1. cal
  2. Current rule
The Orders and Rules of Racing

BHA Notices Section


Elective Testing - Procedure for

In co-operation with the British Horseracing Authority, the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory (HFL) offers an analytical service to Trainers who wish to establish that drugs given in essential veterinary treatment have cleared from a horse's system before a race. This service may also be used when a Trainer suspects inadvertent medication or contaminated feedstuffs have been given to a horse or horses. The tests will be carried out at the discretion of the Authority which may in any case decline to allow the testing to be carried out, without being required to give any reasons. In order to be worthwhile, the results of tests must be available as quickly as possible and to ensure this the following procedure will apply.

The Trainer should telephone HFL (01638 720500) or the Authority (020 7152 2000) and request an Elective Testing Sample Submission Form, leaving his name and fax/telephone number.

HFL or the Authority will send the form to the Trainer by fax.

The Trainer and his Veterinary Surgeon (where applicable) should complete and sign the form and send it by fax to HFL (01638 724200). It is advisable to keep a copy.

The signature of the Veterinary Surgeon is not necessary when the sample relates to suspected inadvertent medication or contaminated feed.

The sample for analysis must be urine and a minimum of 50 millilitres is required.

The urine must be collected in a clean, leakproof container and care should be taken not to contaminate it in any way. Lining the collecting vessel with an unused polythene bag is a good way of achieving this.

(NB Since a sample taken under the Elective Testing Procedure will not be regarded as official the use of tamper evident packaging is not required).

The container used for sending the sample to HFL must be clean but does not need to be sterile. Bottles that have previously contained medicines are not suitable as traces may remain, even after washing. Plastic bottles are safer than glass and it is important to ensure that the bottle can be securely closed and does not leak. The container must be marked (preferably labelled) with the number of the Elective Testing Sample Submission Form.

The sample should be packed securely, together with the original of the completed submission form and credit card details or a cheque to cover the analysis fee laid down in the Terms and Conditions, marked 'Elective Testing' and sent to Horseracing Forensic Laboratory Ltd., Newmarket Road, Fordham, Cambs CB7 5WW.

HFL will contact the Authority upon receipt of the faxed form (Paragraph 3 above) in order to obtain testing approval.

The Authority will endeavour to inform HFL of their decision whether to allow the analysis to proceed as soon as possible so that when the sample is received, the procedure may in appropriate cases be started immediately.

If the Authority refuses approval for the test HFL will return the fee to the Trainer and destroy the sample.

The report will be faxed to the Trainer and the Authority, the original being posted to the Trainer. Wherever possible the report will be ready within three full working days of receipt of the sample.

The testing and analysis shall be carried out by HFL on such Terms and Conditions as may be approved from time to time by the Authority.

The Authority draw attention to the fact that there is no assurance that the results of an analysis will be replicated by an analysis of another sample taken later from the same horse, and that a negative report from Elective Testing does not override the Rules of Racing with regard to the testing of post-race samples and the consequences of the results of such testing being positive.