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 (http://www.thehorsecomesfirst.com/key-facts) 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 equinerehoming@rspca.org.uk the RSPCA website and see the companion horses, ponies and donkeys currently available for rehoming or foster (www.rspca.org.uk/homesforhorses)

 

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

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

Equine welfare messages from The Horse Comes First

One of the original objectives of the Horse Comes First campaign was to make advocates of our participants. Trainers who are questioned about equine welfare in the coming weeks might find it useful to be able to speak with confidence about some of British racing’s messages on this subject.

British racing has a track record to be proud of when it comes to equine welfare.
The industry is united in its commitment to the health and welfare of its equine stars and together we run The Horse Comes First campaign to raise awareness of the high welfare standards that exist within our sport.

Below you will find links to documents which you may find useful over the coming weeks –

  • The first document outlines our key welfare messages, which will be helpful should you have an opportunity to promote the sport’s welfare standards and track record.
  • The second document contains a series of infographics which can be posted or shared on social media to spread the word about the high standards of care within British racing.

The Thoroughbred Health Network launches UK-wide today at the National Equine Forum

The ‘Thoroughbred Health Network’ has been run as a Northern pilot project since June 2015.  Today, it launches as a UK-wide initiative at the 25th National Equine Forum in London widening its focus from racing, to the equestrian sector.

The THN is a new collaborative initiative which aims to review, translate and disseminate the latest scientific research on equine health, performance and disease.

If you are subscribed to the THN website, you are now part of a growing network of those whose common interest is to minimise the impact of equine injury and disease.

THN will now:

  • notify you by email when THN publishes a new research review and other relevant news on horse health from across the industry
  • seek your guidance via opinion surveys
  • invite you to free network events.

THN would also like to pay special thanks to Lucinda Russell for helping to compile a promotional video for the THN – please check it out on the new You Tube channel!

If you haven’t already done so, please follow THN on:-

Twitter: @ThoroughbredHN

Facebook: The Thoroughbred Health Network

You Tube Channel: Thoroughbred Health Network

Appointment of Equine Health and Welfare

The NTF welcomes the BHA’s appointment of a Director of Equine Science and Welfare. When the governing body for racing states that its number one strategic objective is “to provide equine welfare leadership” the absence of an executive at director level is a glaring anomaly that the NTF has been calling to be filled.

David joins the BHA from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he has held the position of Head Veterinary Officer for the Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) since 2010, a role which encompasses the welfare and integrity of all flat racing in the UAE. In this role he was responsible for implementing and managing anti­doping and medication control programs, equine welfare and health issues, administration of data collection programs for injury surveillance and risk factors associated with racing in the UAE.
In addition, David has held the role of Head of the Veterinary Department for the UAE itself since October 2015, which includes responsibilities for Government liaison, quarantine and import/export controls and testing.

Prior to his time at the ERA Regulatory and UAE Equine Quarantine positions, David held positions in Sydney, Australia, his country of birth and where he established a successful five-veterinarian practice. As well as his regulatory positions, David brings over 20 years of private practice experience to the role.

Following the appointment of David Sykes, the BHA has arranged cover for the period from now until David takes up the position.  Tony Welsh (07721 438778), one of their senior Veterinary Officers, will provide interim leadership cover, with assistance from Chris Hammond (07890 344520), on day to day operational matters relating primarily to the raceday. In addition, BHA has also arranged for Tim Morris (07826 947154) to provide interim cover in non-raceday related equine health and welfare matters on an on call basis.  Amanda Piggot and Paul Robson will continue to coordinate veterinary functions from 75 High Holborn.