The following sponsored content comes from the makers of Lip Chip.
Six. The average racehorse must be identified no less than six times in order to safely enter, work, and run at tracks across America. Horses are identified when they arrive in the trailer, when a veterinarian administers treatment, and when they are taken to the track for a work. When they run, horses are identified at the holding barn, again in the paddock, and finally they are identified again at the test barn. Six occasions in which not being able to tell one bay with no markings apart from another could be dangerous. Six occasions where racetracks and their regulatory bodies must ask themselves — can we truly know one horse from another? One company — Lip Chip LLC — decided it is time to stop guessing.
Lip Chip LLC offers a new way to identify horses and solve issues that have been plaguing the equine industry for decades. The company’s Chip Link System uses microchipping and a state-of-the-art handheld reader to go beyond just your average identification. Most microchipping technology simply reads the chip’s 15-digit identifier, and nothing more. The Chip Link System uses a Bluetooth reader to send that unique identifier to a smart phone, tablet or PC, which unlocks secure data linked to each horse as their microchip is scanned. The user can identify each horse within seconds and view current Coggins, owner information, emergency contact numbers, and even recent photos of each horse. Instead of relying on hard copy paperwork, horsemen can identify horses and view their data from a secure location — no more forged documents or similar horses being swapped. Microchipping unlocks a new level of security.
Lip Chip offers not only superior technology but also superior placement for horse owners and trainers who are tired of the issues with the traditional method. Currently, microchips are placed in the nuchal ligament. However, these microchips are shown to migrate up to 30% if not properly injected. Lip Chip offers a new placement in the upper mandible, which goes into the top lip of the horse. This placement has seen less than 1% migration. It also provides unobstructed access to the microchip, as most horses are more likely to bump a foreign object with their nose than their neck. Identifiers can reach the chip much easier in the trailer and at the paddock, and scanning is a safer and quicker process.
Lip Chip’s superior placement offers an additional benefit when using thermal microchips. Thermal microchips are used as a guide to check each horse’s baseline temperature, and daily scans can often catch a health concern that would warrant a trip to the vet. Lip Chip testing has revealed a truer temperature in the nasal position versus the nuchal ligament by up to 2 degrees when compared to a traditional thermometer.
Brad Bolen, president and founder of Lip Chip LLC, knows all too well the issues facing the equine industry. Bolen is a graded stakes winning trainer and has been training, breeding, and owning horses for over 30 years. When Bolen founded Lip Chip LLC in 2018, it was to answer the call for help that he had witnessed in his years at the track.
“Honestly, I had heard people talk about the issues they were seeing every day, and no one ever did anything about it,” said Bolen. “You would have an entire racetrack get shut down because of an equine herpes outbreak, or have a horse get scratched because they couldn’t find his microchip or read his tattoo. And I knew it was time to find a way to solve these issues and make life easier on our industry.”
All equine disciplines can benefit from the Chip Link System. All horsemen face the same issue of keeping up with hard copy paperwork for each horse. In order to compete in any show, rodeo, or race, these equine athletes are held to a higher standard to ensure disease and cheating does not occur. The ability to scan the horse and retrieve this information is a game changer and adds a new level of transparency to equine performance.
The Chip Link System also offers solutions to checking in at equine venues. Tracks, show arenas, and rodeos can cut the time needed to identify horses and check paperwork by more than 50 percent. Currently as horses enter, they must be identified by their markings (if they have them), and each Coggins, piroplasmosis, and health certificate must be checked by hand. On average, a full trailer load can take five to 15 minutes to check in. By using the Chip Link System, facilities can have horses preregistered and ready to scan, cutting their check in down to two to three minutes. Simply scan each horse, quickly see their pre-approved documents, and then move on.
Lip Chip was built by horsemen, for horsemen, to bring integrity and transparency back to the industry. The Chip Link System offers a way to move past just an identification and make each microchip a secure key for horses and their handlers. It is time for technology to stop being the enemy of the horseman and instead become his saddle partner. It is time to let the innovations of today help the issues that have plagued our industry for generations. The future of equine microchipping is here, and the future is Lip Chip.
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