Merck Animal Health and United States Trotting Association Reach Partnership Milestone in Equine Care

New scanning technology enhances Standardbred industry’s pioneering approach to equine identification and monitoring.
Merck Animal Health Global Pocket Reader Plus
The United States Trotting Association has recently adopted the Global Pocket ReaderTM Plus (GPR+) portable microchip reader for use with the Bio-Thermo microchip for horses. | Courtesy Merck

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside of the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, New Jersey, USA (NYSE:MRK), is pleased to recognize a 50,000-microchip milestone as part of its ongoing partnership with the United States Trotting Association (USTA). The organization partnered with Merck Animal Health in 2018 to become the first registry to formally incorporate temperature scanning into its microchip identification program and is now using Merck Animal Health Bio-Thermo® microchips exclusively for identifying Standardbred racehorses in the United States.

“At Merck Animal Health, we are committed to the health of horses and those devoted to their care,” says Ron McDaniel, director of U.S. equine sales, Merck Animal Health. “Achieving the 50,000-microchip milestone in partnership with the USTA is more than a measure of progress, it’s a reflection of our shared dedication to advancing equine health and wellness through innovative technology and care solutions.”

Bridging this achievement with the practical application of the technology, USTA’s recent adoption of the Global Pocket ReaderTM Plus (GPR+) portable microchip reader represents further advancement in the organization’s approach to horse care management.

Streamlined Identification and Health Monitoring

The GPR+ scanner is designed specifically for use with the Bio-Thermo microchip for horses. By pairing this advanced microchip reader with the EquiTrace® app and signing in with USTA-member credentials, users get enhanced monitoring and health care features. The app will not only identify horses that are registered with USTA, but it will also record and graph temperatures from Bio-Thermo microchips. The app also allows users to consolidate health record keeping, giving them control of horse health data in a secure manner.

Further enhancing its utility, the GPR+ scanner connects with smartphones via the USTA ChipID app. This member-exclusive app, available for free to USTA members on the App Store® and Google Play®, offers efficient temperature monitoring and horse identification, providing a dedicated identification solution tailored to the needs of the user.

“As we hit this achievement with Merck Animal Health, it’s clear that our commitment to leveraging the latest equine identification technology is making a significant impact,” says TC Lane, chief operating officer, USTA. “The integration of the GPR+ reader with the EquiTrace app and our own ChipID app is not just an advancement in identification and health monitoring, it’s a testament to our dedication to providing the best care for Standardbreds and our ongoing promise to enhance member experience through a variety of healthcare solutions.page1image4313360

The USTA embraced the Bio-Thermo microchip because of its ability to serve not only as a dependable means of identification but also as an effective way for Standardbred trainers and caretakers to record the horse’s body temperature at the scan of a microchip reader. This saves a significant amount of time over rectal thermometers and helps identify febrile horses sooner.

The Bio-Thermo microchip provides a 15-digit identification number, is about the size of a grain of rice, will not wear out, and lasts the life of the horse. To learn more about Bio-Thermo microchips, contact your Merck Animal Health equine sales representative or visit

The EquiTrace app is available to download at the App Store or Google Play.

About Merck Animal Health

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we’ve been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, producers, pet owners, and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability, and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being, and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram.

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