NOTICE OF MEETING 

 

Notice is hereby given that the One Hundred and Thirty Sixth Annual General Meeting of Members will be held at the offices of The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa, Turf Club Street, Turffontein, on Wednesday, 17 January 2018, at 14:00 to transact the following business: 

  1. To consider and confirm the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Members held on Wednesday, 18 January 2017. 
  2. To consider the Report of the Chairman of the National Board of Directors for the year ended 31 July 2017. 
  3. To receive and consider the audited Financial Statements of The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa and the Funds held in Trust for the period ended 31 July 2017. 
  4. To appoint the Authority’s Auditors. 
  5. To transact any business which may be transacted at an Annual General Meeting.  

 

                                                                               Proxy Forms are available Click Here

 

Lyndon Barends                                                                                                                                                            15 December 2017

Chief Executive   

 


Prednisolone hemisuccinate is a prohibited substance

Prednisolone is a corticosteroid and is a prohibited substance with a similar effect to hydrocortisone. Both prednisolone and hydrocortisone are commercially available as hemisuccinate (succinic acid) derivatives. The ester derivative, hydrocortisone hemisuccinate, is found in the preparation Solu Cortef while the similar ester, prednisolone hemisuccinate, is found in the well-known preparation Solu delta Cortef.

The term ester describes the link of the molecule succinate (succinic acid) to the corticosteroid (prednisolone) which is so-called ester linkage. This linked prednisolone hemisuccinate molecule has enhanced water solubility compared to prednisolone itself. Contained in injectable formulations, this ester derivative permits the intravenous administration of higher doses of prednisolone than otherwise possible.

When injected the prednisolone hemisuccinate is broken down in the body (the ester is hydrolysed) resulting in the release of prednisolone, the active corticosteroid molecule.

Prednisolone hemisuccinate is therefore not only an ester derivative but also a pro-drug of prednisolone. A pro-drug is defined as a precursor of a drug molecule that results in the formation of the drug (in this case prednisolone).

The hydrolysis of prednisolone hemisuccinate is not immediate. This ester derivative can be detected in both blood and urine for a period of at least 24 hours following the intravenous administration of a normal dose of a prednisolone hemisuccinate preparation (such as Solu delta Cortef).

As described in Rule 73.4, pro-drugs of prohibited substances and metabolites of prohibited substances are also prohibited substances. The administration of injected prednisolone hemisuccinate can therefore result in positive declarations on prednisolone hemisuccinate and/or prednisolone and/or known metabolites of prednisolone.


Salicylic acid is a substance found in the normal feed of horses such as lucern and hay. During previous years large populations of racehorses from all over the world were screened for natural levels of salicylic acid which is ingested in such feeds. Considering the possible diets of horses and worst case scenarios, a single salicylic prosecution threshold was decided on an international basis. This International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) threshold has been established with an extremely high probability that untreated horses on a variety of feeds will present levels far below this salicylic acid threshold. 

The NHA has formally adopted this threshold:  “Salicylic acid…… 6.5 micrograms salicylic acid per millilitre in plasma” as shown on the website. A specimens is only declared a positive finding when the concentration of salicylic acid is accurately confirmed (full quantitative analysis is conducted as part of such a positive finding) to exceed this threshold, in accordance to Rule 73.4.4.  
It is know that Aspirin can be added to the feed of horses to acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory substance. Acetyl salicylic acid (Aspirin) is however a pro-drug of salicylic acid, implying that Aspirin will be converted to salicylic acid within the horse.  As Aspirin it is not a scheduled substance (in contrast to most analgesic and anti-inflammatory substances) it can be readily obtained by all. The administration of Aspirin to the racehorse must be recorded in the Veterinary Treatment Register of the horse. The use of Aspirin too close to race day is likely to result in salicylic acid prosecution. Be aware that guidance of the use of Aspirin products in the horse differ between different manufacturers.

