Ken Nicol: The National Horseracing Authority (NHA) has made significant changes to the rules regarding horses suffering an epistaxis (bleeding).
The post on the NHA website reads as follows:
“The duration of the suspensions imposed on horses suffering an epistaxis has been carefully considered by The National Horseracing Authority Veterinary Surgeons.
“It was established that after studying the relevant statistics over the past Racing season that there was no noticeable increase in epistaxis in horses that return to racing, following a 60 day suspension after a first episode.
“The proposal was approved by the National Board of Directors to maintain the suspension for a first bleed of 60 days and to reduce the suspension for a second bleed from 180 days to 120 days. Furthermore, a horse (after suffering an epistaxis) will return to non-bleeder status following 3 (three) clear races of not suffering an epistaxis.”
The last sentence is the most significant. This means that even after a second occurrence of bleeding, a horse will be treated as a first ‘offender’ again after three symptom free appearances.
NHA Racing Control Executive Arnold Hyde made it clear when contacted that this will be applied at the discretion of the veterinary surgeons, depending on the severity of the original occurence.