FAQs

If you have a question about BHA and its activities, you may find this section helpful. To get started please select your topic and sub categories in the dropdown menus below.

If I am bringing in a registered horse from Ireland or France to the UK for racing or competition and wish to return it to the EU easily, am I best off obtaining a veterinary attestation?

Brexit

Yes. If a registered horse from the EU is imported using documentation that proves when it left the EU, it will be able to utilise the specific export health certificate for re-entry into the union. This precludes the need for blood tests, residency or isolation. Whilst these horses are eligible for entry without documentation (or with a DOCOM if coming from France) without a veterinary attestation they won’t be able to make benefit of this simplified return process.

Does the High Health Status proposal not mean that these processes – blood tests, residency and isolation etc. – will not apply to horses that currently move under the TPA?

Brexit

No. HHS is an industry led proposal of which Government is supportive. It’s for the EU to decide whether to accept the proposal or not but in any event it will not come in on day one. Once we leave the EU, all equines will have follow the same processes, regardless of which EU country they are travelling to.

How will the UK be able to negotiate a replacement for the TPA once we leave the EU?

Brexit

Government are working closely with the equine industry to develop a proposition for a longer term replacement for the TPA, which would need to be agreed by the European Commission and the Member States as part of ongoing negotiations to refresh EU animal health legislation.

What will happen to the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) when the UK leaves the EU?

Brexit

The UK will no longer be a party to the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) when we leave the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal then all equines being moved to the EU will need to meet the same requirements in order to travel.

Do the processes outlined for equine movements in a no deal scenario apply to movements across the Irish border?

Brexit

The UK is not altering the animal health rules for the import of equines on day one in the event of a no deal. The rules for entry into the EU are set by the European commission and applied by the receiving member state. You may wish to consult the authorities in the receiving country for further information about entry into the European Union.

Will I need a Government issued equine ID document and, if so, how do I get this Government ID document?

Brexit

Equines registered with a national branch of an international body for sporting or competition purposes will be able to travel using existing industry issued ID documents. All other equines will require a Government issued ID each time they move from the UK to the EU. This will change if the EU recognises the UK’s studbooks and breed societies.

You will apply for your Government issued ID from APHA at the same time as your export health certificate. Details of this process are available on Gov.uk.  

What is an Official Veterinarian and why must I use their services?

Brexit

Official Veterinarian (OV) is the term used to describe veterinarians who perform work on behalf of the governments. In Great Britain they are also private practice vets. EU law requires that they sign export health certificates to authorise that the relevant animal health requirements have been met ahead of export.  OVs are authorised by the Government for the specific work they undertake on its behalf.

If you need to find an OV you can:

What documentation do I need for onward travel in the EU?

Brexit

For each journey the Export Health Certificate should clearly show the equine’s country of destination if this is different to the country of entry.

How do I get an Export Health Certificate?

Brexit

The EHC will replace the Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) for exports to EU countries.

Before an EHC can be issued, equines will need to have been tested and found free of certain disease (see above).

For full details on Export Health Certificates and how to get one visit gov.uk.

What other HMRC/customs processes do I need to be aware of?

Brexit

Before exporting, businesses must:

What about customs procedures in the EU?

Brexit

You will need to follow all relevant EU customs procedures in the event of no deal. The HMRC guidance for exporters provides links to the relevant EU information on these systems.

Will I need to pay any additional tariffs? What about VAT?

Brexit

The Department for International Trade has published draft information on the tariffs that will be levied on imports from the EU in the event of no deal. This information confirms that it is not the Government’s intention to levy any tariffs on equines entering the UK from the EU.

You should consult the HMRC guidance for exporters for information on other changes to process such as VAT.

Current EU tariffs indicate that charges of up to 11.5% could be payable on the export of certain (non-breeding) equines exported to the EU. Note however that these tariff rates could change ahead of October 31st.

What will happen if the UK agrees a deal with the EU?

Brexit

If the UK agrees a deal with the EU, then the process for moving equines from the UK to the EU will continue in the same way as now, including movements made under the TPA during any agreed implementation period.

Do the isolation requirements outlined on Gov.uk mean that my horse shouldn’t compete ahead of a move to the EU?

Brexit

In order to comply with pre-export isolation requirements for permeant exports or the temporary export of unregistered horses, owners will need to ensure that their equine is kept apart from other equines not of an equivalent health status for 30 days before export.

Owners are unlikely to be able to know with any certainty whether other equines attending a competition are of equivalent health status or not. You should therefore avoid these situations to ensure that isolation requirements are met and an export health certificate can be issued.

These requirements do not need to be met to temporarily export a horse registered with a national branch of an international body for sporting or competition purposes for less than 90 days.

Will equines that had previously been moved under the TPA need to enter via a Border Inspection Post?

Brexit

Yes. The requirement would apply to all equines entering the EU, including movements to Ireland and France previously made under the TPA. This is because this is a current EU requirement for all equines entering the EU from a third country.

Will equines that had previously been moved under the TPA need to enter via a Border Inspection Post?

Brexit

Yes. The requirement would apply to all equines entering the EU, including movements to Ireland and France previously made under the TPA. This is because this is a current EU requirement for all equines entering the EU from a third country.

Do I need to book an Official Vet to carry out the blood tests?

Brexit

No. Sampling can be carried out by any qualified veterinarian. But blood samples should be sent to the APHA laboratory in Weybridge for analysis.

However, only an Official Vet can authorise your equine for travel and issue the documentation needed for travel.

When should I consult my vet to start preparations?

Brexit

It is advised that you contact a vet at least six weeks before you intend to move your equine to the EU to allow sufficient time to prepare.

What are the turn-around times for testing? What has been done to ensure enough resource is in place to process tests?

Brexit

APHA has undertaken recruitment to ensure that sufficient resource is in place to maintain current testing times for EVA and EIA, as well as the additional diseases that might need to be tested for should the UK be assigned to sanitary group B. APHA Weybridge will endeavour to put all submissions up to test on the next available test run. The maximum turnaround time for EVA testing is 12 working days and for the current EIA test (Coggins test) the maximum turnaround time is 5 working days.  These maximum times are to allow for re-testing where necessary.

How often will a blood test be required? Every time a horse moves, annually etc.?

Brexit

This will depend upon the blood test. Tests must be taken within a certain number of days of travel, dependent on the type of move being undertaken. If an equine travels from the UK to the EU again within this time period, tests will not need to be re-taken.

What will the blood testing requirements be?

Brexit

The Commission listed the UK in Sanitary Group A in preparation for a no deal exit on April 12th. Although the UK’s listed status will need to be voted on again ahead of a no deal exit on October 31st, placement in Sanitary Group A would mean equines would need tests for:

  • equine infectious anaemia within 30 days of travel for permanent moves
  • equine infectious anaemia within 90 days of travel for temporary moves under 90 days of equines registered with a national branch of an international body for sporting and competition purposes
  • equine viral arteritis within 21 days of travel for uncastrated male equines older than 180 days, unless they meet other specific vaccination requirements specified in the Model Health Certificate. These can be found in EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/659.

Will this mean increased costs for owners?

Brexit

The testing requirements and additional veterinary time needed to prepare an equine for travel are likely to result in additional costs for owners. Exact costs will vary between vet practices.

There will be no cost for the identification document, where this is needed.

There is no charge for the Export Health Certificate, but you’ll need to pay for your vet’s services.

What about customs processes for imports?

Brexit

Importers will also need to comply with UK customs procedures. In some cases importers may want to register for simplified import procedures. Information from HMRC on customs procedures in the event of a no deal exit from the EU are available here.

Owners regularly moving the same equine between the UK and EU may wish to consider applying for an ATA Carnet to further streamline customs procedures. More information is available here.

What will I need to do differently following a no deal exit to move my equine from the UK to the EU (incl. horses, ponies and donkeys)?

Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, then equine owners will be required to make sure that their animal meets the requirements for travelling to the EU from a third country, as we will no longer be a part of the EU.

This means that owners will need to make sure all equines being moved to the EU from the UK;

  • are tested for the absence of certain diseases within 30 days or less of their travel date;
  • meet the residency and isolation requirements of movements to the EU from a listed third country;
  • have the right documentation for travel, which will be an Export Health Certificate and in most cases a Government issued ID document
  • enter the EU via an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP)

Will you reimburse businesses and citizens for any no deal planning that turns out to be unnecessary?

Brexit

It is the responsibility of businesses and citizens to decide what preparatory action they need to take to prepare for no deal.

We have taken extensive steps to provide businesses and citizens with advice and guidance aimed at helping to mitigate the potential impacts of no deal in good time. Our objective is to minimise disruption by taking unilateral action to prioritise continuity and stability, wherever possible and appropriate to do so.

This includes publishing 106 Technical Notices between August and October and specific supplementary guidance since then.

Should owners and businesses actively be preparing for no deal?

Brexit

Yes. The UK will leave the EU on the 31st of October. Whilst the Government’s priority remains securing a deal, it is crucial that owners and businesses that wish to move equines to the EU around October 31st are prepared to meet the additional requirements that will result from a no deal scenario. Planning may take up to six weeks.

How will I know which Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) will accept equines? Will a BIP be built at Calais?

Brexit

The EU lists all BIPs and the products they are approved to handle on its website. This list will be updated prior to EU exit, so you should check regularly for new information.

In preparation for a no deal exit on April 12th, the EU approved a number of new equine BIPs. These included Calais, Eurotunnel and Dublin Port. These approvals only applied in a scenario where the UK left the EU on April 12th. A further vote of the relevant EU committee will be needed ahead of Brexit on October 31st to approve these BIPs.

It is important to note that BIPs are approved separately for registered equines unregistered equines (classified as ungulates). Many, but not all, BIPs are approved for both. You should ensure that your travel plans allow you to enter the EU via an appropriately approved BIP.

As referenced in more detail below, the lack of recognition of UK studbooks by the EU may affect which BIPs you can travel via.

What about the Tri-partite Agreement?

Brexit

The UK remains a part of the TPA during this period. Equines will continue to be able to
travel between the UK and Ireland with only an equine ID document. Commercial
documents (DOCOMS) will continue to be applicable for the movement of high health
status horses between the UK and France.

What is the role of the Stewards on a raceday?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

The Stewards role is to ensure that the BHA Rules and Instructions are adhered to. They watch each race live or on screens in the Stewards’ room, then afterwards review the action from all the various camera angles. In particular they are looking for breaches of the Rules on interference, the whip, and horses not being run on their merits. The Stewards also decide which horses should be tested for banned substances.

Who makes up the Stewards Panel?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

As of January 2019 the Stewards panel for most meetings consists of three people – one unpaid (Stewards Panel Chair) and two Stipendiary Stewards (one will have the role of Chief Steward), employed by the BHA (for a Premier meeting such as Royal Ascot or Cheltenham there are three of each). In addition to these, there is an Assistant Steward, who deals with all of the administration and a Raceday Assistant. The unpaid Stewards are approved and trained by the BHA.

What happens during a raceday in the Stewards Room?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

The panel has access to at least five camera angles of each race to review what takes place and how horses are ridden. The views are: head-on, side-on, close-up side on and two “ scout” or “remote” cameras, one of which is in the back straight and one giving a rear view up the home straight. If they consider that the Rules may have been broken they interview the jockeys/trainers involved in a Stewards’ Enquiry after the race. If interference has taken place and they feel it has affected the finishing positions of some of the runners they have the power to amend the result.

What happens in a Stewards Enquiry?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

The panel hears the evidence and reviews relevant recordings. After the witnesses have left the room, the Stewards deliberate, and after they have reached a decision get the jockeys/trainers back in to the room to inform them of the outcome. A report of their findings is produced and relayed to the public.

Do jockeys and trainers have to report why their horses may have run badly?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

It is mandatory for jockeys and trainers to report to the Stewards anything which has happened in a race which might have adversely affected the performance of a runner that they ride/train. Examples of this include: a horse suffering interference in running, losing a shoe, or finishing lame. This means that Stewards and the public are aware of any reason which possibly explains a horse’s disappointing performance, which may account for any subsequent improvement in form.

Why do Stewards Enquiries take so long?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

Interference enquiries often only take a few minutes, but cannot start until the jockeys have returned to the weighing room and, if necessary, have weighed out for the following race. This can result in a delay.

Can jockeys and trainers appeal against the decisions taken by the Stewards?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

Anyone found in breach of a Rule by the racecourse Stewards has the right to appeal to the Disciplinary Panel. Appeals are heard by the Disciplinary Panel at BHA offices in London.

Where can I find the results of Stewards Enquiries?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

Results of all Stewards Enquiries are published in the Stewards Reports section. They are also Tweeted. On the racecourse Enquiries of significance are broadcast over the public address system.

What background do Stewards come from?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

Stewards come from a wide variety of backgrounds. All  have demonstrated a strong knowledge of, and interest in, racing. A number of the Stewards team rode as professionals, either on the Flat or over jumps, and between them won many premier races. We also recruit Graduate Trainee Stewards, who come from a variety of backgrounds without the same level of practical experience but with the ability to acquire the necessary level of knowledge.

How do I become a Steward?

Raceday Operations Stewards Room

We have a mixture of paid and unpaid Stewards on our panels on the racecourse. When there is a vacancy paid position an advertisement will be placed on CareersinRacingBHA Vacancies page and some publications including the Racing Post.

Flat races – What happens if a horse becomes difficult to load into the stalls?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

Sometimes horses refuse to enter the stalls and will be withdrawn from the race. Horses can also be withdrawn from the race if they become fractious or unruly in the stalls. The Starter will always have horses’ welfare in mind. If a horse has been upset by an unruly horse in a nearby stall, the animal will be checked over by a vet.

If a horse has been unruly in the stalls it may have an injury that is not readily apparent and the Starter will officially withdraw the horse and an announcement will be made over the PA system.

Jump races – What happens when the horses arrive at the Start?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

As there are no Stalls Handlers over the jumps, the Starter and his/her Assistant(s) will check the horses’ girths themselves, before informing the jockeys when there’s half a minute to go before the off. They can pull their goggles down and prepare themselves for racing. During this time, the horses will be circling in a defined area behind the Start itself.

