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Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd welcome introduction of Racehorse Limb Support Kits

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd have today announced the provision of two new Racehorse Limb Support Kits for use in Irish horseracing.


This is the result of a collaboration between the Irish Equine Veterinary Association (IEVA) and the IHRB, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and supported by the Irish RacehorseTrainers Association (IRTA). It is hoped that the use of these kits will enhance the comfort and clinical outcome of any horse injured on the racecourse.


The Racehorse Limb Support Kits comprise compression boots and splints, and are suitable for all racehorses from both codes, National Hunt and Flat. They were introduced to Irish race meetings last month and will now be available for use by the Racecourse Veterinary teams across Ireland.


The Racehorse Limb Support Kit provides external support to the type of injury which may occur during racing, specifically in the lower limb. The use of a compression boot or splint during the immediate care of an injured horse enables the horse to be better transported, as comfortably and safely as possible, to an equine hospital for further assessment and treatment. By minimising further disruption to the bone and critical soft tissue structures in the leg, the Racehorse Limb Support Kit helps ensure the best possible outcome for the injured horse and givesthe best chance of future rehabilitation.


The kits were developed by vets for use by vets and are supported by practitioners and experts from the Association of Irish Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons and the Irish Equine Veterinary Association. These organisations will be working with the IHRB to support veterinary teams across the island of Ireland to use the boot and splints effectively.


Dr Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer, commented: “Ensuring the highest standards of care, safety and welfare for all participants within Irish horseracing – human and horses – is a priority for the IHRB. These innovative Racehorse Limb Support Kits are state of the art pieces of equipment.


“By making these kits available to the dedicated teams of expert equine veterinary colleagues on duty at every race meeting across Ireland, horses will benefit, in terms of significantly minimising discomfort and stress on the horse, their recovery from injury and their longer-term future, be that a return to racing or to another career. 


“I would like to thank Boehringer Ingelheim as a driving force behind these kits and their support on introducing them to Irish racing.”


Dr Claire Hawkes, Irish Equine Veterinary Association, said: “The availability of the limb support system to veterinarians onsite at Irish Racecourses is a positive step for racehorse welfare. Where stabilisation is appropriate, the kit provides the tools necessary to rapidly stabilise a fracture, allowing for improved comfort, load bearing, reduced anxiety and, importantly, the opportunity for the horse to be fully assessed for treatment.”



Dr Marc Laemmer, Business Head of Equine in Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health said: “We are delighted to be able to sponsor these Limb Support Kits and work with the IHRB to enhance the safety and welfare of all equine participants. We believe the kits will make a significant difference to equine participants and the sport.”


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