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Changes To Race Day Vet Rules

Published: April 18, 2019 9:06 pm ET

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On Thursday evening (April 18) the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) issued an update on the upcoming changes set to take effect for the province's horsepeople pertaining to race day medication and race day veterinary use.

The release, referencing the race day medication ban set to take effect on Friday, appears below:

To All Ontario Horsepeople,

We continue to work with AGCO and Woodbine to mitigate and understand the protocols for the new AGCO Directive on race day medication ban. We will do our best to keep you updated and try to understand what is permissible and what is not. We intend to continue discussions for clarification.

Today we received some very good news; that, as a result of a co-ordinated effort, the AGCO have advised they are relaxing the rule with respect to vets entering the stall. Vets will be permitted to enter the stall to examine your horse. This will permit scoping and drawing blood. The veterinarian cannot treat your horse or administer any medication. Should any trainer or vet administer any drug on race day it will result in your horse being scratched. COSA appreciates the Regulator for listening to the concerns of horsepeople and then adopting a more reasonable approach for the welfare of the horse.

Effective this weekend at first post time Friday the Directive starts. This means going forward that 24 hours prior to the first race post time the following day the protocols take effect. (for example, if you are racing in the fifth race this Saturday then at first post time on Friday the medication ban is in effect)

The ‘Race day medication ban’ goes into effect 24 hours prior to the first race post time on the day that your horse is racing.

At first race post the protocols take effect as follows:

VETS may enter the stall on race day to examine your horse without being accompanied by the AGCO veterinarian or security but they CANNNOT treat your horse.

Your private vet may jog, examine, palpate, scope or draw a blood but CANNOT administer any medication without scratching your horse.


• Apply non‐medicated poultice and sweats to legs
• Use a magnetic or thermal blanket
• Use ice boots
• Use blueing
• Use electrolytes in powder form on feed or in drinking water
• Put Vicks on the nostril before going to the paddock
• Put alcohol in the bath water on hot days
• Wash your horse’s mouth out with water only
• Hoof dressings with no analgesic
• Use petroleum jelly
• Use fly spray
• Use non‐medicated shampoos


• Put any medication in or on your horse
• Have your vet medicate or administer any medication
• Use medicated poultice or sweat
• Use any paste electrolytes
• Use any type of paste that goes in the mouth
• Administer any anti‐ulcer meds
• Use any throat flushes
• Use hoof dressing with analgesics
• Use acupuncture

Thank you for your attention. We will continue to update this list as changes or issues arise. Good racing luck.


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