New startup to bring multi-billion euro horse racing industry into 21st Century

Posted on: 07 February 2018

A new tech startup – Equine MediRecord – founded by Trinity College Dublin and LaunchBox alumni Pierce Dargan and Simon Hillary is set to revolutionise the multi-billion euro horse racing industry by digitising the medical regulatory records of its thoroughbred superstars.

The company sells and maintains a mobile application and website to allow proper, timely recording of the many medicines and vaccinations that are routinely administered.

Simon Hillary and Pierce Dargan of Equine MediRecord

Existing medicines registers, which must be kept up to date for each and every racehorse under a trainer’s care, are physical books that require trainers and vets to input data by hand on a day-by-day basis. But these books are easily misplaced or damaged, and, because racehorses and the many people that manage them travel frequently, the process can be time-consuming and laborious.

Additionally, different racing jurisdictions across the globe have different rules regarding the medications that are permitted, but there is no central database or system to easily check specific regulations.

Equine MediRecord solves these problems as records can be updated easily and securely in real time as medicines and vaccinations are administered. It is also the first system to be deemed an acceptable alternative to the current Medicines Register system by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

Additionally, all records are securely stored in the cloud, so they cannot be lost or damaged; users will receive notification updates automatically when regulations around certain medications change, so it is far easier to comply with regulations; horse locations are updated when they move to vets or other stables, so it is easier to track their whereabouts; complete medical records are easily exported as data files, so there are no grey areas regarding a horse’s history.

The project was initially nurtured by Trinity College Dublin’s business incubator programme, LaunchBox, and has been supported from the beginning by a number of trainers and vets who have helped the company develop a very user-friendly system.

Pierce Dargan, CEO of Equine MediRecord, said: “Our system has been well received and is already in use by trainers and vets, and it has been deemed an acceptable alternative by racing regulators. It is easy to use and keep up to date, provides vital information to trainers, and allows technology to assist in horse welfare.”

Simon Hillary, CTO of Equine MediRecord, said: “We have brought technology to bear on a traditional industry to assist trainers to abide by the regulatory demands placed upon them. It is easy to use and will encourage up-to-date record keeping, and its accuracy will assist trainers and vets in their day-to-day work.”

Hugh Dillon, Veterinary practitioner and partner at Troytown Equine hospital, said: “I have been very impressed with this programme, which combines a very user-friendly platform for both trainer and veterinary surgeon with the ability to accurately record medication and treatment details of the racehorses under their care. This is vital in today’s increasingly regulatory environment. I am very confident that this program will be an essential tool that can be run from phones or laptops.”

Image credit: 'Two horses running side by side

Michael Grassick, Chief Executive of the Irish Horseracing Trainers Association, said: “From the first conversation with Pierce Dargan and Simon Hillary I always felt it was a good idea. With more regulations from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board regarding medical record books it is imperative that we keep records up to date. Using Equine MediRecord solves these problems. It gives you added security and peace of mind. ”

Equine MediRecord has already won a number of awards and competitions since the startup graduated from LaunchBox, including two important recent successes at the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association Expo.

Classic-winning trainer, John Oxx, said: “Congratulations to Pierce Dargan and Simon Hillary on their great achievement in winning Most Innovative Initiative Serving the Thoroughbred Industry and the Overall Winner of Best Startup Serving the Thoroughbred Industry at the ITBA Expo 2018. Their idea is innovative, useful and will be a great asset for all those striving to keep and share accurate records.”

For more information about Equine MediRecord, see:

Equine MediRecord’s successes

Equine MediRecord has won a number of awards and competitions including: Trinity College Dublin’s incubator programme, Trinity Launchbox 2017; the Number One Draft Pick Startup Competition at the One Zero Conference 2017 (the largest sport technology conference in Europe and the Best Under 30s Business for Breeders); Most Innovative Initiative Serving the Thoroughbred Industry and Overall Winner of Best Startup Serving the Thoroughbred Industry at the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association (ITBA) Expo 2018.

About LaunchBox

Trinity College Dublin’s business incubator programme, LaunchBox, has quickly delivered tremendous success, with a host of student entrepreneurs having used the programme as a springboard to create viable businesses across a wide range of sectors. Since 2013, the students involved have created 40 startups and raised over €6m in investment and funding. Their companies include social enterprise Foodcloud, which helps businesses redistribute surplus food to those who need it, Touchtech, a payment processing venture, and Artomatix.

LaunchBox last year become part of the I&E Hub — a new unit that will address all schools and departments in Trinity, promoting awareness and providing guidance, training and support in innovation to all students and staff, and to external partners and stakeholders. It will also establish a strong network of connections between Trinity and the wider innovation ecosystems across Dublin, Ireland and abroad.

For more information about LaunchBox, see:

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Thomas Deane, Media Relations Officer | | +353 1 896 4685