Jump races – What does a false start entail?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

If Jockeys line up and commence to move forward before the Starter raises his/her flag or approach the start at faster than a jig jog before the tape is released and flag lowered, the Starter will wave their flag to indicate that the race will not be started and the field must pull up. The Advance Flag Operator (AFO) will also wave their flag to enable riders furthest away from the Starter to understand that the race will not be started.

Should the field be unable to pull up, the tape may be released for safety reasons but the Starter will continue to wave his/her flag and declare a false start which will be reciprocated by the AFO.

If the race is not started at the first attempt, the field will regroup at the marker poles and a standing start to the satisfaction of the Starter will be effected by tape and flag. There will not be a further attempt at a walk-in start and runners will not be sent back further than is necessary to regroup at the marker poles.

Does the High Health Status proposal not mean that these processes – blood tests, residency and isolation etc. – will not apply to horses that currently move under the TPA?

Brexit

No. HHS is an industry led proposal of which Government is supportive. It’s for the EU to decide whether to accept the proposal or not but in any event it will not come in on day one. Once we leave the EU, all equines will have follow the same processes, regardless of which EU country they are travelling to.

What changes will there be for importing equines to the UK from the EU?

Brexit

The rules relating to the import of equines from the EU to the UK will not change in principle as a result of no deal. Horses which currently enter the UK from France using a Commercial Document (DOCOM), or travel from Ireland without any animal health documentation, there would be no immediate change to the current entry documentation. Registered horses travelling from the EU will also continue to be able to do so using health attestations.

Equines originating in the EU will not have to enter the UK via a Border Inspection Post

The process for notifying the APHA/DAERA of imports will change, however. Notification will still be required for those equines that currently require it – e.g. those travelling with ITAHCs or DOCOMs. You can find out more about this here.

Should I travel through the major ports with my horses in a ‘No Deal’ scenario? What provisions will be in place to ensure horses aren’t stuck in queues

Brexit

Defra are working on contingency plans to minimise disruption to animal transit in   the event that we leave the EU without a deal. They are working with APHA to ensure transporters have robust contingency plans in place ahead of travel. These should include avoiding high risk routes and identifying contingency premises for resting the animals in the event that delays are encountered. However, anyone transporting animals must ensure that they are transported in conditions suitable for the species concerned. Regulations include a duty of care obligation for the person acting as transporter, which states: “No person shall transport animals or cause animals to be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering to them”.

What other arrangements do we need to have in place for staff to accompany horses to the EU or in transit?

Brexit

You should consult the latest information published by HMRC for detail on the changes to travel for individuals in the event of no deal

Will my current UK issued transport documentation still be valid for transport within the UK?

Brexit

Yes. UK issued transport documentation will still be valid for transport within the UK.

What other arrangements do we need to have in place for staff to accompany horses to the EU or in transit?

Brexit

You should consult the latest information published by HMRC for detail on the changes to travel for individuals in the event of no deal.

Are permits required for non-commercial movements?

Brexit

No, but commercial movements are broadly defined. If the activity being undertaken involves any direct or indirect financial activity then a permit is likely to be required.

Will I need an ECMT permit?

Brexit

ECMT permits are required by third country hauliers to operate within the EU. DfT’s expectation is that hauliers should not need an ECMT permit to continue doing a range of business in all, or much of the EU, even in the event of no deal. The Government has put in place a scheme to allocate these permits, as detailed under the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act 2018. UK hauliers have been applying for ECMT permits and the Government announced the initial results of the allocation to UK hauliers on 8 February.

As DfT expects UK hauliers to have other means of ensuing market access to the EU, hauliers will be allowed a period of time before these permits need to be formally taken and paid for. This approach has been agreed with road haulage stakeholders. The 2018 Act provides appropriate arrangements for distributing any new permits which may be required under any future bilateral arrangements, if these are needed.

What are the different elements of welfare documentation and how long are they valid for?

Brexit

Currently, when transporting equines within the EU, transporters are required to hold the following documentation:

  • Valid Transporter Authorisation (Renewed every 5 years)
  • Valid Certificate of Competence (Valid for life)
  • Valid Vehicle Authorisation (Renewed every 5 years)
  • Have logged a ‘Journey log’ (Required for every international movement but not for registered horses)

Vehicle Authorisations and Driver Certificates of Competence need to be obtained before a transporter is issued with an Authorisation.

In January 2018, the European Commission confirmed that in the event of a no deal scenario when the UK exits the EU, they will no longer accept Transporter Authorisation, Certificates of Competence or Vehicle Approval Certificates issued by the UK authority.

Any transporter wishing to transport live animals into the EU will need to obtain new transport documentation issued by one of the EU27 Members States, which will then be valid in all Member States’ territories. The length of time it will take to obtain authorisations will vary between Member States though in the UK a fully completed application is processed within 10 days.

– UK transporters wishing to transport live animals in the EU would need to appoint a representative within an EU country and apply to their relevant government department to obtain a valid Transporter Authorisation, Certificate of Competence, Vehicle Approval Certificate and, where necessary, a Journey Log;

– If Journey logs are required, they would need to be obtained from both APHA and the EU country that is the initial point of entry into the EU for export. Exporters would need to present their transport documentation at a Border Inspection Post in the EU;

– UK-issued transport documentation would remain valid for transport within the UK only.

What is an Official Veterinarian and why my I use their services?

Brexit

Official Veterinarian (OV) is the term used to describe veterinarians who perform work on behalf of the governments. In Great Britain they are also private practice vets. EU law requires that they sign export health certificates to authorise that the relevant animal health requirements have been met ahead of export.  OVs are authorised by the Government for the specific work they undertake on its behalf.

If you need to find an OV you can:

– Check the list of professionals who can certify export health certificates 

– ask at your local veterinary practice or vet

– email csconehealthovteam@apha.gov.uk (if you’re in Northern Ireland contact DAERA

What other HMRC/customs processes do I need to be aware of?

Brexit

Before exporting, businesses must:

– register for an Economic Operator Register and Identification (EORI) number

– be aware of potential EU trade tariff changes

– find out the commodity code for your goods

– choose the correct customs procedure code (CPC) for your goods

– check the wider HMRC guidance for exporters

What about customs procedures in the EU?

Brexit

You will need to follow all relevant EU customs procedures in the event of no deal. The HMRC guidance for exporters provides links to the relevant EU information on these systems.

Will I need to go through a BIP to come back in to the UK?

Brexit

Equines originating in the EU travelling directly to the UK (or returning to the UK directly from the EU) will not need to enter the UK via a border inspection post.

Do the isolation requirements outlined on Gov.uk mean that my horse shouldn’t compete ahead of a move to the EU?

Brexit

In order to comply with pre-export isolation requirements for permeant exports or the temporary export of unregistered horses, owners will need to ensure that their equine is kept apart from other equines not of an equivalent health status for 30 days before export.

Owners are unlikely to be able to know with any certainty whether other equines attending a competition are of equivalent health status or not. You should therefore avoid these situations to ensure that isolation requirements are met and an export health certificate can be issued.

These requirements do not need to be met to temporarily export a registered horse for less than 90 days.

How often will a blood test be required? Every time a horse moves, annually etc.?

Brexit

This will depend upon the blood test. Tests must be taken within a certain number of days of travel, dependent on the type of move being undertaken and the sanitary group the UK is placed in. If an equine travels from the UK to the EU again within this time period, tests will not need to be re-taken.

How will the UK be able to negotiate a replacement for the TPA once we leave the EU?

Brexit

Government are working closely with the equine industry to develop a proposition for a longer term replacement for the TPA, which would need to be agreed by the European Commission and the Member States as part of ongoing  negotiations to refresh EU animal health legislation.

What will happen to the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) when the UK leaves the EU?

Brexit

The UK will no longer be a party to the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) when we leave the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal then all equines being moved to the EU will need to meet the same requirements in order to travel.

So do I need two sets of documentation?

Brexit

Yes – UK issued documentation will be valid for transport within the UK only. For exporting live animals to the EU, you will need to obtain additional documentation which is valid for transport within the EU.

Will my current UK issued transport documentation still be valid for transport within the UK?

Brexit

Yes. UK issued transport documentation will still be valid for transport within the UK.

Has the EU recognised the UK’s studbooks? Does this change which equines need a Government issued ID?

Brexit

The UK has applied to the EU for recognition of the UK’s studbooks. The EU has not provided recognition at this stage, and we do not anticipate that they will do so before April 12th.

If UK studbooks are recognised, equines in those studbooks will no longer require Government issued ID documents in order to travel from the UK to the EU.

  • What about export health certificates?

The EU has specific export health certificates for ‘registered horses.’ These health certificates have less onerous requirements than those for unregistered equines.

At the moment, only horses registered with a national branch of an international body for sporting and competition purposes are eligible for these certificates. If the EU recognises the UK’s studbooks, horses in these studbooks would become eligible to use the EHCs for ‘registered horses’ and benefit from the less onerous requirements.

How do I know if my horse will need a Government ID document?

Brexit

Equines registered or a recognised studbook or with an international association or sporting body will be able to use current ID documents to travel.

You will be able to check on gov.uk whether your equine is registered or not.

Will the Government ID document replace existing equine passports?

Brexit

No. All equines in the UK will still be required to have the equine passport, as now for
domestic identification purposes.

Most equines will also need a Government ID document in order to travel to the EU.
Those equines requiring Government issued ID will be required to travel to the EU with
both this document and their equine passport.

Will I need a Government issued equine ID document and, if so, how do I get this Government ID document?

Brexit

Equines registered with a national branch of an international body for sporting or competition purposes will be able to travel using existing industry issued ID documents. All other equines will require a Government issued ID each time they move from the UK to the EU. This will change if the EU recognises the UK’s studbooks and breed societies.

You will apply for your Government issued ID from APHA at the same time as your export health certificate. Details of this process are available on Gov.uk.  

What documentation do I need for onward travel in the EU?

Brexit

For each journey the Export Health Certificate should clearly show the equine’s country of destination if this is different to the country of entry.

How do I get an Export Health Certificate?

Brexit

The EHC will replace the Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) for exports to EU countries.

Before an EHC can be issued, equines will need to have been tested and found free of certain disease (see here for further information).

For full details on Export Health Certificates and how to get one visit gov.uk.

 

Will I need to pay any additional tariffs? What about VAT?

Brexit

The Department for International Trade has published draft information on the tariffs that will be levied on imports from the EU in the event of no deal. This information confirms that it is not the Government’s intention to levy any tariffs on equines entering the UK from the EU.

You should consult the HMRC guidance for exporters for information on other changes to process such as VAT.

Will equines that had previously been moved under the TPA need to enter via a Border Inspection Post?

Brexit

Yes. The requirement would apply to all equines entering the EU, including movements to Ireland and France previously made under the TPA. This is because this is a current EU requirement for all equines entering the EU from a third country.

What will happen if the UK agrees a deal with the EU?

Brexit

If the UK agrees a deal with the EU, then the process for moving equines from the UK to the EU will continue in the same way as now, including movements made under the TPA during any agreed implementation period.

Do I need to book an Official Vet to carry out the blood tests?

Brexit

No. Sampling can be carried out by any qualified veterinarian. But blood samples must be sent to the APHA laboratory in Weybridge for analysis.

However, only an Official Vet can authorise your equine for travel and issue the documentation needed for travel.

When should I consult my vet to start preparations?

Brexit

It is advised that you contact a vet at least six weeks before you intend to move your equine to the EU to allow sufficient time to prepare.

What will the blood testing requirements be?

Brexit

The UK has been placed in Sanitary Group A. This means equines will need tests for:

– equine infectious anaemia within 30 days of travel for permanent moves

– equine infectious anaemia within 90 days of travel for temporary moves under 90 days of equines registered with a national branch of an international body for sporting and competition purposes

– equine viral arteritis within 21 days of travel for uncastrated male equines older than 180 days, unless they meet other specific vaccination requirements specified in the Model Health Certificate. These can be found in EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/659.

Will this mean increased costs for owners?

Brexit

The testing requirements and additional veterinary time needed to prepare an equine for travel are likely to result in additional costs for owners. Exact costs will vary between vet practices.

There will be no cost for the identification document, where this is needed.

There is no charge for the Export Health Certificate, but you’ll need to pay for your vet’s services.

Why do we need to make horses retrain for another sport?

The Horse Comes First

Horses being trained or participating in equine disciplines such as show jumping are among the best looked after in the UK. And this sort of training helps to keep them fit, healthy and alert.

Thoroughbred horses are bred to race and often their temperament means that they are most suited to an active life and the thrill of competition.

What happens to horses after they retire from racing?

The Horse Comes First

We make a huge effort to track horses once they leave racing, to protect and promote their continuing welfare.

Thoroughbred foals must be registered and micro-chipped within 30 days of birth, meaning that race horses can be tracked and identified throughout their life, including those that don’t succeed in competing at the highest level.

90% of horses leaving racing are accounted for – an impressive figure that the industry is constantly striving to improve. In addition, each year, British racing invests £750,000 in programmes to rehome and retrain former race horses. Also, many stay within the sport, either as part of the breeding industry, or still engaged in the sport at an amateur level, where there are still extremely strict welfare standards in place.

British racing takes incredibly seriously the welfare of horses that leave the sport, and has created its own charity with the sole purpose of ensuring that racehorses find fulfilling second careers after racing. In 2018, there are 13,000 race horses registered with Retraining of Racehorses as active in equine disciplines.

British racing’s owners – represented by the Racecourse Owners Association –  have recently agreed to further increase their prize money contribution to funding for rehoming and retraining of retired racehorses.

Do horses enjoy racing?

The Horse Comes First

Running and jumping comes naturally to horses, and we see them doing both those things in the wild. It’s also interesting to note that when a horse unseats its rider during a race, it will continue to run and jump with the other horses.

