July 31, 2015

Reminder: Ont. Cobalt Testing In Aug.

July 24, 2015 - The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) issued a Notice to the Industry on June 3, 2015 advising that Ontario will begin testing for cobalt with a threshold of 50ng/ml in blood, as of August 1, 2015.

Racing participants are reminded that all horses that have been selected to provide an Official Sample (blood), as defined by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA), will also be tested for cobalt. Once the CPMA has completed the official testing, the ORC will subject the sample to enhanced testing for the presence of cobalt.

On July 17, 2015, Steve Suttie, Executive Director of the CPMA, wrote to ORC CEO and Executive Director Jean Major. The letter summarized the CPMA’s continuing research on cobalt and provides additional information to help racing participants make informed decisions on the use of cobalt in race horses. A copy of the letter is attached to this Notice.

The ORC will also be implementing a policy which allows for trainers and owners to have a claimed horse post-race tested for cobalt at their own expense. If you wish to have a horse tested that you have claimed, please note that on the Official Claim Form

Please note that if a claimed horse is found to have unacceptable levels of cobalt during an approved post-race test, the Judges/Stewards have the authority, at the option of the claimant, to rule a claim invalid.

The ORC believes that cobalt testing is not only a matter related to the integrity of horse racing but more importantly an animal welfare issue. When administered in appropriate quantities, there is likely very little performance benefit to cobalt. And when used in excess, this element can be toxic to horses.

(Standardbred Canada)

CPMA Statement On Positive Tests

July 8, 2015- On Wednesday, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) issued a statement regarding recent positive tests for Oxilofrine.

On June 24, Trot Insider posted a letter from two veterinarians regarding tests for oxilofrine coming, in their opinion, from the administration of ephedrine in antihistamine products.

The statement from the CPMA is available in English and French.

SUBJECT: Certificates of Positive Analysis for Oxilofrine

Oxilofrine is an amphetamine type stimulant. Its use has been reported in human and equine athletes. The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) categorizes it as a Class 2, Penalty A substance. The Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations do not permit the use of oxilofrine.

Recently conducted target testing for the drug oxilofrine resulted in four certificates of positive analysis being issued in the province of Ontario. Consequently, the CPMA carried out an investigation. A preliminary explanation for these positives may be the result of horsemen using products containing ephedrine.

CPMA is conducting further research on oxilofrine and ephedrine, and will advise the industry of its findings upon completion of these studies.

In the meantime, measures have been instituted to ensure that a positive test will not result when products containing ephedrine are used in a manner consistent with the elimination guidelines provided in the CPMA’s 2011 Schedule of Drugs booklet.

OBJET : Certificats d’analyse positive pour l’oxilofrine

L’oxilofrine est un stimulant de type amphétamine. Son usage a été rapporté chez des athlètes humains et équins. L’Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) la catégorise comme substance de classe 2 et pénalité A. Le Règlement sur la surveillance du pari mutuel n’autorise pas l’utilisation de l’oxilofrine.

De récents tests ciblés de dépistage de la drogue oxilofrine se sont soldés par la délivrance de quatre certificats d’analyse positive pour la province de l’Ontario. Par conséquent, l’ACPM a mené une enquête. Une explication préliminaire de ces cas pourrait être l’utilisation, par les professionnels du cheval, de produits contenant de l’éphédrine.

L’ACPM effectue présentement de plus amples recherches sur l’oxilofrine et l’éphédrine et avisera l’industrie des résultats à la fin de l’étude.

Des mesures ont été mises en place pour s’assurer qu’un résultat d’analyse positive ne sera pas obtenu lorsque des produits contenant de l’éphédrine sont utilisés conformément aux lignes directrices sur l’élimination énoncées dans la brochure « Annexe des drogues 2011 » de l’ACPM.


Clenbuterol Elimination Guideline Change

June 18, 2015 - On Thursday, June 18, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency issued a memorandum to provincial regulatory bodies, Canadian horse racing associations and horsepeople’s groups in regard to changes to the elimination guideline for Clenbuterol.

The contents of the memo appear below.

An official copy of the memo can be accessed by clicking here.

