As per Rule 53.5, any veterinary related scratching of a horse will incur an 8-day suspension calculated inclusively from the day of the race.
To consider lifting the suspension, the following requirements must be met:
1. A scratching certificate must be provided from a veterinarian on or before the day of the race from which it was scratched, stating the details of the diagnosis, treatment, and withdrawal time of any medication administered.

2. A suitable reinstatement certificate from a veterinarian stating that the horse was
subsequently examined and found to be fit to race on the appropriate date.

Should a horse be scratched during a race meeting, the licensed veterinary surgeon on duty may examine the horse and in special circumstances, consider it suitable for reinstatement. Examples of such a situation may include, but not be limited to, horses that have been injured in the starting stalls, or that have been kicked at the start. The trainer will be informed if the horse is suitable for reinstatement.

No horse that is scratched for lameness, insufficient work, off feed, abnormal temperature, or insufficient recovery time will be considered for reinstatement, regardless of whether a veterinary certificate was provided or not. The lifting of a suspension will remain the sole discretion of the Stipendiary Board in consultation with the relevant NHA veterinary surgeon.



The duration of suspensions imposed on horses suffering an epistaxis has been carefully considered by the NHA veterinary surgeons and approved by the Rules Committee. 

As per the Guidelines on Epistaxis (Appendix Q) published in the Rules, horses that suffer an epistaxis will be deemed to have an Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (EIPH) unless it can be determined with sufficient certainty that it is not of pulmonary origin. An endoscopic examination may be performed by a veterinary surgeon within 4 hours of the occurrence of an epistaxis and if it was not as a result of an EIPH, the suspension imposed may be lifted. 

The duration of the suspensions for epistaxis are as follows: 
First episode: 60 days
Second episode: 120 days
Third episode: permanent suspension 
Furthermore, a horse will return to non-bleeder status following 3 clear races of not suffering an epistaxis. 

Amended 03/05/2023


Horses may be suspended indefinitely for several reasons including but not limited to pulling up lame during or after a race, poor performance or any other veterinary related injury which requires veterinary attention prior to the horse racing again.
The licensed veterinary surgeon on duty shall inform the trainer or the person responsible for the horse of the requirements for returning to racing. This may include presention of a veterinary certificate and/or performing a successful veterinary gallop to the satisfaction of the NHA veterinary surgeons prior to racing. The minimum requirement for a veterinary gallop is for the horse to gallop over 800m on grass with the last 400m completed in 24 seconds or less. The horse will be examined before and after the gallop to determine its suitability to return to racing. A specimen may be collected from the horse to test for the presence of prohibited substances. 

When a veterinary certificate is required, it must state that the horse was examined by the private veterinarian and deemed suitable to return to racing. The lifting of a suspension will remain the sole discretion of the Stipendiary Board in consultation with the relevant NHA veterinary surgeon. 

Amended 03/05/2023