Racing testing and traceability document circulated
Crucial feedback expected in time for HRI board meeting on July 23rd
The Curragh Racecourse, Newbridge, Co Kildare. Oisin Keniry/Inpho
A Drug Testing and Traceability document with potentially radical implications for the racing and breeding industries has been circulated to all relevant organisations for examination.
The document is the outcome of prolonged work by the Anti-Doping Task Force originally set up on the back of a number of steroids controversies some years ago.
Those included leading trainer Philip Fenton being disqualified from racing for three years in 2014 after which the Task Force – which includes representatives from all sectors of racing and breeding – was formed and subsequently issued a comprehensive report in 2016.
That report’s recommendations included the implementation of a protocol to allow racing’s regulatory body carry out testing on premises it doesn’t licence, such as stud farms.
In an effort to resolve the jurisdictional issues arising from that, the Task Force was reconvened last November.
The new document is understood to include a provision for Service Level Agreements allowing Irish Horseracing Regulatory veterinary officials similar entry powers to Department Of Agriculture personnel.
The testing issue is also part of an overall traceability policy which is intended to allow officials follow the life and whereabouts of all thoroughbreds from foaling until death.
“This proposed industry policy on testing and traceability has now been circulated to the various industry bodies with a view to them responding in time for a Horse Racing Ireland board meeting on July 23rd,” HRI’s chief executive Brian Kavanagh confirmed on Monday.
Agreement at that HRI board meeting could be crucial in terms of the logistics of implementing the new policy in time for January 1, 2019 when the next foal crop will start to be registered.
The new policy comes in the context of significant concerns here about the impact of Brexit and any potential successor to the current Tripartite agreement which allows freedom of movement of horses between Ireland, France and Britain.
Racing officials in all three countries have proposed a new “High Health Horse” category for thoroughbreds in new draft EU animal health law which would insure greater freedom of movement after Britain leaves the Union.
“We are in Brussels tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday, along with out British and European colleagues, meeting MEP’s and the EU Commission to seek support for our ‘High Health Horse’ proposal as a successor to the Tripartite agreement,” Brian Kavanagh said.
“We were told to come with solutions, not problems, and we’ve done that. I think on this issue, whether you’re an extreme Brexiteer or a remainer, there is common ground.
“No one wants horses waiting at docks or airports for long periods waiting to be tested when we know the high standards of veterinary and health protocols that are in place both in the country of origin and the country of destination.”
In other news, Co Meath trainer Eddie Cawley lost his appeal on Monday against penalties imposed under ‘Non Trier’ rules following the running and riding of Fruits Of Glory at Punchestown last month.
Cawley was fined €3,000 after Fruits Of Glory finished fifth in a Beginners Chase. The horse was suspended from racing for 60 days.
Elsewhere, Jessica Harrington has given Alpha Centauri the green light to run in Friday’s Group One Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket. Prior to that the trainer runs Feeling The Love at Tuesday’s Roscommon jumps card where Spring Watch can successfully defy a 9lb penalty in a handicap hurdle.