Harness Racing Commission

Statutory Authority: 3 Delaware Code, Section 10000 (3 Del.C. §10000) 3 DE Admin. Code 501


Rule 8, Veterinary Practices, Equine Health Medications


Pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10118 and 3 Del.C. §10005, the Delaware Harness Racing Commission issues this Order adopting proposed amendments to the Commission’s Rules. Following notice and a public hearing on October 20, 2005, the Commission makes the following findings and conclusions:

Summary of the Evidence

1. The Commission posted public notice of the proposed amendments in the October 1, 2005 Register of Regulations and for two consecutive weeks in the Delaware Business Review and Delaware State News. The Commission proposed to amend rules and to permit the use of Commission approved blood collection containers.

2. The Commission received no written comments during October 2005. The Commission held a public hearing on October 20, 2005 and received public comments from Diane Eastburn, Dr. Kim Fincher, Joseph Strug, Sal DiMario and Kenny Mitchell. Mrs. Eastburn’s comments were as follows: is the same amount of blood going to be drawn and has the Commission made a determination about the amount of blood that will be collected? Mrs. Eastburn stated that a general rule does not give the horsemen enough notice about what to expect.

3. Dr. Fincher has concerns about using syringes and would like Dr. Soma to address the Commission regarding the best collection container to be used. She would like to see testing of tubes versus syringes. Dr. Fincher is concerned that syringes are not made for transporting samples to another facility.

4. Joseph Strug stated that the new language of the rule frees the Commission to use the most appropriate container. Mr. Strug believes that the rule change gives more leeway and a decision about what collection container to be used can be determined later. Sal DiMario stated that he believes that if syringes are used, horses will have to be stuck two or three times. A “high running” horse will be traumatized by multiple sticks and horsemen are not going to like having their horse stuck twice.

5. Kenny Mitchell stated that if the Commission will be taking two or three tubes at the time of collection, there will be multiple sticks and horses will run high.

Findings of Fact and Conclusions

1. The public was given notice and an opportunity to provide the Commission with comments in writing and by testimony at the public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Commission’s Rules.

2. The Commission has considered the public comments at the October 20, 2005 hearing. The Commission does not find those comments require further revisions of the proposed rules. The Commission finds that the new rules and permit the use of Commission approved blood collection containers, rather than requiring the use of vacutainers, which may not be appropriate in every instance. Which collection containers will be used for collection of blood and urine will be determined by the Commission, and the horsemen will be put on notice of the containers that will be used.

The effective date of this Order will be ten (10) days from the publication of this Order in the Register of Regulations on December 1, 2005.

IT IS SO ORDERED this ______ day of November, 2005.

Beth Steele, Chair

Robert L. Everett, Commissioner

Mary Ann Lambertson, Commissioner

George P. Staats, Commissioner

Kenneth Williamson, Commissioner

501 Harness Racing Rules and Regulations

8.0 Veterinary Practices, Equine Health Medication

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

8.4 Testing

8.4.1 Reporting to the Test Barn Horses shall be selected for post-racing testing according to the following protocol: At least one horse in each race, selected by the judges from among the horses finishing in the first four positions in each race, shall be tested. Horses selected for testing shall be taken to the Test Barn or Test Stall to have a blood, urine and/or other specimen sample taken at the direction of the State veterinarian. Random or extra testing, including pre-race testing, may be required by the State Steward or judges, or by the Commission, at any time on any horse on association grounds. Unless otherwise directed by the State Steward, judges or the Commission Veterinarian, a horse that is selected for testing must be taken directly to the Test Barn.

8.4.2 Sample Collection Sample collection shall be done in accordance with the RCI Drug Testing and Quality Assurance Program External Chain of Custody Guidelines, or other guidelines and instructions provided by the Commission Veterinarian. The Commission veterinarian shall determine a minimum sample requirement for the primary testing laboratory. A primary testing laboratory must be approved by the Commission.

