BHA seeking shade from “Sungate”

17 May

Following Paul Bittar’s appreance on Channel 4 News last night on the back of Frankie Dettori’s return to the saddle, BHA issued a statement regarding the veterinary product Sungate:

In light of the interview on last night’s Channel 4 News with the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Chief Executive Paul Bittar, in which he was specifically asked to comment on the veterinary product Sungate, the BHA has released the following statement and update.

Sungate is a product developed by an Italian company, produced and licensed for equine use in Italy. Its use in the UK is legal, but only when imported under the Special Import Certificate scheme administered by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

The product is intended to assist in the treatment and management of joint disease in horses. Sungate contains stanozolol, an anabolic steroid and consequently a prohibited substance under the Rules of Racing.

The BHA became aware of the use of the product on horses in training following a visit to Gerard Butler’s yard in February 2013 as part of its testing in training sampling programme. Subsequently it became apparent that a veterinary practice, which had legally imported Sungate into the UK, had recommended its initial administration to horses in the care of Gerard Butler.

The BHA has met with representatives of the veterinary practice in question. As a result of that meeting the BHA believes that Gerard Butler was not the only trainer to whom the administration of Sungate was recommended.

Veterinary surgeons are not bound by the Rules of Racing, but are subject to their own rules of professional conduct. Therefore in order to establish the extent of the use of the product, BHA Investigating Officers will be interviewing trainers who are known to use the same veterinary practice.

Under the Rules of Racing, licensed trainers are strictly liable for the administration of any prohibited substances administered to horses under their care and control.

Thankfully the idea of an amnesty which was mooted by the Racing Post due the scandal has been put to bed.

So what about “Sungate”? On the back of the BHA visit to Gerard Butler’s yard, The National Trainers Federation issued a statment to their members on the 7th March 2013 regarding “Sungate”. It read:

The BHA has asked us to let you know that a product called “Sungate” has been brought to their attention. This contains Stanozolol, a prohibited substance under the Rules of Racing and you should therefore avoid using it

The practice linked to Gerard Butler, and possibly embroiled in this scandal, is Rossdale and Partners, Newmarket, Suffolk. Peter Ramzan is a partner at Rossdale’s

“Peter H.L. Ramzan BVSc(Sydney), MRCVS Horses in training, dentistry”, and at the 2012 European Veterinary Conference in Amsterdam, he commented on the “Preliminary clinical impressions on the use of stanozolol as a novel intra-articular therapy for athletic horses: 60 cases”

Here are a couple of extacts:

Abstracts European Veterinary Conference Voorjaarsdagen 2012

Abstracts European Veterinary Conference Voorjaarsdagen 2012

Abstracts European Veterinary Conference Voorjaarsdagen 2012 (2)

Abstracts European Veterinary Conference Voorjaarsdagen 2012 (2)

Good luck finding that shaded area.

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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Uncategorized


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