IN collaboration with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), EquiTrace has announced the integration of its award-winning app with the HISA Portal. The expanded EquiTrace app now serves as an easy-to-use digital solution to help racing participants and stakeholders comply with HISA’s rules, which were fully enforced on Monday.

What do the new HISA rules mean for owners, trainers and racetracks?

The HISA Protocol will affect every person and horse involved in thoroughbred racing in the USA. The welfare of Covered Horses is secured by rules that strictly ban and penalise the use of doping substances and methods, and that sanction the misuse of therapeutic medications. All Covered Persons are required to comply with the Protocol and related rules, and to cooperate with the Authority and the Agency in relation to all aspects of doping and medication control, including sample collection, testing, and investigation procedures.

Covered Horses should compete only when they are free from the influence of medications, other foreign substances, and methods that affect their performance.

Covered Horses that are injured or unsound should not train or participate in covered races, and the use of medications, other foreign substances, and treatment methods that mask or deaden pain in order to allow injured or unsound horses to train or race is prohibited. Procedures like Shockwave therapy must be reported and horses are excluded from racing for set periods after these.

Medications have been comprehensively reviewed and only permitted where their use is supported by veterinary or scientific evidence to be in the best welfare of the horse. For example Bisphosphonates (Tildren/Osphos) have been completely banned because of evidence that they were associated with increased fracture rates.

The EquiTrace App is programmed with the HISA regulations to help trainers and veterinarians comply with these new guidelines. It is the personal responsibility of each Covered Person to be knowledgeable of and to comply with the Protocol and related rules at all times. European trainers who race in America are also required to comply with these rules including the medication recording and reporting.

Requirements on record keeping are now far more stringent. Trainers must:

  • Upload health and vaccination records for all horses in their care via HISA portal.
  • Maintain daily treatment records for all horses that include: medication/procedure administered by licensed trainer/staff. Diagnosis/reason for treatment. Name and contact information for person who administered treatment and procedure. These must be maintained for all horses for three years.
  • Record daily lay-up records: maintain or obtain records for horses returning from lay-up period that include - layup location and start date, reason for lay-up, daily treatment records, daily activity records outlining exercise, rehabilitation procedures. Return to track date.
  • Maintain offsite treatment records: keep 30 days of treatment records for horses shipping into covered racetracks from a lay-up or training at a non-HISA facility to race or complete timed work under regulatory vet supervision for removal from the vets list.
  • Keep records for claimed horses: transfer previous 60 days of trainer treatment and veterinarian exam/treatment records to owner of the claimed horse.
  • Veterinarians are required to report all medications given to Covered Horses via the HISA portal within 24 hours. EquiTrace which is directly integrated to the online HISA portal allows trainers and veterinarians to comply with the new regulations without increased administrative burden.

    EquiTrace will use the simple HISA flag system to indicate if a Covered Horse “can race” or “cannot race” based on compliance with HISA’s Registration and Racetrack Safety rules, by pulling information directly from the HISA Portal. The EquiTrace app means users can easily check a horse’s status, if they are okay to race (green flag) or if they have had a treatment or medication recorded that would mean they should not race (red flag).

    Microchip scanner

    EquiTrace connects to a Bluetooth microchip scanner and can identify Covered Horses registered with HISA and The Jockey Club. The app can also identify Covered Horses without using a microchip scanner simply by searching for the Covered Horse’s name. Once the Covered Horse is found, medications can be scanned into the app by barcode or searched and logged to the horse’s digital record.

    EquiTrace enables users to review all records at the end of each day to submit to HISA, or the user can set up an automatic submission function to HISA. The Coggins test, vaccines and other health records required can be automatically uploaded and sent directly to HISA to help ensure that your Covered Horse satisfies all requirements to race.

    In addition to displaying the Horseracing Welfare and Integrity Unit (HIWU)-published Detection Times, EquiTrace enables veterinarians to enter their independently determined withdrawal interval based on this information, which puts up a flag on the Covered Horse’s record so that the horse is not inadvertently entered to race within the set withdrawal interval.

    Glossary of terms

  • • HISA: Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
  • Covered Person: anyone impacted by the legislation. Essentially covers anyone who participates in thoroughbred racing at all. Owners, trainers, jockeys, agents, veterinarians, farriers and staff of these.
  • Covered Horse: are any thoroughbred horse beginning at its first timed and reported workout at a racetrack that participates in covered horses or at a training facility or at first entry or nomination to a covered horserace until the authority has written notice that the horse has been retired or is deceased.
  • HWIU: The Horseracing Welfare and Integrity Unit - body appointed by HISA to regulate anti-doping procedures, regulate medication use in covered horses.
  • Banned substance: prohibited at all times cannot be possessed, administered or present in relation to a covered horse.
  • Controlled medication substance: permitted for use in a Covered Horse except in close proximity to a race or Vets List workout.