Chairman Of Stewards Report August 2013

Shockwave therapy

The rules of racing (AR64H) preclude the use of shockwave therapy to a horse for the seven clear days leading into a race engagement (excluding the day of treatment and the day of the race/trial).

Trainers should also be aware that when used at any time on a horse, shockwave therapy must be entered into the stable treatment records.

Warning on unregistered herbal products

Trainers are warned about an unregistered herbal product that is being promoted to trainers as being “banned substance free” and as having an EPO-effect in racehorses. Analysis of samples of the products by the ARFL have revealed contamination with another substance that would be classified as a prohibited substance, even though this particular substance is not listed as being present in the product.

As a general reminder to trainers, herbal remedies and herbal medicines, whether specifically promoted for use in horses or those obtained over-the-counter at pharmacies or other outlets, may contain prohibited substances which are not necessarily listed as being present in the products. The constituents of many herbal preparations are unlisted or unknown. Accordingly, trainers are strongly advised to avoid using or having in their stables herbal preparations, or indeed any unregistered preparations that claim to have a therapeutic or performance effect.

Prohibited substances and implements in horse floats

Two trainers have recently been penalized by Stewards for having prohibited substances and syringes in their horse floats on a race day. In both cases the drug concerned was a tranquiliser and was a kept for emergency purposes.

However to bring onto a racecourse on race day any vehicle or float with a prohibited substance, syringe, needle or tubing equipment in it requires the express permission in writing of the Stewards (AR178A).

Some of the conditions attended to such permission being given by the Stewards include;

  1. The tranquiliser is properly dispensed and labelled by the prescribing veterinarian
  2. The drug and syringes and needles are stored in a locked compartment
  3. Any administration of a tranquilizer must be entered into the horse’s treatment records

Searches of floats by Stewards and members of the Surveillance and Intelligence Unit now take place regularly and audits are conducted to ensure the provisions of AR178A are being complied with.

Labelling of substances in a stable

A trainer commits an offence under AR80E if any substance or preparation found in his stable has not been registered or, in the case of a Schedule 4 Prescription Animal Remedy not labelled or prescribed, dispensed or obtained in compliance with relevant State and Commonwealth legislation. A trainer’s liability under this rule is not met by an explanation that the vet’s label was on the packaging of the preparation and which was since discarded. Every container of a Schedule 4 Prescription Animal Remedy in a trainer’s stable must be individually labelled, or have an accompanying written authority for possession issued by the dispensing veterinarian and that label or authority as a minimum should detail;

  • Name of horse, or the notation “For stable use in horses”
  • The name of the vet or veterinary practice dispensing the product
  • The proprietary name of the product
  • Adequate directions for use
  • The words “Keep Out of Reach of Children”

Further to this, any other medicine, supplement, injectable product or topical treatment (non S4) present in a stable should be clearly labelled to include information on the name of the product or at least its ingredients and have the warning “For Animal Treatment Only”.

Balloting of horses after acceptances

Whilst instances of horses having to be balloted after acceptance time or even on the actual race day are infrequent, such occurrences can happen as a result of;

  • Damage to one or more barrier stalls
  • A raceday shift of the moveable rail
  • The moving of a start point
  • The transfer of a race (s) to another track

In each case whenever practical Stewards will apply the Racing NSW balloting conditions that would apply to the reduction of numbers prior to acceptances.

Barrier Blankets

At a recent interstate race meeting three horses in the one race were listed to carry barrier blankets but only two blankets were available at the track. The horse not fitted with a barrier blanket unfortunately lashed out in the stalls, suffered a serious leg injury and was euthanized. This prompts Stewards to remind trainers of the conditions applicable to the use of barrier blankets in NSW as set out in the “Special Notices” section of this magazine. In particular we draw trainers attention to part (c) of the conditions which requires trainers to notify the race club (or Stewards) at acceptance time if their horse requires a barrier blanket.

This allows arrangements to be made in advance of race-day if additional barrier blankets are required.