Please note that with effect 01 November 2015, the suspension of horses for a first episode of epistaxis has been reduced from 90 days to 60 days. This decision has been made by the NHA veterinary department and approved by the National Board after lengthy consultation with owners, trainers and private practitioners. This will be run on a trial basis for a year and shall be reassessed each year by means of ongoing analysis of data collected by the NHA veterinarians. Should it become evident that the amount of repeat bleeders is increasing, then the NHA reserve the right to return to the original 90 day suspension.
The NHA veterinary department is of the opinion that this trial will provide critical information to address the very contentious issue of the correct period of rest required for a horse to heal after an episode of epistaxis. We are comfortable that we will be able to monitor the data on a regular basis and that we will be able to take remedial action immediately should we feel that the situation is worsening. The converse is also true, in that if there is no effect on the amount of repeat episodes of epistaxis after a few years of monitoring, then we could consider reducing the 60 days even further. This ground breaking research will provide a lot of answers to a lot of questions concerning epistaxis and its effect on the racehorse.
Please note that the period of suspension for a second episode of epistaxis remains 180 days, unless the horse has raced for more than a year after its first suspension, in which case the suspension would be 60 days again. A third episode of epistaxis shall remain a permanent suspension.
NHA VETERINARY DEPARTMENT