New PHRC Procaine/Penicillin Policy

Published: February 28, 2014 11:00 am EST

Effective April 1, 2014, the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission will adopt the following policy regarding the use of procaine/penicillin on Standardbred racehorses.

Whereas the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission understands that the medication procaine/penicillin can be helpful to treat a horse for infections and illnesses that exist within the Standardbred equine community;

Whereas the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission also is established to maintain a level of integrity and balanced playing field among those participating; Therefore, the following guidelines involving the medications
procaine/penicillin are hereby established:

In current research documentation it is not clear how long procaine persists in the horse after discontinuing treatment. Horses treated with procaine penicillin within four (4) weeks prior to racing are strongly encouraged to report procaine/penicillin administration in order to avoid any penalty being issued due to the possible findings of procaine during the sampling testing process.

No horse shall receive any treatments of procaine/penicillin after the horse is entered into race in any race program. Following the entry of the horse into race the trainer is responsible for contacting the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission field office where the horse is entered and inform the commission that his horse has been entered into race and has received treatment of procaine/penicillin. Should a horse be drawn in as an also eligible the owner and/or trainer should not have their veterinarian administer any additional procaine/penicillin until such as time that the horse has been determined that the horse will not be needed in the race and released from their commitment by the judges and/or race secretary.

All treatment logs pertaining to a veterinarian administering and/or prescribing the medication procaine/penicillin to a horse must be on file at the commission office where the horse is entered into race at the time of entry. These reports must include information including, name of horse, tattoo number of horse, trainer of the horse, dates of treatment, prescribed dosage, method of treatment and the time of the last treatment of procaine/penicillin given to the horse. This information must be supplied to the racing commission on the veterinarian's letterhead or commission supplied form and signed by the veterinarian. The veterinarian supplying this form to the commission office attests that he acknowledges that the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission's adopted protocol has been followed and understands that this commission may take action against his license for failure to following these established guidelines.

The trainer of the horse also concurs that by entering his horse and knowingly declares that his horse has received treatments of procaine/penicillin, the horse will be made available six (6) hours prior to post time and be held in a sequestering stall under surveillance with either racetrack security or commission staff until such time that the horse is released. Any expense incurred regarding the time the horse is sequestered will be paid by either the owner or trainer of the horse.

A post-race sample will be pulled from every horse receiving and racing on a reported procaine/penicillin treatment regimen following each time the horse may be racing and in reference to the original. Failure to follow this Commission adopted and approved guidelines will result in a positive test.