SUBJECT: Changes to the elimination guideline for CLENBUTEROL

This memo is to inform the horse racing industry of upcoming changes to the elimination guideline for CLENBUTEROL.

1. The current elimination guideline for the 0.40 mg oral dose given twice daily for 5 days of clenbuterol (Ventipulmin) contained in the 2011 edition of the Schedule of Drugs booklet will be increased from 72 hours to 168 hours (7 days).

2. CPMA is temporarily removing the elimination guideline for the 0.30 mg intravenous single administration until further studies are completed.

3. The 0.32 mg oral single administration will no longer have an elimination guideline.

There are several medications that may be used as alternatives for clenbuterol. The CPMA provides elimination guideline for some of these substances in the 2011 Schedule of Drugs.

To allow ample time for the industry to adjust to the new elimination guidelines, these changes will come into effect on September 1, 2015 and will be reflected in the next version of the Schedule of Drugs booklet expected to be released later this year.

As always, the CPMA recommends that owners and trainers consult their own veterinarian for advice and guidance in the use of all drugs.

(CPMA/Standardbred Canada)

ORC Notice: CPMA Revises Policy

June 16, 2015 - On June 10, 2015, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency announced that it had reviewed its document ‘CPMA Policy Paper P-006, Sample Residue Release’ and revised the policy to add greater clarity.

ORC licensees are expected to know the Rules of Racing, closely review all memos from the CPMA, and keep up to date on the Schedule of Prohibited Drugs.

CPMA Revises Policy


Revision To Positive Sample Policy

June 10, 2015 – The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency has announced that, after having reviewed one of its policies, the owner or trainer of a horse that has tested positive, as per the CPMA’s Equine Drug Control Program, may request the release of any residue remaining from the collected sample.

The CPMA has announced via release that the organization has reviewed its document, ‘CPMA Policy Paper P-006, Sample Residue Release’ and revised the policy to add greater clarity.

The CPMA has explained that the requested release must be made through the appropriate Provincial Regulatory Body, and must be received by the CPMA’s Official Lab within 45 days of the issuance of the certificate of positive analysis.

The official copy of the CPMA’s decision on the matter can be viewed in English (here) or French (here).

Additionally, the contents of the CPMA’s releases regarding the matter appear below.

Policy Paper P-006 Regarding Sample Residue Release – June 2, 2015

The CPMA has reviewed its document, “CPMA Policy Paper P-006, Sample Residue Release” and revised the policy to add greater clarity.

This revised document clarifies the procedure by which a request may be made for additional analysis to be conducted on official samples that have been issued a certificate of positive analysis, as per section 165 of the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations.

The owner or trainer of a horse that has tested positive as per the CPMA’s Equine Drug Control Program may request the release of any residue remaining from the collected sample.

The request must be made through the appropriate Provincial Regulatory Body, and must be received by the CPMA’s Official Lab within 45 days of the issuance of the certificate of positive analysis.

The CPMA continues to recommend that any additional analysis be conducted by a laboratory that is accredited by a nationally recognized body and that it have a demonstrated ability to test for the particular drug or substance reportedly found in the sample.

The requestor remains responsible for all costs associated with any additional analysis.

Should you have any questions please contact the CPMA at 1-800-268-8835, or by email at cpmawebacpm@agr.gc.ca.

Document de politique P-006 concernant la cession des résidus d’échantillons – Le 2 juin 2015

L’ACPM a révisé ses pratiques concernant la cession des résidus provenant d’échantillons officiels prélevés dans le cadre du programme de contrôle des drogues équines de l’ACPM et a émis le document suivant, “Document de politique de l’ACPM
P-006 Cession des résidus d’échantillons”.

Ce document révisé clarifie les procédures concernant la façon dont une demande peut être soumise pour l’analyse supplémentaire d’un échantillon officiel pour lequel un certificat de résultat d’analyse positif a été délivré, conformément à l’article 165 du Règlement sur la surveillance du pari mutuel.

Le propriétaire ou l’entraîneur d’un cheval qui a reçu un résultat d’analyse positif conformément au programme de contrôles des drogues équines de l’ACPM peut demander la cession de tout résidu d’échantillon restant prélevé.

