Advice to prevent contamination in stables

Today’s news headlines relating Dean Ivory’s unfortunate experience is a potent reminder of the necessity for stringent policies in your yard to manage not just equine but also human medication. At the NTF we know from this summer’s regional meetings how vulnerable trainers feel as a result of the strict liability rules.

In the May/June 2017 printed newsletter, we published a reminder of the advice available from the NTF about medication control and preventing contamination through various sources including feedstuffs and bedding. There is an information sheet entitled “Guidance on preventing contamination by prohibited substances” on our website under Information/Veterinary. It is divided into three main areas: contaminated feedstuffs including the BETA NOPS Code; cross contamination; and medication management. One extract reads:

“Advise staff not to urinate in stables at the yard or raceday stables – highlight the very real risk of cross contamination this poses.”

In the same area of our website you can also find a template poster about avoding the risks of contamination. We are working on the production of a laminated version of this to send to all our members in the near future.

If you would like more advice about the types of measures you can take to show you have taken all reasonable measures to prevent contamination, please speak to Dawn Bacchus at the NTF office.

Promoting ‘The Horse Comes First’ at Epsom Open Day and Newmarket Open Weekend

The NTF is a supporter of The Horse Comes First, an industry-wide initiative which many trainers will be familiar with. The Horse Comes First promotes and raises awareness of the high standards of equine welfare in the sport. The initiative aims to improve understanding of the care given to our horses throughout and after their careers in racing.

The Epsom Trainers’ Open Day on Monday 28th August and Newmarket Open Weekend on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September are great opportunities for trainers to engage with The Horse Comes First and share the positive messaging about the high levels of welfare with visitors to yards. Here’s how trainers can get involved.

HCF logo

British Racing has a track record to be proud of: British Racing is among the world’s best regulated animal activities. The sport employs over 6,000 people to provide care and attention for the 14,000 horses in training, providing them with a level of care and a quality of life that is virtually unsurpassed by any other domesticated animal.

British Racing has a duty of care to its horses: Since the year 2000, British Racing has invested £32 million in veterinary research and education.

British Racing is open and transparent: Within the last 20 years, the equine fatality rate in British Racing has fallen by one-third, from 0.3% to 0.2% of runners.

Further information and messaging from The Horse Comes First can be found on its website ( and we welcome you to share the messaging as you show visitors around your yards.



RSPCA asks racing community for winning homes for companion ponies

The RSPCA is asking racing trainers for help rehoming small hack and companion ponies this summer.

For several years now the RSPCA and other horse charities has been picking up the pieces of the equine crisis, with inspectors being called out to sick, injured, neglected or cruelly treated horses every single day.

Despite their best efforts the RSPCA has more than 800 horses, donkeys and ponies in care and is asking for the racing community for help to give them winning homes.

Amy Quirk, a former jockey, and the RSPCA’s director of field operations, said: “We are asking the racing community for help rehoming our ponies as we know these animals will get fantastic care and also lead purposeful lives as hacks or field and travel companions for your thoroughbreds.

“You may not have considered rehoming a rescue horse until now, but we have hundreds of really smart little ponies (like little Chewie, pictured) who are just waiting for a chance in a new home after being rescued from serious neglect and cruelty.”

To find out more, please email the RSPCA website and see the companion horses, ponies and donkeys currently available for rehoming or foster (


New stand-down period: BISPHOSPHONATE

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) would like to advise the Responsible Person (i.e. trainers, owners, breeders) and their veterinary surgeons of a new Rule requiring a mandatory 30 day Stand-Down period from racing following the administration of any bisphosphonate licensed for equine use. This Rule will be effective from 10 August 2017.

“11B The horse must not have been administered

11.B.1any bisphosphonate under the age of three years and six months as determined by its recorded date of birth, or

11.B.2 any bisphosphonate on the day of the race or on any of the 30 days before the day of the race in which the horse is declared to run”.