We understand and respect that some people have concerns over animals being used in sport. That’s why we are committed to ensuring that the highest levels of animal care and welfare exist in British racing.

Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare, states that his organisation “does not accept the claim that horses are unwilling participants in sport. The notion that sport is bad for horses needs to be challenged”.

Trainers and jockeys work closely with horses every day, from providing for their basic needs to conducting their training. They develop incredibly strong bonds with the horses and a deep understanding of their traits and moods. There is anecdotal evidence from jockeys that they can recognise physical and behavioural traits that signal the needs and desires of the horse.

Without horseracing there would be no thoroughbred racehorse. The care and the support structures that the 14,000 horses in training at any one time receive are superior to those available to almost all other domesticated animals. As a result, racing brings far more life to the horse population than it takes away. And the quality of those lives is astonishingly high.

It’s important to note that if a horse does not want to race, it won’t, and very occasionally we see a horse plant its feet and refuse to move. No horse can be made to race against its will. In the overwhelming majority of cases, horses happily take part in a race.

Do the owners really love their horses – or is it more of a business to them?

The Horse Comes First

Most owners are involved in the sport because of a deep love for horses and a passion for racing. For most owners, racing is not a lucrative business and is usually funded by their successes in other business ventures. In any case, welfare of horses will always be prioritised over the narrow sporting or financial goals of a jockey, trainer or owner.

All the excellent care is great for elite horses, but what about horses racing at lower levels?

The Horse Comes First

Certain factors remain constant for all horses – a high level of veterinary care, outstanding welfare and excellent training regimes. Among a population estimated to be around 1 million, all racehorses in Britain are among the healthiest and best looked after 2% of horses in the country. And the huge sums of money invested into veterinary research and science benefits all horses, no matter the level to which they compete.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is the independent, government recognised body responsible for the regulation of horseracing. We demand the highest standards of welfare from all our licensed jockeys, trainers and racecourses. No fixtures can take place unless the BHA’s equine welfare criteria have been satisfied. These criteria by far exceed the requirements of animal welfare legislation, and are enforced by independent vets and officials at every fixture, alongside a team of racecourse inspectors, stable inspectors and investigating officers.

No trainer can hold a licence unless they are deemed suitable to care for horses, and the standards expected of licensed participants are upheld by a team of stable inspectors and investigative officers.

How do you make sure that racing is as safe as possible?

The Horse Comes First

Over 6,000 people dedicate their lives to the welfare of the 14,000 horses in British horse racing, providing them with a level of care and a quality of life that is unsurpassed.

As with all elite sports and all activities involving horses, there is an element of risk, but it is the BHA’s responsibility to reduce that risk as much as possible. It is important to note that 99.58% of runners in British racing complete their race without incurring any long-term injury. Over the last twenty years, through investment in equine science and welfare, the fatality rate in British racing has reduced in the last twenty years by 1/3 to just 0.18% of runners.

The primary concern of everyone involved in the sport is ensuring that horses finish their careers safely. There are lots of things we do to make sure that that happens.

No racing can take place at any UK course unless all equine welfare standards, measures and criteria have been deemed to be met by the British Horseracing Authority. These criteria and standards far exceed those demanded by animal welfare legislation, and are overseen by the BHA’s team of independent vets and racecourse inspectors.

As soon as the race is finished, the vets meet the horses on their way back to the stables, to check for bumps and scrapes that might be causing them discomfort. If they spot a horse that is having problems walking, the animal can be put in a horse ambulance and taken back to the stables for treatment.

No trainer can hold a licence unless they are deemed suitable to care for horses, and the standards expected of licensed participants are upheld by a team of stable inspectors and investigative officers.

Are jumps and ditches dangerous?

The Horse Comes First

Jumps in horse racing are designed, first and foremost, to be as safe as possible, and allow horses to show off their natural athleticism. There are lots of ways that jumps are designed to pose a challenge to the horse and jockey, but at the same time minimise risk.

Why do we need jumps in racing when people enjoy flat racing?

The Horse Comes First

Horse racing is the second most popular spectator sport in the UK, enjoyed by 6 million people each year. Part of the enjoyment is seeing the finest horses competing at the highest level, testing themselves over jumps and fences. Jump racing accounts for around 1/3 of the racing industry, which has an economic impact of £3.5bn – mostly in rural economies – and provides employment for around 80,000 people.

Jumping comes naturally to horses, especially those that have trained especially for it. While flat racing is a wonderful spectator sport, jumps test these highly trained horses to another level, and allow us to appreciate these magnificent animals even more.

Is the whip cruel? Does it hurt horses?

The Horse Comes First

The whips used in British racing are foam-padded and energy-absorbing, and the thresholds for use are extremely low – the whip can be used only seven times in a flat race or eight times in a Jump race before the stewards will review the ride.
If used properly, there is no welfare problem associated with use of the energy-absorbing whip in Britain. Indeed Britain is among the world leaders in terms of the regulation of use of the whip in racing.
Due to the fact that the limits on use are set so low, and the padded design of the whip, only in the most extreme cases would a breach of our whip rules constitute a welfare issue.
Despite this, the sport continues to impose strict penalties on breaches of the whip rules, in order to act as a deterrent against misuse. In addition, a further review of our whip rules has recently been announced, to ensure that the rules and penalties are providing a sufficient deterrent to prevent rule breaches.

How are they put down?

The Horse Comes First

If a horse does have to be put down, it is done in a quick and painless way, by a trained veterinary surgeon. The usual method is by injection, but the vets will decide on the most appropriate course of action for the horse based on its specific circumstances. Any decision is taken by a team of veterinary surgeons; where appropriate this will be done in consultation with the owners and trainer of a horse.

When I’ve seen horses fall on TV, the vets always seem to put a screen up around it. Why?

The Horse Comes First

If a horse is injured, it’s important that it is kept calm, and provided with some privacy. A screen helps create a calm environment around the horse and allows the vets to work safely and without distraction.

Why do horses have to be put down if they are injured?

The Horse Comes First

Owners and trainers love their horses and have invested huge amounts of time and care into looking after and training them. The last thing they want is to have to put down a horse. But horses have far more complex physiology than humans, and a broken leg can often cause damage to blood vessels and other tissue. Because horses can not stay off their feet for long periods, broken bones do not have a chance to heal, and so often sadly the kindest way to help a horse with a broken limb is to put it down.

The vets on the racecourse, in conjunction with the owner, will make a decision as to what is in the best interests of the horse. Racehorses enjoy a very high standard of care and quality of life when in training. Maintaining a comparable quality of life is a key consideration when considering future options for a horse that has had a serious injury or condition.

Why do horses have to be put down if they are injured?

The Horse Comes First

Owners and trainers love their horses and have invested huge amounts of time and care into looking after and training them. The last thing they want is to have to put down a horse. But horses have far more complex physiology than humans, and a broken leg can often cause damage to blood vessels and other tissue. Because horses can not stay off their feet for long periods, broken bones do not have a chance to heal, and so often sadly the kindest way to help a horse with a broken limb is to put it down.

The vets on the racecourse, in conjunction with the owner, will make a decision as to what is in the best interests of the horse. Racehorses enjoy a very high standard of care and quality of life when in training. Maintaining a comparable quality of life is a key consideration when considering future options for a horse that has had a serious injury or condition.

Do horses still get injured?

The Horse Comes First

As with any sport, those taking part do sometimes suffer injury, but it is important to note that 99.58% of runners in British racing complete their race without incurring any long-term injury.

Despite British Racing’s excellent safety record, we never rest on our laurels, constantly investing in research and education into welfare. Over the last twenty years, concerted efforts across the sport has seen an already low equine fatality rate drop by a further third to just 0.18%.

Since the year 2000, British Racing has invested £35 million in veterinary research and education. For example, recent BHA funded research has resulted in the introduction of padded hurdles, which are being rolled out across British racecourse and have proven to further reduce faller rates and injury rates.

It’s also important to note that studies have shown that sport horses are at no greater risk of injury when running and jumping than when turned out in the field – a recent study by Liverpool University found that 62% of traumatic injuries in sport horses occurred in the field, compared to 13% while being ridden in competition.

Is horse racing dangerous?

The Horse Comes First

As with any sport, horse racing is tough, but the level of risk for its participants is very low.

During any activity involving horses, there is an element of risk. However, the industry works together to take steps to manage risk and make sure that the sport is as safe as possible.

99.58% of runners in British racing complete their race without incurring any long-term injury. Over the last twenty years, concerted efforts across the sport has seen an already low equine fatality rate drop by a further third, to just 0.18% of runners.

Over 6,000 people dedicate their lives to the welfare of the 14,000 horses in British horse racing, providing them with a level of care and a quality of life that is unsurpassed. The primary concern of everyone involved in the sport is ensuring that horses enjoy their careers safely. There are lots of things we do to make sure that that happens.

No racing can take place at any British course unless all equine welfare standards, measures and criteria have been deemed to be met by the British Horseracing Authority. These criteria and standards far exceed those demanded by animal welfare legislation, and are overseen by the BHA’s team of independent vets and racecourse inspectors. The BHA has shown that it is willing to review even the most established events to ensure safety, making wide ranging changes to the Grand National course in 2012.

Away from racecourses, no trainer can hold a licence unless they are deemed suitable to care for horses, and the standards expected of licensed participants are upheld by a team of stable inspectors and investigative officers.

I have previously held a Jockey’s Licence – can I apply for an Amateur Rider’s Permit?

Licensing

If you have previously held either an Apprentice or Conditional Licence and have had 25 wins or less, you are eligible to apply for an Amateur Rider’s Permit.  However, if you have ridden more than 25 winners, or have held a full professional Flat or Jump Jockey’s Licence, you are no longer eligible to revert to Amateur status.

I have a complaint against a betting operator

Betting

If you have a betting query or complaint, please contact The Gambling Comission. If you have exhausted all avenues through the individual bookmaker you may wish to contact the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). IBAS acts as an impartial adjudicator on disputes that arise between betting operators and their customers.

Who is responsible for the welfare of racehorses?

Horse Welfare

Everyone involved in horseracing has responsibility towards the welfare of racehorses. This ranges from the trainers who look after their needs on a daily basis through to the Racecourse Managing Executives who provide the facilities and staff to ensure that the raceday environment is the best it can be for the racehorse. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is the Government recognised body responsible for the regulation of horseracing in Great Britain and these regulations ensure that the welfare of the horse comes first.

British Racing is among the world’s best-regulated animal activities. The standards demanded within the sport far exceed existing national animal welfare legislation. Together with the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, BHA is a leading signatory of the National Equine Welfare Protocol.

More information on equine welfare in British Racing can be found on the Horse Comes First Website: www.thehorsecomesfirst.com

Are racehorses well looked after?

Horse Welfare

The sport employs over 6,500 people to provide first class care and attention for the 14,000 horses in training, providing them with a level of care and a quality of life that is virtually unsurpassed by any other domesticated animal.

The highest standards of horse welfare are demanded of all jockeys, trainers and racecourses. None of the 1,400+ fixtures held annually in Britain can take place unless key BHA equine welfare criteria have been satisfied.

Find out more: www.thehorsecomesfirst.com

What is the standard of veterinary care given to racehorses?

Horse Welfare

British Racing is committed to providing the best possible standards of veterinary care for its horses and has invested, via the Horserace Betting Levy Board, over £27 million since 2000 in Veterinary Research and Education.

The sport’s substantial investment in Veterinary Research and Education brings benefits for all breeds of horse in Britain.

Racecourses employ experienced veterinary surgeons and have state-of-the-art horse ambulances available to ensure the very best treatment of any injury.

More information can be found at: www.thehorsecomesfirst.com

How is a racehorse’s age determined?

Horse Welfare

Most racehorses are born between January and April in the Northern hemisphere. All racehorses are considered to turn a year older on the 1st January each year.

At what age will a horse first race?

Horse Welfare

The age and type of race a thoroughbred is eligible to race in is dependent on a number of factors, these are outlined in more detail in the Rules of Racing.  In brief, a horse bred to race on the flat may not race until the start of the flat season in the year of its second birthday, whereas horses who are bred to race over jumps can’t race, at the earliest until 1st May in the year of its third birthday. There are certain age restrictions on the type of jumps race a horse is eligible to start in therefore many horses will be older than 3yrs old when they race for the first time.

What is the benefit of exercise in young horses?

Horse Welfare

There is strong scientific evidence to support controlled exercise at a young age in thoroughbreds. It has been shown that exercise has a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system because it encourages adaption with a resultant increase in strength and density of bones. An adult level of tissue maturity has been shown to have been attained in racehorses before their two year old racing career usually commences.

The evidence shows that horses that raced as two-year olds had significantly more race starts during their careers from three-years old upwards than those who did not race until they were  three-years old or older.

(1)  BEVA press release – New evidence suggests early exercise in Thoroughbreds may help musculoskeletal health

New Zealand Policy – Racing of two year old horses

What is the level of risk to horses racing?

Horse Welfare

The British Horseracing Authority is committed to reducing the risk in racing for both horse and jockey. However, as with all sports, including any equestrian activity, there is an inherent risk for the participants.

British Racing is open and transparent about the risks involved. Over the last 15 years, the equine fatality rate in British Racing has fallen by one-third (from 0.3% to 0.2% of runners). In recent years the average number of runners per annum is in excess of 90,000.

Horses are at risk of serious injury throughout their lives, regardless of the type of equestrian activity they participate in, even when turned out in a field, exercising at home or doing what they were bred to do, namely racing on the track. A study by Liverpool University found that 62% of “traumatic injuries” (ranging from grazes to fractures) suffered by a sample of leisure and competition horses occurred when turned out in the field, compared to only 13% during ridden exercise.

In the event of an incident on a racecourse:

Any horse affected will receive immediate attention and treatment from the racecourse veterinary team.

Qualified paramedics and doctors are also on hand in the case of any incident involving a jockey.

If necessary, horses and riders will be transported from the course to receive further treatment at the most appropriate equine hospital or Accident & Emergency hospital.