8.4.3 Procedure for Taking Specimens Horses from which specimens are to be drawn shall be taken to the detention area at the prescribed time and remain there until released by the Commission Veterinarian. Only the owner, trainer, groom, or hot walker of horses to be tested shall be admitted to the detention area without permission of the Commission Veterinarian. Stable equipment other than equipment necessary for washing and cooling out a horse shall be prohibited in the detention area. Buckets and water shall be furnished by the Commission Veterinarian. If a body brace is to be used, it shall be supplied by the responsible trainer and administered only with the permission and in the presence of the Commission Veterinarian. A licensed veterinarian shall attend a horse in the detention area only in the presence of the Commission Veterinarian. One of the following persons shall be present and witness the taking of the specimen from a horse and so signify in writing: The owner; The responsible trainer who, in the case of a claimed horse, shall be the person in whose name the horse raced; or A stable representative designated by such owner or trainer. All urine containers shall be supplied by the Commission laboratory and shall be sealed with the laboratory security seal which shall not be broken, except in the presence of the witness as provided by (subsection (3)) subsection of this section. Blood vacutainers sample receptacles will also be supplied by the Commission laboratory in sealed packages as received from the manufacturer. Samples taken from a horse, by the Commission Veterinarian or his assistant at the detention barn, shall be collected and in double containers and designated as the “primary” and “secondary” samples. These samples shall be sealed with tamper-proof tape and bear a portion of the multiple part “identification tag” that has identical printed numbers only. The other portion of the tag bearing the same printed identification number shall be detached in the presence of the witness. The Commission Veterinarian shall: Identify the horse from which the specimen was taken. Document the race and day, verified by the witness; and Place the detached portions of the identification tags in a sealed envelope for delivery only to the stewards. After both portions of samples have been identified in accordance with this section, the “primary” sample shall be delivered to the official chemist designated by the Commission. The “secondary” sample shall remain in the custody of the Commission Veterinarian at the detention area and urine samples shall be frozen and blood samples refrigerated in a locked refrigerator/freezer. The Commission Veterinarian shall take every precaution to ensure that neither the Commission chemist nor any member of the laboratory staff shall know the identity of the horse from which a specimen was taken prior to the completion of all testing. When the Commission chemist has reported that the “primary” sample delivered contains no prohibited drug, the “secondary” sample shall be properly disposed. If after a horse remains a reasonable time in the detention area and a specimen can not be taken from the horse, the Commission Veterinarian may permit the horse to be returned to its barn and usual surroundings for the taking of a specimen under the supervision of the Commission Veterinarian. If one hundred (100) milliliters (ml.) or less of urine is obtained, it will not be split, but will be considered the “primary” sample and will be tested as other “primary” samples. Two (2) blood samples shall be collected in twenty (20) milliliters vacutainers, sample receptacles approved by the Commission, one for the “primary” and one for the “secondary” sample. In the event of an initial finding of a prohibited substance or in violation of these Rules and Regulations, the Commission chemist shall notify the Commission, both orally and in writing, and an oral or written notice shall be issued by the Commission to the owner and trainer or other responsible person no more than twenty-four (24) hours after the receipt of the initial finding, unless extenuating circumstances require a longer period, in which case the Commission shall provide notice as soon as possible in order to allow for testing of the “secondary” sample; provided, however, that with respect to a finding of a prohibited level of total carbon dioxide in a blood sample, there shall be no right to testing of the “secondary sample” unless such finding initially is made at the racetrack on the same day that the tested horse raced, and in every such circumstance a “secondary sample” shall be transported to the Commission laboratory on an anonymous basis for confirmatory testing. If testing of the “secondary” sample is desired, the owner, trainer, or other responsible person shall so notify the Commission in writing within 48 hours after notification of the initial positive test or within a reasonable period of time established by the Commission after consultation with the Commission chemist. The reasonable period is to be calculated to insure the integrity of the sample and the preservation of the alleged illegal substance. Testing of the “secondary” samples shall be performed at a referee laboratory selected by representatives of the owner, trainer, or other responsible person from a list of not less than two (2) laboratories approved by the Commission. The Commission shall bear the responsibility of preparing and shipping the sample, and the cost of preparation, shipping, and testing at the referee laboratory shall be assumed by the person requesting the testing, whether it be the owner, trainer, or other person charged. A Commission representative and the owner, trainer, or other responsible person or a representative of the persons notified under these Rules and Regulations may be present at the time of the opening, repackaging, and testing of the “secondary” sample to ensure its identity and that the testing is satisfactorily performed. The referee laboratory shall be informed of the initial findings of the Commission chemist prior to making the test. If the finding of the referee laboratory is proven to be of sufficient reliability and does not confirm the finding of the initial test performed by the Commission chemist and in the absence of other independent proof of the administration of a prohibited drug of the horse in question, it shall be concluded that there is insubstantial evidence upon which to charge anyone with a violation. The Commission Veterinarian shall be responsible for safeguarding all specimens while in his possession and shall cause the specimens to be delivered only to the Commission chemist as soon as possible after sealing, in a manner so as not to reveal the identity of a horse from which the sample was taken. If an Act of God, power failure, accident, strike or other action beyond the control of the Commission occurs, the results of the primary official test shall be accepted as prima facie evidence.

*Please Note: As the rest of the sections were not amended they are not being published. A complete set of the rules and regulations for the Delaware Harness Racing Commission is available at:

9 DE Reg. 1066 (01/01/06) (Final)