The BHA expectations with regard to the use of bisphosphonates in horses racing or intending to race in Great Britain in order to comply with the Rules of Racing

·       The product used should be licensed for use in horses the UK;

·       The horse must be over three years and six months of age at the time of administration as determined by its recorded date of birth;

·       There must be a diagnosis determined by a veterinary surgeon that supports the use of a bisphosphonate as an appropriate treatment; and

·       The bisphosphonate must be administered by a veterinary surgeon.

Due to their complex nature and action, the excretion of bisphosphonates may be unpredictable, leading to considerable variation in excretion times.  This variability may be increased when bisphosphonates are administered to horses with on-going musculoskeletal disease process, including the possibility that bisphosphonates may be released from bone at a period remote from initial administration. As such, it cannot be guaranteed that future musculoskeletal disease processes will not result in an Adverse Analytical Finding.

As a guide, the BHA are aware of data from studies in normal horses which indicate that if a single dose of Tildren® (CEVA) at 1 mg/kg were administered intravenously, the Detection Time would be unlikely to exceed the Stand-Down period. A discussion between the Responsible Person and their veterinary surgeon is essential when considering administration of any medication which is a Prohibited Substance on raceday.


03 July 2017

How to identify illegal veterinary medicines

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is the government agency responsible for the regulation and control of all UK veterinary medicines. If a medicine is not authorised, it is illegal. So how can you tell? This question could be important if, for example, you buy medicines over the Internet.

Authorised medicines

  • Are labelled in English
  • Display on the packaging a legal category looking something like this


  • Have a clearly displayed authorisation number starting Vm, Vh or EU. For instance Vm12345/1234 or EU/1/99/099/001-001
  • All imports of veterinary medicines require and import certificate unless labelled AVM-GSL.

If you have reason to believe you have been sold an illegal medicine or you come across one another way, you should report it to the VMD Enforcement Team using one of these contact details: email ; phone 019338313 or 01932 338311.


Clarification about paperless post-race testing records

Last week the BHA announced the introduction of a paperless system for recording post-race testing information. It begins this week at Royal Ascot. As well as minimizing the risk of errors and creating a more secure, efficient and eco-friendly process, the technology allows the BHA to seamlessly collect and transmit testing data to test management databases. It will also allow a more data-driven, strategic approach to the deployment of the BHA’s anti-doping resources in the medium and longer-term.

We first referred this technology in the May June edition of the NTF printed newsletter and the NTFW dated 25 April. Those articles were principally about the new standard form for recording the same information. When asked last week why both were necessary, Tessa Muir, BHA Anti-Doping Manager, explained that the form is for all types of equine testing; at this stage the app will only be used for post-race testing. In addition, the form was created as a backup if for any reason there were to be a technical difficulty with the app or the smartphone.

Notice of outbreak of EHV-1 in Yorkshire

As you may be aware, there has been a reported outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus-1 in a Trainer’s property in Hambleton, Yorkshire. The affected yard has been placed into isolation, with increased biosecurity measures in place. Under Rule (C)30 of the BHA Rules of Racing, no horse will be permitted to move off this yard until such time that the BHA is satisfied that there is no longer a risk of the spread of infectious disease.

Two further yards which have shared facilities and/or transport with the affected yard have also been placed into isolation for a minimum of 14 days, with increased biosecurity measures in place.

On each yard, the BHA will liaise with the trainers, their veterinary surgeons and the Animal Health Trust about the testing protocols that will take place before any restrictions are lifted. With these quarantine, increased biosecurity measures and testing protocols in place, the BHA is currently satisfied that the risk of the spread of infectious disease has not increased above the normal level.

As a reminder, trainers should be constantly vigilant for signs of infectious disease in racehorses. It is advisable to carry out twice daily temperature checks on all horses. Any horse showing signs of infectious disease or a raised temperature should be isolated where possible and examined by a veterinary surgeon.

We would also remind trainers of their responsibility to report communicable diseases under the BHA Rules of Racing, Rule (C)30 – Duty to report communicable diseases (see excerpt below).

Further information on Equine Herpes Virus and appropriate biosecurity measures can be found on the EquiBioSafe App, in the National Trainers Federation Code of Practice for Infectious Diseases of Racehorses in Training and in the Horserace Betting Levy Board Codes of Practice.

rules report communicable disease