Completion of the Vet Treatment Register by trainers

There is a misconception amongst trainers that the Vet Treatment Register (VTR) only has to be filled in by vets. Please note that this is NOT true. The VTR has to be completed whenever a horse receives ANY treatment. For example, if a vet dispenses a bottle of penicillin for the trainer to administer over the next 3 days, then the TRAINER must enter this administration in the VTR each time he treats the horse. The same would apply for ANY dispensed medication. Please note that a vet may only prescribe medication for 30 days. Any medication found in a trainers possession that was prescribed more than a month previously, shall be confiscated and the trainer fined. The same applies to expired medication. Please note that the use of dispensed medication does NOT apply to the 48 hour period before a race day. Only a vet may administer treatment 48 hours prior to a race day.

According to the protocol published, any administration of Lasix must be also be entered into the VTR by the Trainer as soon as it is administered. This becomes very important, should a horse get selected for Out of Competition sampling. If the Lasix treatment is not in the VTR at time of sampling, it will be considered not prescribed.

The other treatment that has to be recorded is any Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy. The vet has to prescribe a programme for the horse (also entered in the VTR) and each time the horse is subsequently treated, this must be recorded by the trainer.

Trainers must also insist that the vet writes the VTR sequence number on the label of any drug that he dispenses. This will enable the NHA to link any medication found in a trainer’s possession to the correct VTR entry, which must detail all the dosage, route etc requirements.

Any dispensed medication not utilised, should be returned to the prescribing vet for disposal. Any chronic medication (i.e. treatment longer than two weeks for e.g. Ventipulmin dispensed for IAD in a horse), does not need to be recorded every day, with the proviso that the original dispensing instructions are clearly recorded in the VTR on the day corresponding to the sequence number on the label of the medication. Chronic medication must be renewed every 30 days and re-entered into the VTR with a new label and corresponding sequence number on the medication.

Please note that the old 24 hour rule has been changed and no longer applies. It is the trainer’s responsibility to ensure that his/her vet completes the VTR legibly as and when he treats the horse. Should the vet utilise his own VTR, then the trainer must file the copy that the vet leaves behind. This becomes very important when Out of Competition testing is done. The trainer MUST have available at all times, proof of any and all treatment administered to his horses. The discharge form from a hospital is also considered a treatment record in terms of the rules, to cover horses returning from surgery or hospitalization.

It is not necessary to record all administrations of cobalt containing preparations (for e,g, Vit B12) for Out of Competition testing, as cobalt will only be penalised when present on a race day. However, other unscheduled preparations (for e.g. Aspirin, which is available without prescription), must be entered into the VTR by the Trainer when administered. Beware of utilising any “Over the Counter” medication without consulting your vet regarding its composition and possible “prohibited substances” present in the formulation.