More information about what British Racing does for our equine participants: www.thehorsecomesfirst.com

What is BHA’s role in reducing the risk to horses in racing?

Horse Welfare

BHA takes its responsibility for equine welfare very seriously and constantly reviews statistics and trends regarding racecourse facilities and racing surfaces, particularly if there is concern regarding horse safety.

All injuries and fatalities incurred on the racecourse are recorded and monitored to provide a benchmark from which the industry can continually strive to reduce injury rates. The data enables the BHA Veterinary Officers and officials to critically assess any situations were injury or fatality levels increase and to put in in place measures to safeguard horse welfare.

Is the level of risk to horses racing reducing?

Horse Welfare

Yes. Thanks to continued research and enforcement of strict standards, the number of injuries and fatalities has fallen. The equine fatality rate in British Racing has fallen by one-third (from 0.3% to 0.2% of all runners in the last 15 years.  More information and statistics about injuries and fatalities can be found in the Horse Welfare Info section of our Resource Centre.

What veterinary resources are present on any raceday?

Horse Welfare

There are a number of veterinary personnel present on the racecourse every raceday, these personnel fit into three broad categories.

(1)  Veterinary Officers

There is at least one British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Veterinary Officers on duty at every race meeting. One of the Veterinary Officers’ key responsibilities is overseeing horse welfare and ensuring that the standards laid down by BHA are maintained. Veterinary Officers monitor all horses on the racecourse, including in the stable area and parade ring prior to racing and as they return from the course post-race.

(2)  Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons

All racecourses appoint specialist equine veterinary surgeons (Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons) who attend each race meeting to provide immediate first aid and veterinary treatment to any horse.

(3)  Horse ambulance personnel

A horse ambulance is available on site to ensure prompt and safe transport of an injured horse to either the on-course veterinary treatment facilities or a near-by equine referral centre.

Why can injuries be life-threatening in racehorses?

Horse Welfare

The most serious type of injury sustained by racehorses are bone fractures. With advances in veterinary medicine a number of fractures sustained by horses can now be repaired, often allowing the horse to continue with either its racing career or another career, however, there are difficulties in repairing certain fractures that are not comparable to humans.

One of the biggest challenges for veterinary surgeons when treating all breeds of horses is not repairing the fracture per se, but the post-surgical complications and rehabilitation of a 500kg animal. Recuperation of a horse is a major welfare challenge, as horses do not adapt well to sustained periods of inactivity during convalescence. Additionally horses are not functionally adapted to or capable of spending large periods of time ‘lying down’ or having a limb put in a sling to prevent weight-bearing and consequently numerous life-threatening complications can result. Complicated, unstable fractures cannot withstand immediate weight-bearing and this means many fractures cannot be repaired. In such circumstances, the most humane measure is to put the horse down.

Additionally the risk of infection after injury, where the skin has been broken, is very high in horses partly due to their physiology and partly due to environmental contamination. Soft tissue injury that accompanies bone fractures in horses can further complicate repair after injury.

An article in The Guardian discussed in more detail the reasons horses have to be euthanased after sustaining certain injuries regardless of how much their owners and carers wish to save them.

What is euthanasia?

Horse Welfare

Humane euthanasia is defined by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as ‘painless killing to relieve suffering’. There are a number of criteria that must be fulfilled, according to BEVA guidelines for humane euthanasia to be carried out. Another type of euthanasia is elective euthanasia which is where after consultation with the owner or his/her representative on welfare and/or economic grounds a horse may be euthanized where BEVA criteria are not met.

Racehorses enjoy a very high standard of care and quality of life when in training. Maintaining a comparable quality of life is a key consideration when considering future options for a horse that has had a serious injury or condition.

What happens to horses after they finish racing?

Horse Welfare

The British Horseracing Authority take very seriously what happens to racehorses when they leave the sport, British Racing’s duty of care to its racehorses extends beyond the end of their racing careers. Thoroughbred racehorses registered in Britain are microchipped so it is possible to track what happens to them when they leave Racing.

Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) is British Racing’s official charity for the welfare of retired racehorses and is funded by prize money and the sport donates in all, over £600,000 each year facilitating the rehoming and retraining of racehorses. Racehorse owners are the largest contributors followed by racecourses, trainers and many more members of the industry.

An increasing number of racehorses go on to successful second careers after retiring from the track, there are currently over 11,000 horses registered with Retraining of Racehorses as active in other equine disciplines outside of racing, including Polo, Showing, Dressage and Eventing.

The racing industry set up the charity ‘Retraining of Racehorses’ in 2000. Funding for this comes directly from the racing industry through licence and registration fees and it also receives voluntary donations.  In addition, we are working to raise the profile of ex-racehorses within the wider equestrian world to advertise their adaptability to other occupations.

There is no evidence that the majority of rehomed racehorses result in welfare cases. The BHA works closely with the RSPCA when necessary assisting with when concerns are raised and the number of cases which require the BHA / RoR’s emergency relief fund to be used to assist former racehorses faced with welfare issues is exceptionally low.

Why is testing done?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Testing for Prohibited Substances

Testing is carried out to ensure that racing is fair and safe for all its participants and to safeguard the integrity of the sport. BHA increasingly conducts pre-race and out-of- competition testing. This allows it to act quickly on intelligence received and provides a major deterrent to the extremely small minority of people in the sport who would deliberately attempt to influence the outcome of a race via the use of prohibited substances.  BHA uses a targeted, intelligence led approach combined with raceday sampling that is process led.

How is testing carried out?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Testing for Prohibited Substances

For practical reasons pre-race testing and out-of-competition testing is normally undertaken via a blood sample, as opposed to a urine sample, which is usually collected for post-race testing. However other samples such as hair are collected as required.

When used, targeted testing will be done based on established objective procedures. BHA uses an intelligence system based on the Police National Intelligence Model, which set standards for process, professionalism, fairness and confidentiality.

There is a robust chain of custody from the place of sampling to the laboratory, and within the laboratory there are rigorous procedures to ensure sample integrity.

How are levels of detection changed?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Testing for Prohibited Substances

There are no unannounced changes in the sensitivity of drug tests performed for BHA where the drug is a therapeutic agent.  BHA’s contract with its analytical laboratory, LGC, contains these specific requirements. No change to the Performance Specification (for the detection of substances, including capability to detect (weight/volume) and any regulatory or other screening limit (weight/volume)] will be made at any stage of analysis without the specific and informed consent of BHA. LGC must consider the impact of changes in instrument sensitivity, changes to methods such as extraction from a matrix and changes resulting from malfunction of an instrument so as to assure BHA that Performance Specification outputs are not inadvertently changed.

Implementation of any changes to methodology, including effects on analytical sensitivity, must be agreed in advance with BHA. If such change is made at LGC’s instigation then BHA may require, at no additional cost to BHA, a period of ‘parallel running’ of the proposed change against the existing screening methodology. For clarity, these requirements may apply equally to changes dictated by changes in the Laboratory Standards (the quality control systems in place).

BHA’s Internal Procedures include the requirement to notify change.

There is a formal procedure for consideration and notification on any proposed change to the analytical testing methodology used to detect drugs in racehorses, such that any changes must be approved by the BHA Board.

A risk based assessment is made of the need for change. A transition period is set for old and new tests. During this time they are run in parallel, and any disciplinary action taken based on the old test. At the end of any transition period an assessment is made to confirm the need for change.

Before implementing any changes in analytical sensitivity for medications used for treatment BHA consults with the National Trainers Federation (NTF). This consultation will generally be based around new or changed Detection Times. Veterinary organisations will also be involved as required. The NTF is notified when changes are put into effect.

Whilst the majority of substances in which BHA have an interest are medicines for treatment, it does also have a responsibility to control substances misused for doping which have no place in racing. Here the analytical approach is robust identification and not any control of sensitivity. Consultation here is, by necessity, more limited and BHA may not consult before action is taken.

Can my product be approved by BHA?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Testing for Prohibited Substances

No.

Any advice given is simply to highlight if there are any particular issues in relation to a particular product and its use under the BHA Rules of Racing. BHA may advise trainers and their veterinary surgeons or feed supplement manufactures if a particular ingredient is a Prohibited Substance. BHA’s advice must not be quoted on any product literature, but feed supplement manufacturers can refer to BHA’s written advice, if given in full, in direct dialogue with trainers and their veterinary surgeons.

Please note the Jockey Club no longer regulates British horseracing, so reference to approval by the Jockey Club or similar, or indeed approved by racing authorities, have no meaning.

Should herbal treatments have a Marketing Authorisation number?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on the use of Herbal Products

Yes, in accordance with the Veterinary Medicines Regulations if they make medicinal claims to treat and/or prevent disease on labels, packaging or in advertising and/or if administration modifies physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action.

Are herbal products Prohibited Substances under the Rules of Racing?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on the use of Herbal Products

The active substances contained within the herbal ingredients are Prohibited Substances if they fulfil the criteria for a Prohibited Substance under the Rules of Racing Schedule (G)1

To understand the difference between the presence of herbs in feedstuffs and use for treatment it  is helpful to note the legal definition of a ‘Veterinary Medicinal Product’ as outlined in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations; which is(a) any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in animals; or (b) any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to, animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.

Thus a herbal product claiming to be a treatment in labelling or advertising, and/or that contains substances in amounts that may be restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action is likely to result, under the Rules of Racing as being considered as a treatment containing Prohibited Substances and its administration, as well as its detection, may lead to disciplinary sanctions.

Interpretation of the difference between a feeding stuff and a treatment must therefore be a question of informed context and judgment. BHA would assess the claims made for the product, the substance present using authoritative information (such as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain), and the amounts of active substance present.

Does this mean there are many disciplinary cases for feeding herbal supplements?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on the use of Herbal Products

No, the statistics and details of the Disciplinary results show that BHA is clearly not prosecuting every trainer on every raceday for the minute traces of herbs, which may support and maintain normal function, that are found in normal feedstuffs. However it does take action when herbal treatments are administered in direct contravention of BHA rules.

Trainers are reminded of several other key considerations:

i) A Person must not administer a Prohibited Substance to a horse, attempt to do so, allow or cause a Prohibited Substance to be administered to a horse, or connive at the administration of a Prohibited Substance to a horse, with the intention to affect the performance of the horse in a race or with knowledge that its performance in a race could be affected.
ii) The requirement to keep records of medication and this must include herbal treatments.
iii) The need to consider whether a herbal product has been assessed for its safety in horses.
iv) The need to consider whether the use of a herbal product may interact with other medicines being used at the same time.

Can herbal products be detected in the same way as other medications?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on the use of Herbal Products

Yes. The chemicals contained in herbs that are the source of the effect of the herb on the body can be detected in the same way as other medications.

How can I get advice on herbal products?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on the use of Herbal Products

In order for the Equine Health and Welfare Department (equine@britishhorseracing.com) to be able to offer advice about the administration of  any herbal product we would require the manufacturer to provide a quantitative analysis of the composition of the product and what it claims to do. This advice can only relate to the Rules of Racing.

Can a herbal product supplier say it is approved by BHA?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on the use of Herbal Products

No it cannot.

“BHA does not endorse or warrant particular products, and unequivocally disassociates itself from such claims”.

What feed supplements can I use?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on use of Feed Supplements

The ingredients in a feed supplement should be for maintaining normal body function by nutrition. Thus a feed supplement claiming to be a treatment in labelling or advertising, and/or that contains substances in amounts that may be restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action is likely to result, under the Rules of Racing as being considered as a treatment containing Prohibited Substances and its administration, as well as its detection, may lead to disciplinary sanctions.

Interpretation of the difference between a feeding stuff and a treatment must therefore be a question of informed context and judgment. BHA would assess the claims made for the product, the substance present using authoritative scientific information and the amounts of active substance present.

Where can I get advice about feed supplements?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on use of Feed Supplements

BHA supports both innovation and welfare enhancements, however, BHA does not wish to expose trainers and owners to the risk of a positive, however caused, or to using devices that are against the Rules for fair racing. Trainers, veterinary surgeons, racecourses and commercial enterprises should feel free to seek advice from BHA about particular treatments or therapies before use or promotion.

In the case of any product the manufacturer must first decide if it is a Veterinary Medicinal Product in which case it must be the subject of a valid Marketing Authorisation (MA), issued by the VMD. There are clear definitions for Veterinary Medicinal Products.

In these Regulations (Veterinary Medicines Regulations) ‘Veterinary Medicinal Product’ means-
(a) any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in animals; or
(b) any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to, animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.

However the Rules of Racing do not apply just to the use of authorised Veterinary Medicinal Products, but more widely, therefore even for a supplement we would require the manufacturer to provide a quantitative analysis of the composition of the product and what it claims to do to offer advice. Our advice can only relate to the Rules of Racing. Any such request should be sent by email to the Equine Health and Welfare Department at equine@britishhorseracing.com

Please note BHA regulates horseracing and point to pointing in Great Britain. It also approves Rules for Pony and Arab racing. It does not comment on specific matters relating to sports it does not regulate. These are a matter for the regulator of that sport. For equestrian sport, this is the role of the FEI, which has a dedicated website on medication control: FEI Clean Sport.

Can a feed supplement supplier say it has been approved by BHA?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Advice on use of Feed Supplements

No it cannot.

“BHA does not endorse or warrant particular products, and unequivocally disassociates itself from such claims”.

What categories of medicines can be supplied to and used by horse keepers?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

Prescription Only Medicine – Veterinarian (POM-V): Can only be supplied by a veterinary surgeon or a pharmacist in accordance with a prescription from a veterinary surgeon.

Prescription Only Medicine – Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Suitably Qualified Person (POM-VPS): Can only be supplied by a veterinary surgeon, pharmacist or suitably qualified person in accordance with a prescription from one of those persons. (NFA-VPS – Not applicable to horses as horses are considered food producing species)

Authorised Veterinary Medicine – General Sales List (AVM -GSL): There are no restrictions on the supply of AVM – GSL products.

