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Turf Club 2010 Integrity Racing Statistics

The Turf Club today announced the Integrity Racing Statistics for 2010

The main statistics cover Racecourse Stewards’ Enquiries, Appeals Body and Referrals Committee hearings, drug/alcohol testing of riders, drug testing of horses, licenses issued, non-runners, medical statistics, handicap ratings and off-times.

The key statistics are as follows:-

  • Appeals Body and Referrals Committee dealt with 50 cases which was the highest number of cases dealt with in the past five years.  The Appeals Body dealt with 16 cases of which two were chaired by an Independent Chairman.
  • 154 riders were drug tested and four samples were confirmed as positives (2 Furosemide, 1 Furosemide and Amiloride and 1 Metabolite of Cannabis).
  • Alcohol breath testing of riders was carried out on 1,431 riders at 27 meetings.  One test was positive.
  • 2,860 horses were tested for prohibited substances and there were two positive results.
  • The number of apprentice licenses issued decreased by 10%.
  • The number of trainers holding dual licenses issued decreased by 10% while the total number of restricted trainer’s licenses fell by 7.5%.
  • The number of full time stable employees registered declined by 3.5%.

Commenting on the figures, Turf Club Chief Executive, Denis Egan, expressed “disappointment at the increase in the number of positive drug tests on riders and the one positive breath test.”

In relation to the drug testing of horses, Denis Egan said he was “very pleased with the results” noting that the publication of guidelines relating to the responsible use of veterinary medicines in August 2009 had the desired effect.  He confirmed that the Turf Club regards this whole area as critical in ensuring the integrity of racing and that there would be no reduction in the testing either on or off the course.

Commenting on the medical statistics, the Turf Club’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Adrian McGoldrick said the increase in the injury rate per fall may be due in part to the “introduction of a new system for recording injuries which allows more detailed recording of injuries.  He noted that 50% of all falls in flat racing do not occur during the race.  He also said “that incidence of concussion remains a worry and the need for a higher standard of helmets is a priority.

Currently CEN TC158 (European Central Committee for Standardisation) is reviewing the standards, but movement is slow.”   In relation to concussion he said “the new Concussion Protocol was approved by the Stewards of the Governing Bodies in 2009 and was implemented with effect from January 2010.  Due to the Turf Club’s backing of this new protocol, jockeys now have the highest standard of concussion monitoring of any sporting body in Ireland.”  He said that “he was grateful to the Stewards for their support of this long-term project which should improve our diagnosis of concussion and allow riders to return safely to race riding, while preventing riders returning while still concussed.”  In conclusion, Dr. McGoldrick said that “such was the importance of concussion issues, he was currently drawing up a fact sheet for jockeys and trainers explaining more about the symptoms of concussion and ways of reducing the likelihood of it occurring.”

Denis Egan concluded by noting that, while there was only a 2% decrease in the total number of trainers licenses issued, the number of dual licenses issued fell by 10% which is indicative of a more focused approach by trainers.  He also said that a 7.5% fall in restricted trainers licenses was worrying and is further evidence of the effect that the economy is having on the racing industry.

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