Following the administration of a single dose of Aspirin a detection period of a two days applies (this is not a withdrawal time). Consult your veterinarian in regards to a suitable withdrawal period. The NHA does not assume any legal, professional or other responsibility or duty whatsoever as to the accuracy of the data presented in this document. Please note that reliance on and use of the above information does not absolve or diminish a trainer or owner from being responsible for ensuring that the horse complies with the rules relating to the presence of drugs and prohibited substances when presenting a horse for a race.


Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant used to treat skeletal muscle spasms, with some effect on the central nervous system.  One of its actions is to block nerve impulses (such as pain sensations) to the brain. Methocarbamol is locally available as a human tablet preparation of commercial name “Robaxin”. It has therapeutic application in the horse and is used for the treatment of acute inflammatory and traumatic conditions of the skeletal muscle to reduce muscle spasm and effect muscle relaxation. Within the NHA Classification it is “Class 4 - substances which have a generally accepted veterinary (therapeutic) use in the racehorse but which have the potential to affect performance.”

Methocarbamol is a substance with an Asian Racing Federation screening limit and as member of this federation, the NHA has adopted this limit. This screening limit of 100 ng/ml in urine applies to: “Methocarbamol (restricted to single oral or IV treatment of no more than 5 grams)”

Within this guidance above it is clearly stated that it applies only to a single administration. The reason for this is that multiple dose of this substance have been reported to result in an accumulation of methocarbamol. This is non-predictable between different horses. This accumulation implies that multiple doses have an excretion time which is much longer than that of a single dose.

In oral studies there have been evidence of recycling during some trials. Recycling is when the preparation remains present in stable areas after administration (for example spilling, dripping or spitting by the horse), or when the substance is excreted in the urine and faeces and re-enters the horse. This can be reduced if the stable is frequently and thoroughly cleaned and with the realisation that it is not highly soluble in cold water. Recycling can be non-predictable between horses as well as in different stable environments.

It is recommended that Methocarbamol only be used as single dose treatment to the racehorse, with a detection time of about 48 hours (two days). With a detection of two days a withdrawal time period significantly longer than this must apply.  In isolation of this statement and guidance is the fact that a withdrawal period of several weeks must be applied when multiple doses are administered as part of a treatment regimen.

Consult your veterinarian with regards to suitable withdrawal periods. The NHA does not assume any legal, professional or other responsibility or duty whatsoever as to the accuracy of the data presented in this document. Please note that reliance on and use of the above information does not absolve or diminish a trainer or owner from being responsible for ensuring that the horse complies with the rules relating to the presence of prohibited substances when presenting a horse for a race.



Adrenocorticotropic hormone, commonly called ACTH, is a protein hormone naturally produced in the horse. The function of ACTH is to stimulate and also regulate levels of the steroid hormone cortisol. Commercially available ACTH is a synthetically produced peptide hormone which is high similar in structure to ACTH produced naturally. As a prohibited substance in horseracing the use of synthetic ACTH is most commonly monitored and prosecuted by the increase which is observed the level of naturally produced hydrocortisone. As the hydrocortisone level increases beyond the international threshold, this is prosecuted as a prohibited substance offence. 

There are also other approaches to detect the use of synthetic ACTH. One of these is based on the fact that synthetic ACTH corresponds to the structure of human ACTH. It can therefore be detected in the horse as the structure of this protein is somewhat different to naturally produced ACTH in the horse.  The NHA Laboratory is one of a few racing laboratories which have been active in the research of new approaches for the detection for synthetic administered ACTH in the race horse. During recent years ACTH administration trials were conducted on horses as part of such research at our Laboratory.  This research was formally presented at an international conference for horse racing chemists and veterinarians.

It must be noted that at least one web based sales company is selling a product which purport to contain the biochemically active molecule of ACTH. Several racing laboratories have already analysed this preparation. Such analysis however indicated that the active peptide ACTH is either not contained or is only contained in a very low concentration, certainly too low to effect the horse.