More information can be found from DEFRA.

What is an authorised veterinary medicine and how do I recognise it?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

An authorised veterinary medicine is one that has a Marketing Authorisation (MA) from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). The active ingredients and MA number must be listed on the label (VMD – Information contained on a label) and the product will be listed as a UK authorised ‘Veterinary Medical Product’ on the VMD Product Information Database. 

Veterinary Medicinal Products areany substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in animals. In addition;  any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to, animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis are also defined as veterinary medicinal products and must have a Marketing Authorisation.

UK authorised Veterinary Medicinal Products can be identified by the prefix Vm, EU or Vh followed by numbers.

Can I buy a veterinary medicine on the Internet?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

Yes, provided it has a UK Marketing Authorisation. Orders for POM-V products purchased through the internet must be accompanied by a valid veterinary prescription. If the medicine you wish to purchase requires a veterinary prescription, all reputable sites will ask for this prescription to be provided. Sales of POM-VPS medicines (such as horse wormers) should be based on the suitability of the product for the horse. For the internet seller to fulfil their legal obligations they should be asked for information about the horse before completing the purchase of these medicines. AVM-GSL medicines can be sold with no interaction.

How can I ensure that I purchase a veterinary medicine from a legitimate online retailer?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

A simple way to achieve this when buying medicines online is to only use a retailer that is enrolled in the VMD Accredited Retailer Scheme. This scheme was established in May 2012 and Internet Retailers who have met the accreditation scheme’s requirements are issued with a logo to indicate their accreditation. The logo contains a unique number and customers can confirm accreditation by clicking on the logo to access the Internet Retailer database on the VMD’s website. The image below shows the logo:VMD label

Can I use a veterinary medicine bought for another species in a horse, or for another reason?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

An authorised medicine must only be used for the species and specific purpose indicated on the labelling except under the direction of your veterinary surgeon. Only a veterinary surgeon can prescribe a product for use under the ‘cascade’ and this is done to address the lack of availability of an authorised product to treat a particular condition. You should be asked for your informed consent under these circumstances. Once prescribed, the product can be purchased from the prescribing veterinary surgeon or from a different veterinary surgeon or a pharmacist including through the internet on presentation of a written prescription.

Any medicine supplied and used in horses under the ‘cascade’ must be dispensed in accordance’s with the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

What do I do if I am offered an unauthorised veterinary medicine?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

You should recognise that a product that claims to treat and/or if administered modifies physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action but has no Marketing Authorisation is in breach of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations and can carry no claim of safety or efficacy. Possession or supply, or administration to animals of unauthorised medicines is illegal under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations. It may put your horse at undefined risk, and may also place you in breach of the Rules of Racing.

You should inform your veterinary surgeon if you are so approached, or the VMD.

Can I legally use an unauthorised veterinary medicinal product in my horse, for example, a product authorised in Ireland or another member state but not in the UK?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

Yes, if a veterinary surgeon has decided that the use of such medicinal product is appropriate under the rules of the cascade for animal welfare reasons, he/she can prescribe the medicine to that particular animal. In this case the medicine may be legally imported into the UK through the VMD’s import scheme. Details on how to use the scheme may be found here: http://www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/pdf/vmgn/vmgnote13.pdf

You will be asked for your informed consent under these circumstances.

How should medicines for horses be stored?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

Product labels give guidance on how to store the product. Trainers need to be mindful of the security and integrity of the product. In most cases drugs are best stored or contained in a locked cupboard or, if storage at lower temperatures is specifically indicated, in a secure fridge.

What records must I keep on the use of veterinary medicines in horses?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Acquisition, Storage, Use & Recording of Medicines used in Racehorses

Veterinary surgeons must record any vaccines given in the horse’s passport. If the horse is signed out of the food chain in its passport, generally no other records need to be kept for the VMD. If the horse is not signed out of the food chain there are strict recording requirements for the acquisition, use and disposal of medicines: http://www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/pdf/vmgn/VMGNote16.pdf

According to the Rules of Racing, Rule (C) 13 – Duty to keep medication records, BHA requires trainers to keep medication records for one year, including:

  • date of commencement and prescribed duration of any Treatment,
  • name of the horse,
  • name of the Treatment used,
  • route and dosage per day of the Treatment,
  • name of the Person administering the Treatment, and
  • name of the Person authorising or prescribing the Treatment

What are ‘Detection Times’ and ‘Withdrawal Times’?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

A ‘Detection Time’ is defined as the interval between the time of the last drug administration and the time at which the observed urine (and plasma) concentrations, in horses during an experiment conducted according to European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee (EHLSC) recommendations, are below the harmonised International Screening Limit (ISL) as obtained with the routine analytical method.

The logic behind determining Detection Times is to more accurately record the time taken for a particular substance to pass through the horse’s system and for the levels of the substance to become so low that they are recognised as having ‘no effect’. This data is currently available for a number of frequently used medications in horses. Detection Time studies have been coordinated for several years by a cooperation of European Racing Authorities coming together as the European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee (EHSLC); in order to ensure that Detection Times are harmonised across Europe.

A ‘Withdrawal Time’ is basically a Detection Time with an additional length of time added on by a vet using their own discretion and knowledge of the individual situation to allow the substance to take effect and then pass through the horse. It’s very important to remember that all horses are different, and there are no guarantees that a substance will be completely out of a horse’s system even if the drug was given well in advance of the known Detection Time – if a substance is given to a horse at least this far in advance of an intended race, there is a greatly reduced chance of a positive test occurring.

A Detection Time is not equivalent to a Withdrawal Time.

The Withdrawal Time should be longer than a Detection Time to take into account the impact of all sources of animal variability such as age, sex, breed, and lifestyle in and those of the medicinal product actually administered such as formulation, route of administration, dosage regimen and duration of treatment.

 

Where can I find Detection Times?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

A downloadable sheet is available in the Veterinary Notices & Policies section with the current list of published Detection Times which can be found on the BHA website under Veterinary Notices and Policies.

Where can I find more information about how Screening Limits and Detection Times are produced?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

More information is available on the website of the European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee.

Why can’t BHA produce more Detection Times?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

The research to produce Detection Times takes time and is expensive and therefore the medication involved must be relevant to the care and welfare of racehorses. BHA works, both in Britain and internationally via information sharing agreements, to  provide more Detection Times, but until we have the research available, BHA is not able to provide a Detection Time for a drug. Sharing this information and study results reduces the cost and increases the amount of information available.

Why is there no advice in the absence of more Detection Times?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

There are no short cuts to an authoritative and robust Detection Time. Veterinary practice does have experience on estimating withdrawal times for a range of substances. If you are unsure please seek advice from the Equine Health and Welfare Department at equine@britishhorseracing.com

What are Screening Limits and where do they come from?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

A Screening Limit refers to the minimum amount of substance that the analytical laboratory’s machines are set to detect.  Screening Limits are decided taking in to account a variety of factors including a consideration of the risk to horseracing’s integrity, as well as the scientific information on levels at which the drug has no effect. Screening Limits are not changed without informing stakeholder representative bodies.

Does BHA publish Screening Limits?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

No, BHA publishes Detection Times. These, are used by Veterinary Surgeons to advise a Withdrawal Time. Screening Limits are instructions to laboratories which set a level above which medications are reported, in recognition that minuscule amount of medication have no effect. Screening Limits are both of little use to Veterinary Surgeons but more importantly publication would show the confidential assessments on integrity risks made by BHA.

What is meant by risk management in medication control?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

Risk management is the process of weighting policy alternatives to accept, minimize or reduce the assessed risk and, on the basis of this process, to select and implement the appropriate option regarding prevention, control or regulation measures.

In this context the Screening Limit is therefore not quantitatively identical to the non-effect level of the medication but a value related to it, via an ordinal scale, that takes into account the specific factors considered in risk management in this situation. These factors include the extent of use of the drug in equine veterinary practice and its potential to affect the welfare of the horse or to improve its performance.

This process is a fundamentally different approach to simply permitting medication or particular drugs, but it still allows horse welfare and treatment needs to be considered in the context of assuring integrity.

Why can’t I treat for the best welfare of my horse?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

You can, and BHA’s risk management for Detection Times includes assessment of both the risk from treating (integrity) and not treating (welfare) and makes an informed judgement to allow appropriate treatment.

The Rule (C) 28 – Veterinary treatment and medication state that a Trainer must ensure that all treatments and medication administered to a horse under his care or control are given in the interests of its best health and welfare.

What are ‘Threshold Levels’? How are they different to Screening limits?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

For substances endogenous to the horse (that is, substances that occur naturally within the horse), threshold levels are agreed by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). So if a sample contains any of the endogenous substances listed at a higher concentration than the threshold level, this leads to a positive test result being given.

A full list of substances that have Threshold Levels, and the levels themselves, can be found on the IFHA website under Article 6 of the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering and these are included in the Rules of Racing.

How are ‘Threshold Levels’ set?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

These are recommended by the International Federation of Horseracing Authority’s Advisory Council on Prohibited Substances, after consultation with official analysts and veterinarians of signatory countries, and approved by the Federation.

Why does BHA not perform quantitative analysis on positive samples?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Medication Control

BHA maintains a policy of strict liability for the presence of any drug, including medications, on racedays. Screening Limits are instructions to laboratories which set a level above which medications are reported, in recognition that minuscule amount of medication have no effect.

Quantification of the amount of medication present in a positive sample is not necessary because there is no regulatory threshold for medications; the Screening Limit is a policy decision that recognises the analytical sensitivity of modern laboratory technology. It is more expensive to carry out quantitative analysis done therefore it doesn’t represent best value for the sport’s participants.

How does BHA define a ‘Prohibited Substance’?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Prohibited Substances

The detailed definition of a Prohibited Substance is given in the Guidance on Prohibited Substances section of the BHA website.

Why doesn’t BHA publish a definitive list of Prohibited Substances?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Prohibited Substances

We don’t publish a list of banned or Prohibited Substances. The reason for this is because we believe it is clearer to have the general principle that we don’t allow anything to be present at levels that can affect performance on raceday. This avoids having to manage and update an extensive list of substances.

Nothing may be given to the horse on raceday other than normal food and water, which must be fed in the normal manner (i.e. in a bucket or feed manger, as opposed to in a syringe or any other means). More details are available on raceday restrictions on treatment in our Notices & Policies section.

What substances does BHA test for?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Prohibited Substances

The Rules of Racing don’t allow anything to be present at levels that could affect performance on raceday. There is no definitive list of individual substances; rather substances are classified based on their effect on the horse’s body systems. This ensures that both current and as yet undeveloped substances can be covered by the same Rules. In practical terms the laboratory testing protocols routinely applied in British horseracing use expertly developed databases that will detect around 2,000 different substances. These may be substances commonly used for therapeutic treatment or substances where we have intelligence of possible use or abuse. These databases are constantly being updated as new drugs or new uses of existing drugs are developed. So if a new or previously unidentified substance is found it will still be identified and action taken.

What happens if a substance found is not in the existing database of around 2,000 substances?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Prohibited Substances

Action will still be taken. The laboratory testing approach is based on a number of extraction and purification steps carried out on each sample to isolate prohibited substances according to their broad chemical characteristics. These extracts are then analysed by chromatographic instruments linked to mass spectrometric detector systems. The information generated is first compared to the current databases of around 2,000 different substances.

A major advantage of mass spectrometry is that it provides information about a substance based on its unique molecular structure. One of the latest versions of the technique utilises high resolution accurate mass measurement. This technique is powerful enough to indicate the presence of an unusual substance, even if it is not currently in the database of known substances. Such a finding is then investigated, the substance identified and action taken if necessary. These advances in technology mean that intelligence about new substances can be generated and evaluated much quicker than would previously have been possible.

What are the rules on Prohibited Substances for Point-to-Point horses and ponies in racing?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Prohibited Substances

BHA regulates horseracing and Point-to-Pointing in Great Britain. It also approves Rules for Pony and Arab racing. Specifically those Rules relating to Prohibited Substances can be found on the BHA Rules website.

Why is it that traces of antibiotics or wormers are allowed to be present on raceday?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Prohibited Substances

As it is important to complete any course of antibiotics to help prevent resistance developing within the bacteria we would not wish for a trainer to stop giving a course of antibiotics prescribed by a vet in order for the horse to be eligible to run in the future. We are confident that antibiotics do not improve performance on raceday. More details on detection of Anti-Infective Drugs can in the BHA Notices Section of the Rules Website and there are specific notices on:

  • Procaine penicillin (white injection, looks like milk) is prohibited since procaine is a local anaesthetic
  • Levamisole, a wormer used in farm animals, is prohibited in horses where it is sometimes used to stimulate the immune system
  • Amantidine, a drug used to treat influenza and that may also alter behaviour

What is the difference between medication control and doping control?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Policy relating to Anti-Doping & Medication Control

BHA recognises that therapeutic medications have a role to play in the treatment of injuries and disease in horses. There is not a ‘zero tolerance’ to use of medication in racehorses, however racehorses should perform on their inherent merits on raceday. Medication control aims to ensure, through science based information, that BHA, and so the wider public, can be assured that in a race any drug, or their metabolites, that remains from veterinary treatment given at any time before racing is at a level where it cannot affect performance.

Doping drugs such as cocaine, amphetamine or anabolic steroids that have the potential to be performance altering, are not permitted in racing or training at any concentration. There is a Zero Tolerance policy for these drugs.

What is BHA’s policy on the use of medication in racing?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Policy relating to Anti-Doping & Medication Control

BHA works on the principle that no horse should run in Great Britain under the effects of medication or have any substance present in its system that can affect performance.

BHA recognises the need for medication in training to ensure treatment of illness and injury and to aid recovery. Appropriate and controlled medication is beneficial for horse welfare. It is also important to recognise that the Rules prohibit the abuse of medication by its use where the appropriate treatment should be rest and recuperation, which may or may not combined with appropriate drug treatment. The Rules (Manual (C) 28. Veterinary treatment and medication) provide that ‘Trainers must ensure that all treatments and medication administered to a horse under his or her care or control are given in the interests of its best health and welfare.’

