23 Feb 2009 Pre-2014 Releases

The British Horseracing Authority is pleased to announce a partnership with the British Racing School to continue and develop research and education for medication control. The British Racing School will host the Authority’s new Centre for Racehorse Studies, house and care for the horses in a new state of the art barn, and also ensure that they are kept at a level of training that makes them as representative as possible of horses in training

The School will utilise the new Centre to add medication control to the content of relevant short and long term courses. The Authority will conduct studies using the horses, giving the same treatments given in training and taking blood and urine samples, as taken in raceday and other testing, to determine drug levels over time, in order to advise Veterinary Surgeons on their appropriate use in horses in training.

The partnership of the School and the Authority allows each to develop their roles for the benefit of racing. The Centre is a cost effective investment for racing in high quality accommodation and care for the horses, where they are exercised and turned out to ensure they are as representative as possible of horses in training. They will be former racehorses which, after life at the Centre, will go on to other roles. There is strict oversight of the research; the Centre is subject to Government inspection, ethics of the studies will be independently reviewed, and independent Veterinary Surgeons will advise on welfare, and we share our results with other racing authorities via the European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee.

Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare at the British Horseracing Authority said:

“British Horseracing is rightly proud of its high standards of integrity. Its participants support and deliver fair and safe racing. The Rules of Racing state that horses must race free of any medication and we conduct extensive surveillance for evidence of misuse of drugs in horses, or inadvertent presence of veterinary medications. Our figures show that inadvertent carry-over of such veterinary medication is the most common reason for a positive drug test in a horse on racedays.

“Our focus is therefore education and prevention on medication control. This involves training, information and advice to trainers and their Veterinary Surgeons, and an important component is providing data for medicines withdrawal times. Until recently this data has come from research conducted in racing’s own in laboratory but with the sale of the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory this research has now been taken on by the Authority.

“We recognise the need to provide trainers and their vets with this important information to allow them to treat their horses but also avoid raceday positive tests. We are committed to providing this information to high standards of science and animal welfare.”

Rory Macdonald, Chief Executive of the British Racing School said: “This is a natural evolution of the role of the School, and in particular I welcome the opportunity for active involvement of the School in education, via our courses, to prevent lapses in medication control.”


1. The British Horseracing Authority is the regulator of British Horseracing. Its role includes rules and testing to ensure racing is drug free. The Authority tests around 10,000 samples a year and of the fraction of a percent that are positive most result from inadvertent carry-over of veterinary treatments.
2. The British Racing School is a charitable educational institutional based in Newmarket founded to promote and encourage young people who had the potential to ride as professional jockeys and has since developed to a leading Centre of Excellence for training in the racing industry, providing a whole range of different courses and training.
3. The European Horserace Scientific Liaison Committee works towards harmonised conditions for drug and medication control for horse racing across Europe and beyond.
4. The Horseracing Forensic Laboratory was sold out of racing in 2007 and now and HFL Sport Science provides drug analytic services under contract to the British Horseracing Authority.