Saturday 22 September 2018

Start-up hopes to gallop into billion euro industry

Simon Hillary and Pierce Dargan
Simon Hillary and Pierce Dargan
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Tech start-up Equine MediRecord is hoping to revolutionise the multi-billion euro horse racing industry by digitising the medical regulatory records of its thoroughbred superstars.

Founded by Pierce Dargan and Simon Hillary, the company sells and maintains a mobile application and website that allows proper, timely recording of the many medicines and vaccinations that are routinely administered to horses.

Existing medicines registers, which must be kept updated for every racehorse under a trainer’s care, are physical books that require trainers and vets to input data by hand on a day-by-day basis.

As well as the risk of these books being damaged or misplaced, they also suffer from the issue of there being no central database or system to easily check specific regulations in different racing jurisdictions.

Equine MediRecord solves these problems as records can be updated easily and securely in real time.

It is also the first system to be deemed an acceptable alternative to the current Medicines Register system by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

"Our system has been well received and is already in use by trainers and vets, and it has been deemed an acceptable alternative by racing regulators. It is easy to use and keep up to date, provides vital information to trainers, and allows technology to assist in horse welfare," Pierce Dargan, chief executive of Equine MediRecord, said.

All equine records are securely stored in the cloud, so they cannot be lost or damaged.

In addition, users will receive notification updates automatically when regulations around certain medications change, making it easier to comply with regulations, while horse locations are updated when they move to vets or other stables, allowing for easier tracking of their whereabouts.

The project was initially nurtured by Trinity College Dublin’s business incubator programme, LaunchBox, and has been supported from the beginning by a number of trainers and vets who have helped the company develop a very user-friendly system.

Among those who have been impressed by the technology is Hugh Dillon, Veterinary practitioner and partner at Troytown Equine hospital, who described it as "a very user-friendly platform for both trainer and veterinary surgeon."

Michael Grassick, chief executive of the Irish Horseracing Trainers Association, said that the product provides users with "added security and peace of mind."

"With more regulations from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board regarding medical record books it is imperative that we keep records up to date. Using Equine MediRecord solves these problems," Mr Grassick said.

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