The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) will launch a pilot project that will allow for the collection of Official (blood) samples at the same time as TCO2 (Plasma Total Carbon Dioxide) samples. The pilot will take place at The Raceway at Western Fair District, commencing on November 15, 2013 and will run throughout the 2013/2014 racing season.

In this pilot project Official blood samples will be collected by the TCO2 Technician from selected horses in their paddock stall pre-race. The pilot has been designed to run in conjunction with the current CPMA drug control program consisting of post-race Official sample collections. This means that horses that are selected for pre-race Official sample collections may also be selected for post-race Official sample collection.

The purpose of the pilot project is to identify and evaluate potential efficiencies and risks for the future delivery of the Equine Drug Control program and to ensure that this program continues to protect the health and safety of the horse and the racing participants. It will also add another layer of variability to the overall medication control effort and provide greater assurances to bettors that significant barriers are in place to prevent the administration of prohibited drugs and substances.

– The Paddock Judge will announce which horse has been selected to provide a pre-race official sample. If your horse has been selected, you will be instructed to attend to and remain with your horse.

– The TCO2 Technician/Test Inspector (TI) will arrive at your paddock stall and advise you that your horse has been selected to provide a pre-race official/TCO2 sample and your stall has been designated as a retention area.

– The TI will then advise you of your duties as per the Federal regulations including the removal of all items from the stall that would not be permitted in a retention/test barn area.

– The Test Inspector will affix a marker to the cross ties that identifies your horse as being selected for pre-race testing.

– The TI will collect the Official and TCO2 blood samples from the horse. You must take control of the horse and will be asked to observe the sample collection and sign the test card and appropriate seals.

– The stall will remain a retention area until such time as the horse is called by the Paddock Judge to the post parade for the scheduled race.

– Unless your horse is selected for post-race testing or required to provide a quantitative sample (EIPH and/or procaine), your testing requirements have been completed and you are free to resume your post-race duties.

Trainer responsibilities:
– Ensure either you or an authorized person are with your horse when notified/paged by the Paddock Judge

– Ensure either you or an authorized person remain with your horse until the Official sample has been collected

– Ensure either you or an authorized person follow the instructions given by the Test Inspector

– Ensure either you or an authorized person has removed all restricted items from the stall until the horse leaves the stall for the race


What items can I have in the stall if my horse is selected for pre-race testing?

The stall will be designated as the retention area and therefore, you are expected to adhere to the same rules and regulations – if an item is not allowed in the test barn, it is not allowed in your stall (ie: beverages/food, shampoos, liniments, etc.).

After an Official pre-race blood sample has been collected from my horse, can I use topical solutions?
As soon as the pre-race test marker is affixed to the cross ties of the stall, it is considered to be a retention area/test barn for the purpose of this pilot project. Therefore, nothing may be applied to or administered to the horse.

What could happen to me if I apply a topical solution or product to my horse after it has been selected for pre-race testing?
You may be subjected to a fine, suspension and/or other regulatory actions.

My horse has already been pre-race tested, could I still be called for post-race testing?
Yes, your horse could be selected for Official post-race testing regardless of having previously provided a pre-race sample.

What happens if my horse is scratched after being selected for pre-race testing?
Once your horse arrives in the race paddock, it can be subject to the pre-race testing process.

My pre-race sample has been collected and my horse is on Lasix or Procaine, does my horse still need to go to the retention area/test barn after the race?
Yes, your horse will be required to be returned to the retention area/test barn. It is the responsibility of the trainer to ensure that the horse is returned directly to the test barn after the race to provide a quantitative sample.

Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
Ontario Racing Commission – Rob McKay (905) 379-7341 Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency – Dr. Adam Chambers (905) 648-3033 or Lydia Brooks (613) 949-0745