Industry Notice – Veterinary Procedures

05 June 2020

Some recent events in an overseas jurisdiction now provide an opportunity  for Harness Racing Australia (HRA) to remind and reiterate to all participants the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) relating to veterinary procedures which deem a horse ineligible to race.

Horses which have undergone procedures such as limb neurectomies (‘nerving’) and tracheostomies are not permitted to race in Australia and any trainer who permits a horse to race after having undergone either of these procedures is guilty of an offence.

It is recommended that Owners and Trainers investigate this as part of the due diligence processes when purchasing horses (locally or internationally) with the intention of racing.

In most instances, the jurisdictions which do permit these procedures will have them recorded on the horse’s registration certificates, online records and or any subsequent clearance certificate from the exported country, so the information is readily available to prospective purchasers and controlling body Registrars alike.

The full detail of the relevant AHRR’s are set out below for ease of access.


98. (1)  A horse which has had a limb neurectomy is ineligible to race.

(2)  An owner, trainer or other person who permits a horse which has had a limb neurectomy to race is guilty of an offence.

(3)  A horse which has had a tracheostomy, with or without a tracheotomy tube inserted, is ineligible to race. 

(4)  An owner, trainer or other person who permits a horse which has had a tracheostomy to race, is guilty of an offence. 


As a precautionary measure HRA recently conducted an audit of current racing imports in Australia and has not discovered any concerns in this area.

Any questions regarding this issue can be directed to Kathleen Mullan at