La demande doit être soumise à l’organisme de réglementation provincial concerné et doit être reçue par le laboratoire officiel de l’ACPM dans les 45 jours suivant la date de délivrance du certificat de résultat d’analyse positif.

L’ACPM recommande que toute analyse additionnelle soit effectuée par un laboratoire qui est accrédité par un organisme national d’accréditation et qui a démontré l’habileté d’effectuer l’analyse pour la drogue ou la substance en question retrouvé dans l’échantillon.

Le demandeur demeure responsable pour tous les coûts associés à des analyses additionnelles.

Pour toute question, veuillez communiquer avec l’ACPM au 1-800-268-8835 ou par courriel à cpmawebacpm@agr.gc.ca.


(Standardbred Canada)

CPMA To Test For Cobalt

On Monday, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency issued a statement regarding its position on the use of cobalt in racehorses.

Given the recent publicity surrounding cobalt, the purpose of this notice is to provide the racing industry with information with respect to the CPMA’s position on this substance.

Cobalt is a naturally occurring, trace element present in all horses at very low levels. It can also be found in several feedstuffs and supplements such as vitamin B12. The CPMA has not tested for cobalt since it is not listed in the Schedule of Drugs in the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations (the Regulations).

Horse racing regulators around the world are investigating allegations that large amounts of cobalt have been administered to racehorses in the belief that they will enhance performance by inducing the production of red blood cells.

As you may be aware, a threshold of 100ng/mL in urine has been proposed by several international regulators and, in the United States, several jurisdictions have implemented thresholds between 25 and 70 ng/mL in blood.

Recently, the CPMA has undertaken a number of research initiatives in regard to the use of cobalt in Canada. We have worked with Maxxam Analytics (our official laboratory), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and the University of Kentucky. The CPMA presented these research findings at the International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians late last year. The CPMA has also collaborated with other racing jurisdictions and has made considerable progress towards understanding the complexities in controlling the use of this naturally occurring substance.

Effective immediately, the CPMA will begin testing for elevated levels of cobalt in official samples collected at Canadian racetracks however Certificates of Positive Analysis will not be issued by the CPMA until the Regulations have been amended to include cobalt in the Schedule of Drugs. Results of this testing will be used to establish an appropriate threshold in Canada and data will be shared with Provincial Racing Commissions who may wish to initiate more immediate measures to address the use/misuse of this substance.

Cobalt levels may build up over time when given repeatedly and its elimination from the horse can take an extended period of time. As such, owners and trainers should govern themselves accordingly as, once the Regulations are amended, Certificates of Positive Analysis will be issued immediately based upon the established threshold.

At this time, there are no elimination guidelines for therapeutic doses of cobalt or veterinary approved forms of injectable cobalt. However, current knowledge would suggest that under no circumstances should supplementary oral cobalt be given within 48 hours of racing.

As with all medications and supplements, owners and trainers should discuss the use of cobalt supplements with their veterinarian.

Should you have any questions with respect to the contents of the memorandum, please contact the CPMA at 1-800-268-8835, or email at cpmawebacpm@agr.gc.ca.

Here is the full document from the CPMA:  20150216 – Memo to Industry – Cobalt EN FR


Pentafecta Model Rules Amended

On December 22, 2014, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) released a Memorandum to Provincial Regulatory bodies noting the ARCI Board approval of an amendment to the Model Rules for the Pentafecta. As the CPMA memo advises, this type of bet is now available to Canadian race-course associations.

A copy of this CPMA Memorandum can be viewed by clicking here.

The contents of the CPMA memorandum appear below.

On December 12, 2014, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Board of Directors adopted a proposal to amend the RCI Model Rules for the Pentafecta. Ad per section 143 of the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations, this type of bet is available to Canadian race-course associations.

The pool rule amendment, supported by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA), allows the race-course association to request authorization to move Pentafecta carryover amounts amongst race meetings for which they are the pool host. This is limited to associations utilizing the ‘unique winning ticket’ option of the Pentafecta pool rules. This change will allow associations greater flexibility in building upon the popularity of this bet, and will offer bettors the greater opportunity to follow the Pentafecta’s jackpot pool.

