Court Considine of Considine Farms says ‘It’s a no brainer’
EquiTrace is a unique app that enables trainers to keep track of a horse’s health and identity with a quick scan of a chip. Created by Dr Kevin Corley and Jennifer Corley, equine veterinarians, with technology expert Dr Paul Hayton, and based on their experiences working with competition yards, EquiTrace prioritises horse welfare management and makes it much easier to ensure that the right horse gets the right treatment at the right time. Using EquiTrace dramatically reduces paperwork, saving the cost of two full time salaries according to Considine. There are just under 19,000 horses already on the EquiTrace database.
D K Weld, trainer of nearly 4,500 winners, including group 1 races on four continents, said: ‘I find it extremely helpful. It dramatically reduces the amount of paperwork which is the bane of any trainer’s life’. The Irish Horse Racing Board (IHRB) requires every yard keep a Blue Book which has to be submitted monthly to the IHRB. In the Blue Book, every medication given to every horse is recorded, with the amounts, the name of the medication and its batch number all written in by hand. EquiTrace enables a trainer to email the blue book information direct from their mobile phone, no handwriting – or hunting down the physical blue book – required. Tom Daly, Head Lad at Rosewell Racing, D K Weld’s yard, says EquiTrace is ‘Invaluable – it’s made my life so much easier’.
Vincent O’Connor, senior vet at Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital on the Curragh, Ireland, said ‘I found EquiTrace particularly easy to use.’ He also notes the app’s ability to suggest appropriate stand down periods required for intraarticular medication, where injections into different joints require different numbers of days withdrawal before competition. The experience of John Oxx, whose winner I Know I Can was disqualified because of a positive test for TCA (triamcinolone acetonide) on 2 July 2020, is a case in point. Dr Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer and Head of Anti-Doping, stated that the minimum recommended stand down time for TCA would be 14 days but added that the stifle is a complex joint and can be associated with longer excretion times than might be expected.*
In the USA, Dr Alan Dorton, at Ramsay Farm, of ‘Kitten’s Joy’ fame, says he has been ‘extremely happy with the app and pretty much coming up with new ways to use it everyday’.
Keeping a horse’s identity straight might seem a simple thing, but when you have a yard where staff and horses can change frequently and records are kept in the office, far away from the stables and fields where the horses are, it is not as easy as you think. Dr Kevin Corley remembers a time when he was called out to genetically test four two year olds, each valued at over €50,000 because their registration documents had been lost before they had been filed and no one knew which one was which.
EquiTrace has been in trials in Ireland, England, USA, Sweden and Italy and every yard which tested the app has kept it in operation.
EquiTrace is a subscription service, with a basic service for $1/€1 per month per horse and a premium subscription at $2/€2 per month per horse. A scanner available from EquiTrace as a one-time cost is required to operate the system, ranging in price from €250 to €400 or USA $350 to $550. EquiTrace works with all ISO-compliant microchips and some of the service offerings will be dependent on the type of chip in the horse. EquiTrace is available on Apple and Google appstores. Establishments with over 200 horses can contact EquiTrace directly to arrange a subscription. Current clients include DK Weld in Ireland, Ramsey Farm and Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, USA, Kinsale Stud in the UK and Avantea in Italy.
‘Horse welfare is our priority,’ says Dr Kevin Corley, founder, EquiTrace. ‘No one would want a horse to go untreated for an injury because of fears of a positive drugs test. EquiTrace suggests withdrawal times for different treatments to help vets and trainers make better decisions on appropriate treatment. Estimating withdrawal times is very complex with a number of variable factors. Trainers have welcomed this support and, in Ireland in particular, the opportunity to have a dynamic, digital information source for Blue Book submissions.’
The information on EquiTrace can be shared with specific individuals, so that it is possible for owners to keep in touch with their horse’s welfare even at a distance and for vets and trainers to discuss an individual horse with all relevant infromation in front of both of them simultaneously.