Equine MediRecord partners with Arabian Racing Organisation to lead way in equine welfare

Posted on: 16 December 2019

Irish technology company, Equine MediRecord (EMR), recent winner of the Irish Midlands Best Startup in 2019, has partnered with the Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) in the United Kingdom to bring about the highest standards of equine welfare in the world.

ARO is the first equine organisation in Europe and only the second in the world to mandate electronic veterinary records to be kept by their registered trainers for the horses in their care.

Equine MediRecord was founded by Trinity and LaunchBox alumni Pierce Dargan and Simon Hillary. It was initially nurtured by Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, and its business incubator programme, LaunchBox.

Whitley Meadows Arabians Popsstar and Martin Dwyer winning at Dubai International Arabian Races at Newbury 2019. Image credit: Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO).

The global equine industry predominantly maintains veterinary records on paper. However EMR’s revolutionary web and phone app has upgraded these traditional handwritten records to a digital mobile platform. This minimises common errors through spelling or the dangers of record books being damaged or lost, which may compromise the welfare of the horse.

EMR solves many issues for all parties in the equine industry. Trainers can be certain they are compliant with the latest equine welfare regulations automatically, while veterinary surgeons can access a horse’s full medical history, ensuring they receive the best possible care. Moreover, regulators and administrators can be sent digital copies of records before races or during equine disease outbreaks.

The equine influenza outbreak in the UK in February this year saw the racing industry lose over £150 million as racing was postponed while inspection of yards and documents were taking place. Accurate record keeping is topical globally, with the formation of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition in the United States, made up of six of the US’s most prominent horse racing entities. They have united to seek a common, comprehensive and transparent set of standards an includes digital veterinary record keeping as an aim for the future.

The EMR system currently boasts some of the largest thoroughbred racing and breeding yards in the UK, Ireland and France, though their administrators still maintain a paper veterinary record system. ARO will be breaking new ground in becoming a world leader in biosecurity and equine welfare, as the first organisation to commit to having digital veterinary records for all their registered horses. All Arabian racehorses in the UK will now be placed on the EMR digital system that automates veterinary compliance to welfare regulation for the 2020 season.

Arabian racing began in the UK in 1978, as an amateur sport, racing primarily on Point-to-Point racecourses. ARO was formed in 1999 and Arabian racing switched to competing solely on thoroughbred racecourses, under the guidance of the British Horseracing Authority.

Certain restrictions were imposed, for example segregation from the thoroughbreds in the racecourse stables when competing on the same card and the use of the pre-parade ring saddling facilities on some racecourses.

Though still holding amateur status in the UK, Arabian trainers have been competing successfully at the highest level globally for many years, in some cases dividing their time between the UK in the summer and the Gulf States in the winter. For example, when Dubai’s Meydan racecourse commenced racing in 2010, the winner of the opening race was No Risk Al Maury, trained by multiple ARO champion trainer Gillian Duffield, who was based in Newmarket.

Genny Haynes, ARO Commercial & Finance Director, commented: “It became evident with the equine influenza outbreak and the BHA’s criteria for nasal swabs when Arabian horses raced on licenced tracks that we needed to raise our standards of bio-security to a higher level.”

“With this commitment to equine welfare and bio-security, and the opportunity to work with EMR, certain restrictions were relaxed for the first time in decades in the 2019 season.”

“We are delighted to partner with EMR for 2020 when we will fully integrate our registered trainers into their system, which will demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards of welfare for our horses.”

Pierce Dargan, CEO, Equine MediRecord, stated: “We are so happy that our system played a part in getting the restrictions dropped on Arabian horses, for the first time in decades, in the UK. We have been inspired by the commitment of those at the ARO and Arabian trainers in the UK who are committed to ensure the best possible care for their horses.”  

“We are proud to be helping them promote the sport of Arabian Racing in the UK and see them become a global leader to ensure the welfare of the horses under their care.” 

For more information about Equine MediRecord, see: https://www.equinemedirecord.com/.

Media Contact:

Thomas Deane, Media Relations Officer | deaneth@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 4685