What is BHA’s policy on the use of doping agents in racing?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Policy relating to Anti-Doping & Medication Control

Doping drugs that are primarily performance altering are not allowed in racing at any concentration.  There is zero tolerance to doping agents and the imposition of severe sanctions if used.

What is the background behind these anti-doping and medication control rules?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Policy relating to Anti-Doping & Medication Control

The rules relating to anti-doping and medication control are based on trying to create safe and fair racing. They take into account the following considerations:

  • What is in the best interests of the health and welfare of the sport’s participants
  • What is in the best interests of the integrity of the sport
  • What is in the best interests of the thoroughbred breed in the long term
  • Will it support international harmonisation of medication and doping rules
  • Will it support the spirit of horseracing as a sport

Do the same Rules apply to horses from overseas racing in Britain?

Equine Anti-Doping & Medication Control Policy relating to Anti-Doping & Medication Control

A: Yes. A trainer of any horse they wish to race in the UK must adhere to BHA’s rules and policies regarding anti-doping and medication control.

As a Permit Holder, can I train for friends?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

No, a Permit Holder can only train horses owned by immediate family members.  These horses must be free of any lease or agreement from those whom you are not entitled to train.  Further information regarding the specific family members you can train for are detailed in both in the Guidance Notes which accompany the application form in the Licensing Forms section and in Rule (C)4 of the Rules of Racing.

Can I train horses for Flat races under a Permit?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

No, there is currently no provision under the Rules of Racing for a Permit Holder to train horses for Flat Races from Starting Stalls.  A Permit Holder can train horses for National Hunt Flat, Hurdle and Steeplechase Races only.

What is the minimum number of horses I need to have in training?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

As a Licensed Trainer, you are required to have a minimum of 3 horses in training through the licence period.

There is no minimum number for a Permit Holder.

Do I need someone living on site at my training establishment?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

Yes.  For the security and welfare of the horses in your care, BHA requires that you provide 24 hour cover at your training establishment in the event of an emergency, such as fire, or should a person try to access your premises to deliberately administer drugs to affect the performance of your horses.  In addition, the nature of working with horses involves early mornings and late nights for you and your staff and on site accommodation can make such hours more manageable.

Do I need to provide a financial reference in support of my application for a Licence to Train?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

 All new licence applicants are required to demonstrate the finances available to their business operation and also to provide their business plans for the consideration of BHA.  Full details of the commitment required are detailed in the Guidance Notes.  In addition, when a currently licensed Trainer has a change in circumstances, for example a change in employment status, a financial reference may be required.

Where can I find out what I need at my training establishment to meet the criteria for a Licence or Permit?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

All applications are accompanied by full and detailed Guidance Notes which can be found with the links for the application forms.  The Guidance Notes will provide you with information outlining the minimum standards an applicant is required to demonstrate to meet the established licensing criteria, including those requirements for gallops and schooling facilities.

If you have any concerns that your premises may not meet BHA’s requirements, it may be possible to arrange for a preliminary inspection to obtain advice and guidance, prior to you making an application.

With regard to general equine care (e.g. stabling), BHA is a member of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) and as such, guidance in this regard can be found in the Equine Welfare Compendium available from the NEWC.

I intend to apply for a Licence to Train – do I need to attend all the courses?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

Yes.  The courses form part of the criteria for the Licence and therefore all applicants are required to complete the full modular programme.  The guide for the Modular Training Programme is available in the Licensing Forms section for your assistance.

How do I apply for a Licence or Permit to train?

Licensing Trainers & Permit Holders

Applications for either a Licence, or a Permit to Train are made using the online application and the links can be found in the Licensing Forms section.  All information you will need to apply is also provided with this link.  This includes the Guidance Notes (which should be read before attempting to complete an application form), the Guide for the Modular Training Programme for Trainers, the User Guide for the online application and the forms relevant to the application which should be completed and attached to the online form in the appropriate section.

Can I ride in Point-to-Points with an Amateur Riders Permit?

Licensing Amateur Riders

No.  In order to ride in Point to Points you will need to hold a Riders Qualified Certificate issued by the Point to Point Authority.

Do all Amateurs have to be members of the Amateur Jockeys Association?

Licensing Amateur Riders

It is not a mandatory requirement that you are a member of the AJA in order to hold an Amateur Riders Permit; however, it is a condition of many of the races restricted to Amateur Riders that you are a member.

How often do Amateurs need a Medical or a Baseline?

Licensing Amateur Riders

Amateur Riders are generally required to have a medical and baseline every 5 years.  You will be advised by the Medical Team, should your personal situation require more regular medical updates.

What are the claim allowances for Amateur Riders?

Licensing Amateur Riders

An Amateur Rider who is entitled to ride in certain Jump Races which are also confined only to Amateurs is entitled to claim the following weight allowance;

7lb until they have won 5 races

5lb until they have won 10 races

3lb until they have won 20 races

I have previously held a Jockey’s Licence – can I apply for an Amateur Rider’s Permit?

Licensing Amateur Riders

If you have previously held either an Apprentice or Conditional Licence and have had less than 25 wins, you are eligible to apply for an Amateur Rider’s Permit.  However, if you have ridden 26 winners or more, or have held a full professional Flat or Jump Jockey’s Licence, you are no longer eligible to revert to Amateur status.

What are the criteria for the Category ‘B’ Amateur Rider’s Permit?

Licensing Amateur Riders

Prior to being granted a Category ‘B’ Permit you will need to gain experience riding under Rules and attend additional training and assessment.  The entry criteria for the Category ‘B’ Course is that you will need to have either completed 15 rides under the Rules of Racing (the majority of which should be over obstacles), completed 20 rides in Point-to-Point Steeplechases, or a combination of both.  Applications for the course are made to the Licensing Team.  A Category ‘B’ will not be granted without both successfully completing the course and experience criteria being met.

I am applying for a Category ‘A’ Amateur Rider’s Permit. Do I need to attend any training?

Licensing Amateur Riders

Yes.  To meet the criteria for a Category ‘A’, you will be required to attend a seminar day and an assessment day at a racing school.  To find out the dates and availability of the two days, please contact the BRS (Tel: 01638 665103) or NRC (Tel: 01302 861000) for information.

When do Apprentice and Conditional Jockeys turn fully Professional?

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

Apprentice and Conditional Licences are no longer valid either when they turn 26, or when the jockey has ridden out their claim, i.e. an Apprentice has ridden 95 winners and a Conditional 75.  Individuals will be required to apply for a full professional licence, either 6 months after riding out their claim, or at the end of the period for which their licence is valid, whichever comes first.

What are the claim allowances for Conditional Jockeys?

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

To compensate for an initial lack of experience at the beginning of their careers, Conditionals are entitled to a weight allowance when riding against full professional Jockeys.  The ‘claim’ will depend on how many winners the Conditional has ridden (Rule (F)141):

7lb until they have won 20 races

5lb until they have won 40 races

3lb until they have won 75 races

A Conditional can claim an additional 3lb when riding for their employing Trainer in certain races, if they have ridden less than 5 winners.

What are the claim allowances for Apprentice Jockeys

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

To compensate for an initial lack of experience at the beginning of their careers, Apprentices are entitled to a weight allowance when riding against full professional Jockeys.  The ‘claim’ will depend on how many winners the Apprentice has ridden (Rule (F)140):

7lb until they have won 20 races

5lb until they have won 50 races

3lb until they have won 95 races

What happens to my licence application if I am not passed fit to ride by the Medical Team?

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

If the recommendation by the Chief Medical Advisor to the Licensing Team is that a Jockey has not been passed as ‘fit to ride’ during the consideration of a licence, the application will be refused.  If your application is refused on medical grounds, you may be able to apply for a Medical Review.  This is administered by the Licensing Team and full details of this procedure would be provided in these instances.

How often do I need a Medical and a Baseline?

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

All Professional Jockeys are generally required to have a medical every 5 years and a baseline each year.  In addition, if you are an Apprentice or Conditional who has reached the time to make a full Professional Licence application, you will be required to complete a 4 page medical with your GP as part of the process.  Professional Jockeys will, later on in their careers (or upon specific request), be required to have annual medicals and attend an appointment with the BHA Chief Medical Advisor to assess their fitness to ride.

I am a Jockey from outside of Europe and I have been offered the chance to hold a licence with a Trainer in Great Britain. What information do I need to provide to qualify for a licence in Great Britain?

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

You would need to meet the same licensing criteria as any other applicant (see Guidance Notes in Licensing Forms section).

Additionally, if you are from any country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you will require a visa in order to work in Great Britain as a Jockey.  Specific guidance with regard to visas is available on the Work Visas and Immigration page. You will need to provide evidence to the BHA that you have the appropriate visa to work in Great Britain as a Jockey, prior to the approval of your application.

I am applying for an Apprentice/Conditional Licence. Do I need to attend the course before my application is granted?

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

Yes.  The courses are, in part, an assessment as to your fitness, your ability to ride in a race and your knowledge of racing generally.  The course reports provided by the racing schools to the Licensing Team are considered with your application as to your suitability to hold a Jockey’s Licence.

How do I apply for an Apprentice or Conditional Licence?

Licensing Apprentice & Conditional Jockeys

Apprentice and Conditional Licences are a joint application made by the Trainer and the potential jockey (and guardian if the Jockey is under the age of 18). Both Apprentices and Conditionals are required to be in the full-time paid employment of the Trainer who holds their licence. An Apprentice application is initiated by the Licensed Trainer via the new Racing Administration site.  The User Guide for the online application can be found in the Forms and Information page of this website.

I have had a few rides as an Apprentice/Conditional/Amateur and I have now turned 26. Can I apply for a full professional licence?

Licensing Full Professional Flat/Jump Jockeys

To warrant the approval of a full Professional Jockey’s Licence, BHA must be satisfied that you are able to ride competitively and at the same standard of others who hold a professional Flat Jockey’s Licence.  Additionally, there must be a demand for your services, i.e. that you are race riding regularly.  For a Professional Jockey’s Licence to be considered for further renewal, an applicant should be having a minimum of 25 rides per season.  If a full professional licence is granted, the applicant will no longer be eligible to revert to Amateur status, in the event that a professional career is not progressing.

I have been offered rides abroad. Can I ride on my British Licence?

Licensing Full Professional Flat/Jump Jockeys

You can ride on your British Licence for a period of up to 30 days from when you leave Great Britain, as this is the period for which your insurance through the Professional Riders Insurance Scheme covers you.  Prior to riding abroad, you will need to obtain a clearance from BHA to ride overseas and you will need to confirm to the Licensing Team how long you will be abroad, if you are travelling for more than a few days.

Can I still ride with a claim as a full Professional jockey?

Licensing Full Professional Flat/Jump Jockeys

Yes, so long as you are still eligible, to claim an allowance in accordance with Rules (F)140 or (F)141 of the Rules of Racing.

How long will it take to process my application?

Licensing General Applications

Please allow at least three weeks for a new Jockey’s Licence application or Amateur Rider’s Permit to be processed and at least two months for a Licence or Permit to Train.

What role does the Licensing Committee play?

Licensing General Applications

The decision as to whether an application for Licence, Permit, or Registration is granted or refused rests with BHA.  However, applications may be referred to the Licensing Committee for consideration, in accordance with Schedule (A)9 of the Rules of Racing.  Examples of such cases include applicants who have been refused, but have asked for the Committee for a review of BHA’s decision, or applicants whom BHA has suitability concerns regarding.

Are paper licence application forms available, as I do not use a computer?

Licensing General Applications

No.  Applications are now submitted online using the new Racing Administration System. Please refer to the Forms and Information page for more information.

What applications are available on britishhorseracing.com?

Licensing General Applications

Whether you wish to apply to become a Trainer, Professional Jockey, Amateur Rider, or to act as a Rider’s Agent, the relevant application is available to be completed and submitted online from the Licensing Forms section of the Resource Centre.  If you wish to apply for an Apprentice or Conditional Jockey’s Licence, your application will be made via your employing trainer.

The following applications are only available from the Licensing Team directly:

  •  Master and Assistant Jockeys’ Valets Licences
  • Application for a Certificate of Approval for an Equine Pool

Why aren’t frost covers more widely used?

Regulation of Racecourses

There are often scenarios in which Frost Covers are not an appropriate tool for Clerks of the Course to use. If the ground is already frozen, or has been subjected to significant wear and tear that has opened up the turf during previous fixtures, covering up the track is likely to merely insulate the cold that’s already inside the soil profile and be of no use whatsoever. Equally, weather forecasts can change from hour to hour in the run up to a fixture.  Consequently, as there can be no guarantee of success, it remains very much a judgement call rather than an exact science as to whether a racecourse uses Frost Covers.

Typically, it costs around £8,000 to £10,000 per fixture to cover the whole of an average sized racecourse with Frost Covers.  For this reason they tend only to be used at higher profile fixtures, where key races are being run and are likely to be part of the broadcast schedule for terrestrial television.

How is a Jump race distance measured?

Regulation of Racecourses

The word “About” is used in every jump race distance description as the running rail on bends in particular are moved or “dolled out” from time to time during the jumps season.  This is especially true in winter when there is no grass growth and ground has to be managed to avoid poached areas and produce the safest going for horse and rider.

The official distances (measured with a measuring wheel along the centre line of each jump hurdle/chase track) are all rounded to the nearest half furlong. So a race described as “abt 3 miles” will have fallen between the parameters of 2m 7f and 166yds and 3m and 55yds when measured to the exact yardage.

Racecourses now ensure they highlight any slight distance changes arising from moving the running rail on bends between fixtures.  They advertise these changes in their routine going report updates.

How is a Flat race distance measured?

Regulation of Racecourses

Where a racecourse creates a brand new starting position the racecourse must use a professional surveyor to survey in the start. The start is then formally marked on the ground to ensure starting stalls are always placed in the correct position. All Flat starts are measured to the nearest yard.

