EquiTrace is a unique app that enables trainers to keep track of a horse’s health and identity with a quick scan of a microchip. Created by Drs. Kevin Corley and Jennifer Corley, equine veterinarians, with technology expert Dr. Paul Hayton and based on their experiences working with competition yards, EquiTrace prioritizes horse welfare management and makes it much easier to ensure that the right horse gets the right treatment at the right time.
There are just under 19,000 horses already on the EquiTrace database.
Dermok K. Weld, trainer of nearly 4,500 Thoroughbred racehorse winners, including Group 1 races on four continents, said: "I find it extremely helpful. It dramatically reduces the amount of paperwork, which is the bane of any trainer’s life." The Irish Horse Racing Board (IHRB) requires every yard keep a Blue Book, which has to be submitted monthly to the IHRB. In the Blue Book, every medication given to every horse is recorded, with the amounts, the name of the medication and its batch number all written in by hand. EquiTrace enables a trainer to email the Blue Book information direct from their mobile phone, no handwriting or hunting down the physical blue book required."
Tom Daly, Head Lad at Rosewell Racing, in Weld’s yard, sais, EquiTrace is "Invaluable—it’s made my life so much easier."
Vincent O’Connor, senior vet at Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital on the Curragh, Ireland, said, "I found EquiTrace particularly easy to use." He also noted the app’s ability to suggest appropriate stand down periods required for intra-articular medication, where injections into different joints require different numbers of days withdrawal before competition.
Court Considine of Considine Farms said, "It’s a no brainer."
In the USA, Dr. Alan Dorton at Ramsay Farm (of Kitten’s Joy fame) said he has been "extremely happy with the app and pretty much coming up with new ways to use it every day."
Keeping a horse’s identity straight might seem a simple thing, but when you have a yard, farm or stable where staff and horses can change frequently and records are kept in the office far away from the stables and fields where the horses are, it is not as easy as you think.
Corley remembered a time when he was called out to genetically test four 2-year- olds, each valued at over €50,000, because their registration documents had been lost before they had been filed and no one knew which one was which.
EquiTrace has been in trials in Ireland, England, USA, Sweden and Italy, and every yard that tested the app has kept it in operation.
EquiTrace is a subscription service, with a basic service for $1/€1 per month per horse and a premium subscription at $2/€2 per month per horse. A scanner available from EquiTrace as a one-time cost is required to operate the system, ranging in price from €250 to €400 or USA $350 to $550.
EquiTrace works with all ISO-compliant microchips, and some of the service offerings will be dependent on the type of chip in the horse.
EquiTrace is available on Apple and Google app stores.
Establishments with more than 200 horses can contact EquiTrace directly to arrange a subscription.
Current clients include Weld in Ireland, Ramsey Farm and Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, Kinsale Stud in the UK and Avantea in Italy.
"Horse welfare is our priority,’ said Corley. "No one would want a horse to go untreated for an injury because of fears of a positive drugs test. EquiTrace suggests withdrawal times for different treatments to help vets and trainers make better decisions on appropriate treatment. Estimating withdrawal times is very complex with a number of variable factors. Trainers have welcomed this support and, in Ireland in particular, the trainers have welcomed the opportunity to have a dynamic, digital information source for Blue Book submissions."
The information on EquiTrace can be shared with specific individuals so that it is possible for owners to keep in touch with their horses' welfare even at a distance and for vets and trainers to discuss an individual horse with all relevant information in front of both of them simultaneously.