EquiTrace technology on display at Fasig-Tipton July

Buyers and sellers on site this week at Fasig-Tipton’s Newtown Paddocks may have noticed signage for a fast-growing company called EquiTrace. Launched in 2019, the EquiTrace app not only identifies horses with the use of a microchip scanner, but also provides management and traceability solutions for horse farms and horse organizations.

Dr. Kevin Corley, a veterinary specialist in equine medicine and critical care, was one of the main founders of EquiTrace and said the idea for the product stemmed from the industry’s inefficiencies with identifying horses that have led to some high-profile blunders. in the last years. As EquiTrace developed further, it expanded from not only an identification method, but also a management tool for farm managers, trainers and other equine-related organizations.

“As we started EquiTrace, we started with the foundation of identification and then worked to address other issues, including traceability, medication and what happens to a horse after the race,” explained Corley. “We’ve worked to build a system that provides real value to the people who use it, but also has side benefits to help the entire industry.”

EquiTrace was first launched in Europe and has been incorporated into many major stud farms there, but is now gaining traction in the US and has been put to use at major farms in Kentucky, including Lane’s End Farm. The product is already used at Goffs Bloodstock Sales, but Fasig-Tipton is the first Thoroughbred auction house in the US to partner with EquiTrace. At the July Fasig-Tipton All-Age Horses and Select Yearling Sales, all entering horses were identified and checked via the EquiTrace app.

Anna Seitz of Fasig-Tipton was the first member of the Fasig-Tipton team to learn about the product. She admitted she had initial reservations, but was eager to learn more once she saw the app in action.

“I brought everyone from Fasig-Tipton and showed them,” she said. “We all said we had to protect this immediately because this is something that should have happened 10 years ago. It’s the latest and it’s a really positive thing for the industry. I really believe it’s something we’ll all be using in the next couple of years. They have been a great company to work with and we are very happy to partner with them.”

“I think for Fasig-Tipton, it produces a system where they can stand 100% on it and make everything more efficient for controlling the horses,” added Corley. “You have a verifiable chain of how this horse was identified by this person at this time. It speeds up the process to ensure the right horse enters the sales network.”

The EquiTrace app works through the use of microchips, which are required by the Jockey Club for all registered thoroughbred foals of 2017 and later. Using a scanner, the app quickly identifies the horse and pulls its profile. From there, various information can be tracked and recorded for that horse.

“We’re trying to produce really useful tools to capture the information that anyone needs to run an efficient farm or training facility right at the horse’s eye,” said Corley. “Every time you scan the microchip, the app captures its GPS location. If you scan a horse when it gets off the van, you have a complete movement record for the horse. One of our customers called in for a foal and he just looked at the horse on the app and could tell the vet which barn to go to.”

Medical records can be maintained on each horse’s page. EquiTrace recognizes over 1,000 products through medication barcode scanning. Veterinarians and handlers can access the necessary treatment for a horse. As approved staff scan the horse, they will see the exact medication required along with its dosage and suggested withdrawal time. Users can select the state jurisdictions in which they compete to regulate medication guidelines.

Reproductive data can also be tracked through the app. Farm managers can take notes on each mare’s profile as the mare is examined. This information is then easily accessible to other farm staff looking for up-to-date information on the horse.

While all of this data is accessible to horses with any type of microchip, further information can be tracked by horses with the Merck Animal Health Bio-Thermo microchip, which contains a biosensor that measures the horse’s body temperature.

“This is a really powerful tool because with just one swipe of a microchip scanner, people can take their horse’s temperature and the data is immediately captured in the app,” Corley explained. “As an internal medicine specialist, this excites me because we are all facing staff shortages and it is really difficult to take temperatures twice a day. With this system, it is very practical and there are no mistakes. One of our customers said they recorded 18 temperatures in one minute and 19 seconds.”

Looking ahead to the long-term benefits of EquiTrace, Corley said he believes expanded use within the industry will improve the traceability of horses after they are retired from racing.

The approximate cost of the app is $2 per horse each month, with discounts available for farms with larger numbers.

“The idea is to give the industry tools that help them with what we hope is a price that everyone can afford,” Corley noted. “We’ve been pleased with the initial uptake in the States and we’re working to continue to build on that.”

To learn more about EquiTrace, click here.

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