At its meeting on September 22, 2015, the Board of the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission (MPHRC) approved a General Directive ordering that all horses that have been selected to provide an Official Sample (blood) as defined by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) will also be tested for cobalt.
The MPHRC will begin testing for cobalt with a threshold of 50ng/ml in blood, as of October 10, 2015. Racing participants are reminded that all horses that have been selected to provide an Official Sample (blood), as defmed by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA), will also be tested for cobalt. Once the CPMA has completed the official testing, the MPHRC will subject the sample to enhanced testing for the presence of cobalt.
The MPHRC will also be implementing a policy which allows for trainers and owners to have a claimed horse post-race tested for cobalt at their own expense. If you wish to have a horse tested that you have claimed, please note that on the Official Claim Form.
If a claimed horse is found to have unacceptable levels of cobalt during an approved post-race test, the Judges have the authority, at the option of the claimant, to rule a claim invalid.
The MPHRC believes that cobalt testing is not only a matter related to the integrity of horse racing but more importantly an animal welfare issue. When administered in appropriate quantities, there is likely very little performance benefit to cobalt. And when used in excess, this element can be toxic to horses.
The full release is available here in PDF format.
Effective Date: September 22, 2015
The Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission hereby issues the following Directive in accordance with provisions of the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission Acts and Bylaws, Rules and Regulations.
Effective October 10,2015 all horses that have been selected to provide an Official Sample as defined by the CPMA and its regulations will have their samples subjected to enhanced testing by the MPHRC for the presence of cobalt.
Any sample where Cobalt is detected at a level of 50 ng/ml or more in blood will be deemed to be a violation of the MPHRC Rules of Standardbred Racing and the following regulatory action against the owner and/or trainer of the horse will result
* Disqualification of the horse from the race;
*Return and redistribution of all earnings from that race;
*The horse will be made ineliligble to race until: The owner of the horse produces a negative test result; and an MPHRC investigation is complete.
*Any other penalties that the MPHRC, Director or his designate deems appropriate.
If cobalt is detected in a horse that has been claimed, the regulatory action will be imposed against the owner and/or trainer of record of the horse at the time that the sample was collected, and the claimant has the option to return the horse to the original owner and the claiming price will be returned to the claimant. The request to return the horse shall be made in accordance with the procedure outlined in Rule 239 of the Rules of Standardbred Racing. If the horse is not returned, the current owner will be required to provide the negative test result.