The Rules relating to the Race Day treatment of racehorses have been in place for several years. However, given the increased frequency of breach in recent times, and a clear change in philosophy by Racing Victoria Stewards towards the application of penalties, it is timely for an ATA update.
Specifically, the Race Day Rule explicitly states that –
AR. 178E (1), “Notwithstanding the provisions of AR.178C(2), no person without the permission of the Stewards may administer or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race.”
Broadly speaking, the term medications means ALL treatments, whether they are therapeutics purchased over the counter eg; gels, ointments, vitamins, etc, a self mix application or preparation (including pastes), or medicines prescribed by veterinarians, are NOT permitted to be administered to racehorses on Race Day, unless permitted by Stewards.
Trainers should further note that the exclusion period for treatment of the horse is not solely the morning of Race Day. This actually extends to ONE CLEAR DAY for injections, stomach tubing and alkalinising agents. As an example, for a horse that is due to race on Saturday, all treatment must cease (other than that sanctioned by stewards) from midnight on the Thursday.
If Trainers are uncertain of any aspects of the Rules relating to Race Day Treatment, the One Clear Day ruling or indeed, any other treatment they are strongly advised to contact Stewards and seek clarity.
Whilst acknowledging there could be and are, a variety of different and often mitigating circumstances involved, the ATA cannot over emphasize the importance of both understanding the Rules relating to Treatments, the unambiguous responsibility of Licensed Persons to comply with the Rules of Racing in all matters relating to their Licence, and the mindset of Stewards to promote harsher penalties in this area for those who transgress.
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Chief Executive Officer