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Eliminating medication errors in competition horses

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Dr Kevin Corley DACVIM DACVECC discusses the safe handling of medication in competition horses, avoiding accidental positive drug tests

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The positive drug test in the Kentucky Derby for Medina Spirit brought not only Bob Baffert but the whole of the racing industry into disrepute. As Bill Finley wrote in the Thoroughbred Daily News:

“The general public cannot be expected to know the difference between a therapeutic ointment and hardcore performance enhancers. Unfairly or not the widespread perception is that someone doped a horse and cheated to win the Kentucky Derby, so horse racing must be a sport rotten to the core.”

Yet athletic horses inevitably get injuries or illnesses and welfare demands that these must be treated. It is clear that solutions must be found that protect horse welfare and prevent necessary drugs being completely withdrawn. Dr Kevin Corley shares his insights into the responsible use of medications in competition horses.

The talk marks the release of EquiTrace Drugs module. EquiTrace is an App for horse trainers developed by Dr Corley that eliminates the two most common causes of positive drugs test. These are not actual foul play, but human error. Either underestimating withdrawal times, or giving a drug to the wrong horse. The new drugs feature of the App is accepted by the IHRB as an alternative to the Blue Book and is already in use by leading trainer Dermot Weld.

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