What are the dimensions of a Fence?

Regulation of Racecourses

Fences may vary in height from a minimum (at the time of pre-season BHA inspection) of 4 feet 6 inches measured on the take-off side. All the fences on any one course are to be of the same materials; these may be:

a) all birch, or;

b) birch with the bottom brought out with spruce, or other material approved by the Inspector of Courses, to a maximum of 3 feet 6 inches up the face of the fence.

Fences are to be built on a base between 6 feet and 6 feet 6 inches in depth measured from the front of the take-off board to a point on the ground directly below the extreme back of the fence. The slope of the fence, with or without an apron, must reduce the thickness at the top to not less than 1 foot 6 inches (at the time of pre-season inspection). The top of the fence may be slightly rounded off from the take-off side. Take-off boards are painted light matt orange.

What are the dimensions of a Hurdle?

Regulation of Racecourses

Timber Hurdles are to be not less than 3 feet 6 inches from the top bar to the bottom bar. Hurdles are driven into the ground so that the bottom bar rests on the ground. The angle of the hurdle is such that the top bar is 37 inches above ground and the overlay from the top bar in the direction of racing is 20 inches beyond the bottom bar. Each flight of timber hurdles must be at least 30 feet in width.

What measures are in place to avoid extreme ground conditions?

Regulation of Racecourses

The risk of extreme ground resulting from a combination of watering and rainfall is always a possibility. However, racecourses (particularly those staging Jump fixtures May – September) are always strongly encouraged to irrigate to achieve the going aims specified in BHAGI 3.2 (ie Good for Jumps racing; Good to Firm for Flat racing) rather than hope to rely on the possibility of rainfall to achieve those going criteria.

BHA stipulates that watering is inadvisable within 24 hours of racing when there is a danger that rainfall could result in extreme ground in the period immediately prior to the meeting.

How is it decided how much a track is watered?

Regulation of Racecourses

The decision to water a track is the responsibility of the Managing Executive. Factors such as the likely weather pattern (particularly summer daylight temperatures and wind speed), the soil structure and drainage capabilities of the racecourse are considered when determining whether and how much water should be applied. It is essential that the optimum moisture level is maintained in order to avoid dry, impermeable ground.

Why do racecourses water the ground?

Regulation of Racecourses

The purpose of watering is to maintain the moisture level essential for good turf husbandry in order to achieve optimum resilience and a suitable, consistent racing surface for the horse and its welfare. Racecourse Managing Executives invest in irrigation systems that apply water consistency whilst meeting the flow/delivery requirements of BHA’s General Instruction (BHAGI) 3.2.

If racecourses did not irrigate their track, or were ever prevented from doing so for a fixed number of days before racing on the basis of some sort of BHA Rule or Instruction, the quality of the track would be affected, more fixtures would be abandoned, field sizes would diminish and the welfare of the participants would be compromised.

Who should I contact if I have any further queries?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Appeal Process

We have set out a list of numbers below for the best people to contact depending on the nature of your query:

  • Investigation Stage Queries – contact a member of the Integrity team on 020 7152 0172
  • Disciplinary Panel/Appeal Board procedural queries – contact the Secretariat on 020 7152 0114
  • Hearing Queries for specific cases –

For appeals and referrals from the racecourse, contact a member of the Disciplinary team on 020 7152 0128

For other Hearings or appeals, contact a member of the Compliance team on 020 7152 0167

Will any further action be taken upon conclusion of the Hearing and/or the Appeal process?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Appeal Process

BHA works with a number of partners to uphold the integrity of horseracing and to ensure good governance of the sport.  As a result, BHA works with a range of organisations, including the Gambling Commission, the police, HM Revenue & Customs and the RSPCA.  If your breach of the Rules of Racing is relevant to the operations of any of those partners, then BHA may refer your case to one of these organisations on conclusion of the Hearing.

Who makes up the Appeal Board at an Appeal Hearing?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Appeal Process

The Appeal Board will be made up of three people – a Chairman (who will ordinarily be a member of Queen’s Counsel) and two lay people.  These individuals will be selected from a panel of eight people.  The members of the Appeal Board have previously served on the Disciplinary Panel.

What is the process for appealing a decision made by the Disciplinary Panel?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Appeal Process

If you wish to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Panel, you must lodge a notice of appeal addressed to the Secretary to the Appeal Board at BHA’s offices within seven days of the date of notification of the decision appealed against.  The Notice of Appeal must state the following information:

  • The specific decision being appealed;
  • The grounds of any appeal and substantive injustice of allowing the original decision to stand; and
  • The facts upon which the appeal is based.

The Notice of Appeal must be accompanied by a deposit of £800.

An Appeal Board hearing will be convened and reasonable notice will be given of the date, time and venue of the appeal.

Will the outcome of the Hearing be published?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Hearing Process

BHA will publish the outcome of the Hearing and the reasons of the Disciplinary Panel in the Disciplinary Results section of the website.  The BHA will also reveal the outcome of each Hearing on the Twitter feed and also may issue a press release.

What is the scope of penalties that the Disciplinary Panel may impose?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Hearing Process

The scope of penalties that the Disciplinary Panel may impose is set out in the Guide to Procedures and Penalties.  The Guide is divided into sections for Racecourse penalties and Disciplinary Panel penalties.  Under each individual Rule breach, the Guide sets out the range of penalties available to the Disciplinary Panel together with a recommended entry point. In most cases the Stewards and the Panel will follow the range indicated in the Guide, although they can give a higher or lower penalty if they have good reason to do so in that particular case.

Is my attendance at the Hearing mandatory?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Hearing Process

Yes, as provided for in Rule (A)45. However, there may be circumstances where, BHA, upon request, agrees for the Hearing to proceed in your absence. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on your response to the BHA case, i.e. your plea and the nature of the case you wish for the Panel to consider. Please note, BHA are unlikely to agree to your absence from the Hearing if you intend on disputing the charge.

Do I have a right to legal representation at the Hearing?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Hearing Process

Yes. If you instruct legal representation, all correspondence regarding the Hearing will be with your legal representative as they will be acting on your behalf.

Will I have an opportunity to present my case and evidence before the Hearing?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Hearing Process

Yes. Whether you admit or dispute BHA’s case, you will always have an opportunity to present your case to the Panel and respond to any aspect of BHA’s case. Please note that BHA and/or the Panel may wish to question you on any evidence you provide at the Hearing.

Will I have sight of BHA’s evidence before the Hearing?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals The Hearing Process

Yes. The evidence that BHA seek to reply upon in the Hearing will be sent to you prior to the Hearing with sufficient time for you to prepare your case.

How will I know if disciplinary action will be taken against me?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals Disciplinary Procedures

A letter containing details of the charges that you face will be sent outlining the next steps in the process. Accompanying this letter usually is a case summary and a set of case papers containing the evidence on which the BHA relies. A Schedule (A)6 form is also enclosed with the papers which allows the charged person the opportunity to outline the case that they wish to put before the Disciplinary Panel.

Will I be notified if there is an on-going investigation involving me?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals Disciplinary Procedures

If an investigation concerns you, it is highly likely that you will be seen or interviewed as part of the investigative process. It would be impossible to ascertain a chain of events without seeking an explanation from the individual concerned. However, in the event that there is no need for an individual to be seen, they would be contacted by a member of the Integrity team before any charges are issued.

How and when do other cases come before the Disciplinary Panel?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals Disciplinary Procedures

A case starts out as an investigation that is conducted by the Integrity team. Depending on the incident or issue, an Investigating Officer will conduct enquiries, including interviews and visits to licensed premises to ascertain whether or not there has been a breach of the Rules of Racing. If it transpires that there may have been a breach, the Investigating Officers will compile all of the evidence from their enquiries and pass it over to the Compliance team who will do a full review of all of the evidence to ensure that there is enough evidence to support a potential breach of one or more Rules. Once the Compliance team have prepared the necessary paperwork, charges are then sent out.  An independent Disciplinary Officer is involved throughout the investigative and compliance process to ensure that the BHA do not act outside of the remit of their jurisdiction, or unfairly when pursuing potential charges. Once charges have been issued, a date is set for the case to come before the Disciplinary Panel.

What is the process for appealing the decision of a Stewards Enquiry?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals Disciplinary Procedures

Anybody wishing to appeal a decision from the racecourse must submit written grounds within seven days, or 48 hours if the suspension of a jockey is involved.  The written grounds must be accompanied by a deposit of £500 (£250 if it is an apprentice or conditional jockey), which will be forfeited should the Disciplinary Panel dismiss the appeal and find ‘no reasonable grounds’ for its submission.  As with any other person appearing before the Disciplinary Panel, the appellant has the right to be legally represented.

In what circumstances would matters from a Stewards Enquiry be referred to the Disciplinary Panel?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals Disciplinary Procedures

If the Stewards on the day do not feel that they are able to deal with an incident, or that it is outside the remit of the powers afforded to them by the Rules, they will refer to the case to be heard in front of a Disciplinary Panel at the BHA London Office.

What is the difference between a Stewards Enquiry and a Disciplinary Panel Hearing?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals Disciplinary Procedures

A Stewards Enquiry is held as necessary after a race, at the racecourse. It takes place during the intervals between the races and usually does not last longer than the interval allows. It may be re-convened after the next race has taken place but does not last longer than a given race day. A Disciplinary Panel Hearing is held at BHA’s head office in London and can take hours or even days depending on how complicated a matter is and how many people are involved. A Stewards Enquiry will concern incidents that have happened on a racecourse on a raceday, whereas a Disciplinary Panel Hearing could concern any breach of the Rules of Racing. A Disciplinary Panel Hearing will usually come before the Disciplinary Panel after a referral from the Stewards Enquiry, an appeal of the Stewards Enquiry decision, or an investigation has been conducted by the Integrity team.

What is a Stewards Enquiry?

Disciplinary Hearings & Appeals Disciplinary Procedures

A Stewards Enquiry is an enquiry held at the racecourse on a race day after any given race. The Panel is advised by the Stipendiary Steward, who presents the case to the Panel and questions the jockey and/or trainer in connection to a potential breach of the Rules of Racing. As well as asking questions, the Panel have available to them at least four camera angles of the race so they are able to watch it back. For further details, visit the Stewards Room FAQs in the Raceday Operations section.

If I contact BHA directly, is this anonymous?

Integrity Services RaceStraight

No. However, BHA would never do anything that would compromise the identity of a source, and emails to the intelligence email address can only be accessed by the dedicated intelligence team.

BHA  has a number of protocols in place which protects both sources, and their information; via a fully resourced intelligence system which has been in place since 2005.

What happens if I want to contact BHA directly?

Integrity Services RaceStraight

You can do this by e-mailing the designated intelligence e-mail address intel@britishhorseracing.com

However, if you are a registered/licensed individual, you are required to disclose any conduct which may lead to a breach of Rules.

What happens after I contact RaceStraight?

Integrity Services RaceStraight

The information is securely passed to the Integrity Department of BHA, this department has the powers to investigate any wrongdoing in the sport of horseracing. This information will be kept confidential and secure at all times.

The Integrity Department will thoroughly research the information that is given in order to act accordingly.

It may take some time for BHA to act on this information, for example, it may form part of a larger investigation.

Remember, all information is important, no matter how big or small.

What do RaceStraight want to know?

Integrity Services RaceStraight

RaceStraight wants your information and not your name. You will be asked questions about the information you are giving – but you will not be asked your name, address, or anything that may identify you.

The call operators are not allowed to let the BHA know anything about you which may reveal your identity, e.g. if the call is about a neighbour of yours they will not disclose this.

RaceStraight want to work with the Industry in helping to keep it clean. To do that they need as much information as possible from you in order to pass useful data onto the Integrity Department. This means that the call operator will ask you questions about what you know. This helps check that your information can be acted upon by the Integrity team – the more detail that is provided, the more likely action will be taken.

Never put yourself at risk, or abuse a position of trust, to discover information about wrongdoing.

What is RaceStraight?

Integrity Services RaceStraight

RaceStraight is a reporting line, aimed at encouraging both members of the public and the racing industry to come forward with information about any wrong doing in the sport of horseracing.

There are two ways of contacting RaceStraight. You can either call the Freephone number 08000 852580 with information about potential breaches of the Rules of Racing at any time of any day, or complete the online anonymous reporting form.

The service is completely anonymous, whether you call or use the online form.

What penalties are in place for Inside Information Rule breaches?

Integrity Services Inside Information

The entry point for a breach of (A)36 (passing information for reward) by a Rider, Trainer, Owner, Authorised Riders’ Agent, Stable Employees or Service Providers (such as vets, farriers and feedmen), is three years disqualification, with a disqualification range of eighteen months to five years.

What type of information is classed as in the public domain?

Integrity Services Inside Information
  • Information provided during interviews and/or presentations conducted in the course of television or radio broadcasting.
  • Information provided during interviews to the press or other legitimate -news gathering organisations for the purposes of publications, eg. written articles, regular columns or websites.
  • Information given to a specific group or groups eg, talks given to corporate sponsorship groups or in the context of corporate hospitality or stable yard public days.
  • Information that is accessible to the public on Trainer’s or Owner’s telephone information line or website (whether for payment or not).

If information is available through one of these channels it is no longer classed as Inside Information and can be spoken about freely.

What does Inside Information mean?

Integrity Services Inside Information

Inside information is where people who have close connections with a horse know how likely it is that the horse is going to run in a certain race, and if it does, how well it is likely to run.

It is information that is known by those who work closely with the horse such as an Owner, Trainer, Rider, Stable Employee or their Service Providers. Service providers are people like vets, farriers and feedmen that have provided services to do with the horse.

Inside Information is part of the sport. And everyone in the industry has some form of it. There’s nothing wrong with having Inside Information. You just need to be careful not to misuse it, for example, where the information is passed to others for their use in placing lay bets. It’s common sense. It’s remembering that careless talk and casual chat can get you into trouble.

The information that a service provider may be privy to will only be valid for a period of 21 days or until such times as the information is put into the public domain.