The amending language to the Pentafecta pool rules will soon be available online athttp://arcicom.businesscatalyst.com/model-rules—standards.html.

Update On Ractopamine In Feed

On Monday, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) issued an update to the horse racing industry on recent findings of ractopamine in equine feed.

This memo is further to our notice to industry on February 14, 2014 on the subject of ractopamine in feedstuffs wherein we reminded race horse owners and trainers that it remains their responsibility to obtain horse feed and supplements that are free from substances that may trigger a positive test.

Since we issued that memo, there have been 27 additional positive drug tests for ractopamine in all racing jurisdictions in Canada except the Atlantic provinces with the majority coming from Alberta and Ontario.

The CPMA has initiated discussions with horseperson’s groups across the country to discuss ways of reducing the risk of positive ractopamine drug tests.

One suggestion is that horseperson’s groups take a proactive approach to assisting their membership locate feed facilities that do not produce feed containing ractopamine and having their feed manufacturers sign a letter of guarantee stating that they do not use ractopamine in the manufacturing of feed, store ractopamine on their premises or transport any mixed feed containing ractopamine.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been working with the swine and poultry sectors to develop a program that supports export to markets that require the CFIA to certify that products, exported from Canada, originate from stock that has never been fed and/or exposed to ractopamine hydrochloride. These Ractopamine-Free Certification Programs describe two types of commercial feed mills; Type A and Type B.

Type A mills are those that manufacture, handle and/or distribute only feeds that do not contain ractopamine. Type B mills manufacture, handle and/or distribute feed containing ractopamine and feed that does not contain ractopamine. Type B mills are required to implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) for the prevention of ractopamine cross contamination for feed being manufactured under this program. When these new Programs are published on the CFIA web-site, a list of commercial feed mills enrolled in these Programs will also be available. This list may be used to identify the Type A facilities in your area.

According to the CFIA’s Medication Sequencing Guideline for Management of Drug Carryover, feeds for horses may not directly follow feeds containing ractopamine. Horse feeds that contain ractopamine above the limit of detection are non-compliant. However, the current level of detection is fairly high so in some cases when the horse feed conforms with this allowable limit, the feed may contain enough ractopamine to cause a positive result in the CPMA’s drug testing program.

The following links to the CFlA website provide owners and trainers with information regarding ractopamine and feedstuffs:

Annex E: Canadian Food Inspection Agency Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program

Annex I: Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program

Medication Sequencing Guideline for Management of Drug Carryover

Should you have any questions with respect to the contents of the memorandum, please contact the
CPMA at 1-800-268-8835, or email at cpmawebacpm@agr.gc.ca

To read this announcement in French, click the following link: Ractopamine Update


CPMA Adds Telmisartan to Schedule of Prohibited Drugs

On August 27, 2014, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) released a Memorandum to the Canadian racing industry and to Provincial Regulatory bodies advising that this drug has been added to Schedule of Prohibited Drugs.

To view a copy of this CPMA Memorandum, click on the link below.

CPMA Memorandum – August 27, 2014

ORC reports on revision to Pari-Mutuel Tax Reduction Allocations

The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) is pleased to announce the approval of the revised allocations of the Pari-Mutuel Tax Reduction (PMTR) to support and encourage the horse racing industry in Ontario. This is in keeping with the ORC’s mandate to implement the components of
the 5-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan (HRPP), as approved by the Ontario government.

As a result of the approval by the Board of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) and the subsequent approval by the Board of the ORC, a new structure setting out the allocation of funds from the Pari-Mutuel Tax Reduction will be implemented with the effective date retroactive to April 1, 2014.

By way of this Notice to Industry, ORC licensed racetracks will be required to direct funds as prescribed below.

Horse Improvement Program 3.0 %

Horse People 0.4 %
Customer Benefits 1.5 %
Racetracks 1.25 %
Regulatory Funding 0.75 %
Total PMTR 6.9 %

The ORC will work with affected industry stakeholders to account for amounts paid since April 1, 2014 pursuant to the prior allocation to ensure compliance with these revised rates.