the Rule or other concerns.
The new Rule is intended reflect what is expected of Trainers with regard to medication records and best practice, and provides the minimum standards of information required in a Treatment record. The intention is not to unreasonably increase the amount of information required, but to provide detail and clarity on how those requirements are to be met.
The BHA Equine Health and Welfare Department consulted with veterinary surgeons, the BHA Veterinary Committee and the National Trainers Federation regarding the proposed changes, with suggestions from each being incorporated into the new Rule. The new Rule is effective from 1 April 2017:
13. Duty to keep Treatment records
13.1 A clear and accurate record of any Treatment administered to a horse under the care or control of a Licensed Trainer or Permitted Trainer must be kept by the trainer for a period of not less than one year.
13.1.1 Treatment means any medication or treatment containing a Prohibited Substance administered to a horse under the care or control of a Licensed Trainer or Permitted Trainer whether or not that horse is currently in training.
13.2 Subject to paragraph 13.7, each record must be made within 48 hours of administration, or if that administration occurs away from the yard, as soon as reasonably practicable after the horse returns to the yard following the administration, and include, as a minimum requirement, the following information
13.2.1 registered name of the horse or, if it is unnamed, the registered name of the dam and the year of foaling,
13.2.2 brand name or active ingredient of the Treatment used,
13.2.3 date of commencement of any Treatment,
13.2.4 route of administration,
13.2.5 quantifiable dosage of Treatment, e.g. ml/mg. If this changes during the course of any Treatment, this must be made clear in the record
13.2.6 frequency of administration. If this changes during the course of any Treatment, this must be made clear in the record,
13.2.7 date the Treatment finished, and
13.2.8 name of the Person administering the Treatment.
13.3 Every entry made in the Treatment records will be deemed authorised by the Trainer.
13.4 Where the Person referred to in Paragraph 13.2.8 is a veterinary surgeon, the Trainer shall ensure that the Treatment record is completed accordingly. Veterinary practice records that comply with the requirements of Paragraph 13.2 shall be sufficient provided they are available in the yard and cross-referenced in the Treatment records.
13.5 The records for an individual horse must be kept in one format available in one location.
13.6 The records must be made available for inspection
13.6.1 by any approved Person authorised to enter the trainer's premises under Part (A)5, or
13.6.2 in accordance with any directions given by the Authority when conducting an enquiry under that Part of that Manual into a possible contravention of these Rules.
13.7 In the event that a horse is hospitalised, should the records provided by the veterinary practice to the Trainer not comply with the requirements of Paragraph 13.2, compliant records must be made available for inspection upon request.
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