Equine MediRecord have just announced a deal with the Breeders' Cup
The Chicago Manual of Style has a pithy quote that I like very much, “Technologies may change, but the need for clear and accurate communication never goes out of style.” As I see it, that is the premise behind an app developed by Equine MediRecord. If you never heard of them, you will, especially since they just became associated with the Breeders’ Cup.
It’s a piece of technology that is going to take North America by storm, and will be essential as the Horse Racing Integrity Act comes to fruition. Its Founder/CEO Pierce Dargan, who is based in Kildare, Ireland, joined me for a chat about their revolutionary software. His company is seeks to connect the Thoroughbred racing community by creating an efficient means to keep accurate records, thus helping large and small barns adhere to complicated rules and regulations based on international standards.
Here is what he had to say…
J.N. Campbell: I want to start by having you explain to everyone out there in the Thoroughbred racing world what Equine MediRecord essentially does? How did you come up with this idea?
Pierce Dargan: Equine MediRecord is a software platform which aims to automatically notify and help trainers, vets and assistants comply with the latest equine welfare and anti-doping protocols and regulations. This came about as four years ago my family had a small training operation in Ireland. Even for us, it was difficult to keep up with the regulations and paperwork, so I could only imagine what it could have been like for large trainers who race internationally. They have to comply with different rules between countries, states, racetracks, and even competition.
What our system does is automatically notify trainers of their responsibilities and rules they need to follow to race dependent on where the horse is competing. The system will then automatically remind them of what needs to be filled out and reminders of when certain medications need to be concluded or when vaccinations or certain tests like Coggins Tests need to be done.
J.N. Campbell: Being based in Ireland, what are some of the challenges you have faced getting American organizations to embrace your product, especially concerning the movement of the Horse Racing Integrity Act passing the House of Representatives?
Pierce Dargan: To be honest I am very lucky. I am half American, my mother is from New York, and I have lived in America, in Columbus Ohio, while I played rugby in the professional league and represented the United States Rugby team at underage level. This means I was fortunate enough to know the industry well and have people who could explain the various organizations to me as because of the size of the US, there are many of them.
We have been very lucky to have been supported by organizations across the equine industry. We have always been positively received which just shows the industries desire to ensure the best possible protocols can more easily be followed to help ensure the best possible care for their horses. Organizations like the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Thoroughbred Owners of California and Breeders’ Cup have been such a great help and support!
J.N. Campbell: Talk about this news that just broke about your new relationship with the Breeders' Cup? What are the details?
Pierce Dargan: So, we are the official technology partner to the Breeders’ Cup to help ensure the very best in equine welfare and anti-doping protocols are in place for the best horses from around the world that are competing in this years’ championships. Our system will be provided to all the trainers who have horses there this year. They will be automatically notified of the requirements, while their horses are stabled, in training at Keeneland, and in advance of the races. Also, they will know what documentation they will need to submit to Breeders’ Cup, Keeneland, and the Kentucky Racing Commission officials, and how they can do all of this on our new system we have developed specifically for the Breeders’ Cup. This is a massive opportunity for us, as we will have the top trainers for all over the world using our system to help ensure the best possible welfare for their horses.
J.N. Campbell: Will you be heading to Keeneland and what are some of the agenda items for this trip?
Pierce Dargan: Yes, I will be going to Keeneland to lead our Kentucky team in person. I will be flying out there next week and arriving at a hotel to then be quarantined, and of course, to be tested. I will then be aiding my team in ensuring trainers know how to use our system, especially if they haven’t before.
J.N. Campbell: That is incredibly exciting. I cannot let you go without having a rapid-fire game, especially since you are headed to Lexington...here we go.
Pierce Dargan: I will do my best!
J.N. Campbell: Favorite Irish-bred of all-time and why?
Pierce Dargan: I have to be loyal to my family, so a horse my grandfather and father bred called Flaming Rock, who was named South African horse of the year in 1991. He won 17 races, 5 Group 1s and 7 other Group races.
J.N. Campbell: Favorite track you have visited and why?
Pierce Dargan: I have been fortunate to be able to travel and see a number of stunning tracks in the US and across the world. But I once again have to say two that our close to my heart. The Curragh is my local track, and every time I go, I remember all the history of growing up and learning from my grandfather. It just has so many great family memories and is a stunning track.
The other has to be Naas Racetrack, as it was where I had my first winner from a horse that I bought myself. It will be very hard to ever top that feeling. I bought this beautiful creature with 62 friends. Watching them powering home on his first run for us, and celebrating with them, it was an amazing day.
J.N. Campbell: Best food to consume at the track?
Pierce Dargan: Best food? Oh, has to be at Royal Ascot each year, does change year to year but from having the picnics in the car park to the various restaurants always fabulous.
Kentucky Knowledge Test:
J.N. Campbell: Ok, so you are headed Lexington and Keeneland, we should test your Kentucky knowledge…
Pierce Dargan: I apologize in advance for this section.
J.N. Campbell: What is a Kentucky Hot Brown?
Pierce Dargan: Is that possibly a whisky or could be a type of meat pie? No idea…
J.N. Campbell: The latter is on the right track. Some say it is a hot open-faced turkey sandwich, but they can have other great parts to them like mashed potatoes. You have to try one.What year was Keeneland founded?
Pierce Dargan: 1920s
J.N. Campbell: Close, next decade, 1936. How about this one. Is Burgoo a hearty soup or slang for a piece of riding equipment?
Pierce Dargan: Is a soup, no? Oh Lord, I hope it is!
J.N. Campbell: Yes, for sure! A Keeneland staple.This last part is really telling…How do you properly pronounce the following cities? Louisville? Versailles?
Pierce Dargan: Oooh. You’re hitting with local phonetics? How about, “Loo-eeville” and “Ver-sayis.”
J.N. Campbell: Those are pretty close! Make sure the "s" is silent, followed by a garbled ending—"Lou-A-Vul.” The other one is tough! Try “Ver-sales,” on for size. Hey, thanks for chatting today Pierce, I appreciate it! Have a great trip and best of luck with Equine MediRecord!
Pierce Dargan: Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to speak with you.