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The Orders and Rules of Racing

BHA Notices Section


Prohibited Substances - Precautions relating to

The British Horseracing Authority draw the attention of Trainers to the following:-

1. The necessity for taking all reasonable precautions to ensure that those manufactured compound feeds which Trainers use for their horses are free from Prohibited Substances. Trainers should note that the British Equestrian Trade Association has introduced two assurance schemes designed to reduce the risk of naturally occurring prohibited substances (NOPS) in equine feeds. Precautions are particularly important in the case of feedstuffs not specifically manufactured for horses racing under the Rules of Racing, since they may contain substances prohibited under the Rules.

2. The Disciplinary Panel has adjudicated upon several cases where Prohibited Substances have been found in the urine of the horse and in some cases the source of the substance has not been established.
The failure to trace the substance has been exacerbated in each instance by the fact that when Integrity Services Department Investigating Officer carried out his investigations the Trainer no longer had any of the feedstuffs in his yard that he was feeding to the horse at the time of the race in question. Furthermore, he had usually destroyed all the sacks in which the food was delivered and it was not possible, via the sack coding, to trace the contents back to a particular delivery from the mill.
To alleviate the problem, and to ensure that the waiver provided for in Rule (C)53 can be exercised if justified, the Authority strongly recommend that Trainers retain details of any coding that appears on the sacks used for delivery, together with samples of all those feedstuffs which they use for their horses. Then in the event of a positive report on a sample of urine, the coding and samples of feedstuffs can be handed over to the Investigating Officer for laboratory examination.

3. Many substances can be absorbed through the skin of the horse and lead to positive findings in the urine. Trainers are therefore advised to exercise care with shampoos and with any other preparation applied to the skin, both as to what is used and when it is used, and should consult their Veterinary Surgeon if they have any doubt on this matter. For example the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent Ibyprofen, which is available from pharmacists as topical gels (e.g. Iburgh, Proflex) intended to treat musculoskeletal pain in humans can be absorbed through the skin and lead to positive findings in urine.

4. The need to ensure that medicines are only administered to the horses for which they are prescribed and to avoid any cross contamination of feed.

5. The need for great care when administering medication by inhalation, including using nebulisers, to avoid contamination of the horse or its local environment. Such contamination may result in extended detection of the medication in the horse being treated, or unexpected detection in other horses. Veterinary advice should be sought to avoid such problems.