What is the definition of Inside Information?

Integrity Services Inside Information

Inside Information is information about the likely participation or the likely performance of a horse in a race which is known by an Owner, Trainer, Rider, Stable Employee or their Service Providers as a result of acting as such, and is not information in the public domain

How many investigations does BHA have per year?

Integrity Services Our Relationships

In 2013 the Department carried out 75 investigations for a range of alleged breaches of the Rules of Racing, these included enquiries into suspicious betting activity (including the misuse of inside information), positive drug tests on horses and jockeys, financial irregularities, equine welfare cases, altercations and a number of other general disputes. 

How much intelligence does BHA receive?

Integrity Services Our Relationships

Improving information sharing across the organisation and the industry in general has resulted in an increase in the number of intelligence reports received, of which there were nearly 3,500 in 2013.

What other agencies does BHA work with?

Integrity Services Our Relationships

Much of BHA’s key partnership work is with agencies outside of the industry.  As well as the Gambling Commission, close working relationships have also been developed with the Police, Trading Standards, National Crime Agency, HM Revenue & Customs, and the UK Border Agency.

The Department also gives advice and guidance to a number of other sports who are looking to develop intelligence and analytical capabilities to combat corruption in their sports.

What is BHA’s relationship with the Gambling Commission like?

Integrity Services Our Relationships

Close liaison and co-operation between the Gambling Commission and the Integrity Department is important and BHA works closely with the Commission on all aspects of information sharing and integrity in sports betting.

The Commission’s primary purpose is to regulate all forms of gambling in Great Britain. While responsibility for maintaining the integrity of racing will remain with BHA, the Commission will become active where a threat to the integrity of a sport involves betting in Great Britain and particularly when the holder of a licence issued by the Commission may be involved.

Racing’s powers over non-licensed persons are limited. Everyone – whether licensed by BHA or not – needs to be aware of the criminal offence of ‘Cheat’ with possible prosecutions under Section 42 of the Gambling Act. Essentially this means that a person who cheats in betting is liable to prosecution under criminal law. BHA has no power to investigate criminal offences but will continue to regulate our sport under our Rules and refer matters to the Commission and the Police where it is deemed appropriate.

What are BHA’s relationships with the betting industry like?

Integrity Services Our Relationships

Working in partnership with the betting industry is crucial to our anti-corruption efforts.

BHA has good working relationships with the traditional bookmakers, who also want racing to be clean and will share information whenever they see suspicious activity.

BHA also works closely with the Betting Exchanges. The leading exchange firms are in constant communication with the Integrity Department, providing up-to-date information on the betting markets and, where necessary, accurate audit trails back to those attempting to cheat.

These close working relationships have undoubtedly increased BHA’s ability to investigate and discipline those involved in corruption and malpractice.

Racing was the first sport to have a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with the betting exchanges and traditional bookmakers and this voluntary sharing of information has played a significant part in the fight against corruption in racing.

What happens if a horse appears to be injured or lame on entering the stables?

Integrity Services Equine Welfare Integrity Officers

This would immediately be reported to the duty BHA Veterinary Officer (VO) to follow up.  The Equine Welfare Integrity Officer (EWIO) would assist the VO with any examinations.

Dependent on the seriousness of the Injury a Veterinary Surgeon may be called for. Lameness may require a Farrier.

What additional Integrity/ Welfare tasks do the EWIOs carry out during a Race day?

Integrity Services Equine Welfare Integrity Officers

The Equine Welfare Integrity Officers (EWIOs) will carry out regular yard patrols, and monitor the Security Cameras that are placed strategically around the stable yard.

Visual recognition is part of the EWIO role, getting to know stable staff, recognising them and engaging with them. Information which may help with integrity or welfare regulation will also be gathered during a race meeting. Yard patrols are another opportunity to assess the welfare of the horses, both pre race and post race.

Integrity kit / vehicle searches may be carried out, usually as a random selection, to ensure the Integrity of the Stables and Horse’s welfare are being complied with, within the rules of Racing.

Who is authorised to enter the stable area?

Integrity Services Equine Welfare Integrity Officers

Only Stable Employees who are on their Trainer’s SER and have valid up to date accreditation may enter the yard. This is by means of their photographic Stable Employees I.D Card (stable pass)
The only exceptions to this are for the connections of Hunter Chasers who are not issued with passes. However they must prove identity with photographic Identification to the satisfaction of the Equine Welfare Integrity Officer before entering the stables.
Trainers on production of their Trainers accreditation pass card
A Trainer or Senior member of their stable staff may sign in the Registered Owner of their horse, and escort them in and out of the stables

How are horses identified when entering the racecourse stables?

Integrity Services Equine Welfare Integrity Officers

All horses must be identified by having their microchips scanned and read when entering the stables.

Each horse has its own passport.  Checks are carried out on selected horses to ensure their recorded markings match the chip number recorded on the passport.  All horses having their first run on a racecourse will be checked, as will horses having their first run for a new Trainer.  Equine Influenza vaccination records are also checked to ensure they comply with the requirements set out in the rules.

If a horse’s microchip is unreadable / undetectable then the horse will be identified by the markings in its passport. A notification form will be issued by the Veterinary Officer, for the horse to be re-micro chipped.

On rare occasions a horse will be unable to be identified from its chip or passport. Should this happen, it will be reported to the Raceday Stewards and the horse will be prevented from running.

 

What does an EWIO do first on arrival at a racecourse?

Integrity Services Equine Welfare Integrity Officers

The first Equine Welfare Integrity Officer on duty will arrive no less than four hours before the time of the first race.  They will turn the security cameras on and check the perimeter fencing and gates to ensure that the yard is secure.

Scan and Identify any early or overnight arrivals.

They will then prepare the relevant paper work ready for the arrival of the raceday runners.

What is the role of an Equine Welfare Integrity Officer (EWIO)

Integrity Services Equine Welfare Integrity Officers

EWIOs, who work in teams, are responsible for the security and Integrity of the stable yard, and the monitoring of horse welfare at race meetings.

Basic duties include – the identification of all horses and persons entering the stable yard; the monitoring of horses as they arrive on course for any health or welfare issues; the checking of vaccination records of selected horses.

Scan / check out all horses pre-race, to ensure the right horses are going out to run in the right race.

Monitor and report back to the Veterinary Officer any Welfare observations post-race.

Carry out the collection of Anti-doping samples, pre and post race which will be analysed for prohibited substances; the checking of horses post race for any signs that give concern as to their welfare, or relevant details in regard to race performance.

The EWIO will also in the course of the day gather information that may assist in the regulation and good governance of racing.

In addition to the EWIO Raceday role, they will carry out duties at Point to Points, Out of Competition testing at Training Stables, and the Center of Racehorse Studies. Also assist with ‘off Course’ Integrity operations.

I already work in racing but would like to expand my skills. How do I do this?

Careers in Racing

Training available to those in and out of the industry is extensive ranging from courses on clipping to an overview of British Racing as a whole.

To view all of the courses available visit the Courses & Training page on the Careers In Racing Website.

I would like to expand my knowledge of racing, how do I do this?

Careers in Racing

The British Horseracing Authority runs a one day informative seminar, run by the Northern Racing College, on behalf of the BHA. The seminars take place 4 times a year at a variety of venues around the UK, hosted by well-known racing personalities. The seminar provides a general introduction to the world of racing and is ideal for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of racing.

For more details about the seminar click here.

 

I want to be a jockey. How do I find out how to do this?

Careers in Racing

Anyone under the age of 19, under the Rules of Racing, has to study for the Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care and this includes those who want to pursue a career as a jockey. There are two dedicated Racing Schools offering qualifications and training courses for those who want to gain skills to work in the industry – the British Racing School in Newmarket and the Northern Racing College in Doncaster. Visit the careersinracing website for more information.

I am interested in working in racing. How can I find out more?

Careers in Racing

BHA has a dedicated website Careersinracing.com providing information on careers, training and jobs in racing.  There is an A to Z of different careers and an A to Z of training courses available.

How can I find out more about the BHA Graduate Development Programme?

Careers in Racing

The Graduate Development Programme is run each year from the end of June to beginning of September with around 18 placements on offer. Visit the Graduate page on the careersinracing website to found out more.

How long is a length?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

A length is a measurement of elapsed time as the horses cross the line and can vary on the size of the horse and its stride pattern, but in general would be about 8 to 9 feet.

When a horse wins by a nose, how far is a nose?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

All distances are a measurement of elapsed time but in real terms a nose is anywhere on the horse’s nostril, so can be as little as 1000th of a second, a couple of millimetres up to about 3 inches.

Does the Judge have any discretion to alter distances?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

The Photo-Finish system records an elapsed time between each finisher and the Judge is responsible for ensuring that the correct Lengths Per Second scale is being used. If however the actual physical distance appears to be different from that calculated then the Judge has it within his powers to alter the distance to that which is physically seen. This would be done for the first three distances up to three lengths.

How does the Judge calculate the distances?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

Distances are calculated on the elapsed time between each horse and then a scale known as the Lengths per Second Scale (Lps) is used dependent upon whether it is Flat or Jumps racing, the type of surface in use at the all-weather fixtures and the official going description issued on the day. The Scales used vary from four to five Lps for Jumps racing and from five to six Lps on the Flat. When the going description distinguishes between different parts of the course, the scale relating to the going in the straight is applied.  The table for the Lengths per Second Scale (Lps) can be viewed here. For more details view our Guide to Handicapping.

How is the official full race result distributed?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

Using the Photofinish record of the race, the Judge then places and records all of the remaining finishers as they crossed the line. This full result is then distributed to Weatherbys, the Stewards and any applicable media present at the racecourse and Off Course via the Press Association as part of the ‘Official Return’ for the day.

What does the Judge do after a race?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

As the first four horses cross the line (or first five if the race is a handicap of 16 or more runners), the Judge will identify and record the finishing order using the colour coding system they have put in place before the race. This is done primarily by eye but in doing so they will call for a Photofinish when the distance between two placed horses (especially where betting is involved) appears to be a head or less. The result is then confirmed with the photo-finish kit and operator and

once the result is determined, it is immediately announced to the public, giving the distances between the first three placed horses, as well as the official time of the winning horse for a Flat race or where electronic timing is in use over Jumps (all of which are electronically timed from the stalls opening or the lead horse crossing a break beam at the start over Jumps to the winner hitting the finishing line).

The result is then confirmed with the Stewards and to the Clerk of the Scales, who will weigh in returning jockeys as appropriate.

How does the Judge work with the Photo Finish Operator?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

The Judge’s Box is located very close to the Photo Finish equipment and both the Judge and the Photo Finish Operator (PFO) ensure that all equipment is set up correctly so that evidence of the result will be accurately recorded, and that the correct ‘Lengths Per Second’ (which is used to calculate the distances between finishers) is in use, depending on the surface or going conditions of the day. The Judge calls for the evidence of a photo-finish from the PFO when the distance between two placed appears to be a head or less. The photo-finish image is not available to the Judge until the last horse has crossed the line and been recorded on the equipment. The Judge directs the PFO to place a time line on the leading part of each horse’s head (excluding the ears and the tongue) so usually on the point of the nose to determine the result.

What does the Judge do before a race?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

The Judge prepares for each race by drawing up a colour coding system to help them identify the silks that each of the jockeys will be wearing. They will also note any distinguishing features that each horse might have, such as white markings on the face and/or items of headgear and tack.

Once the Judge has taken up position in the Judges’ Box (which is always situated exactly on the winning line), they will speak with the Starter via radio to confirm that they are in position and the race can begin.

What is the role of the Judge?

Raceday Operations Judging a Race

The Judge is responsible for ensuring that anything relating to the result as the horses cross the line is correct. They ensure that all horses are correctly placed  in order at the finish of a race, and then give a reason for horses that do not finish. They ensure that evidence of the result is provided to The Stewards, and all other Stakeholders including Connections and Betting Partners via the BHA Website.

 

Jump races – Why do some horses appear to get a ‘flyer’ whilst others seem to be left behind?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

In recognising the importance of a fair Start – both for the sport itself and for those betting on it – the Starter is looking for a tightly bunched and controlled field walking forwards towards the Starting Gate. The Starter is not, however, in a position to interfere with the likely tactics of the participants. Sometimes, the rest of the field can be very happy to let a known front runner go on in front and set the pace of the race. Similarly, a horse that is known to want cover behind other horses might be asked to ‘drop in’ at the back of the field, seemingly off the main pace in the race. Whilst in these scenarios it can appear that horses are not starting in the optimum tight bunch, the Starter accepts that each participant is nevertheless happy with their starting position and is ready to begin the race.

Jump races – What are the starting procedures?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

When girths are checked, horses will walk around on the course some distance back from the Start. However, no start will be effected if the runners are too far back. It is envisaged that they will be approximately 25 – 30 yards maximum from the start line. When the Starter, who will be at the top of the rostrum, wishes the field to walk forward he/she will raise their flag to indicate this and give voice instructions to the riders. The AFO will simultaneously raise their flag which should also be visible to all Jockeys. Having raised the flag, only the Starter will issue instructions to the riders. The field must come forward at a walk and no faster than a jig jog.

The start will be effected by the simultaneous release of the tape and dropping of the flag when the field have approached the Starter in such a way that he is satisfied that the start will be safe and fair.

Races will not be started if the field line up and commence to move forward before the Starter raises his flag or approach the start at faster than a jig jog before the tape is released and flag lowered.

Jump races – What happens when the horses arrive at the Start?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

As there are no Stalls Handlers over the jumps, the Starter and his Assistant(s) will check the horses’ girths themselves, before informing the jockeys when there’s half a minute to go before the off. They can pull their goggles down and prepare themselves for racing. During this time, the horses will be circling in a defined area behind the Start itself.

Flat races – How does the Starter actually start the race?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

Once the Starter is satisfied that all horses and riders are ready, he/she will alert the riders and press the button on his rostrum to open the stalls and start the race. Some horses are loaded with blindfolds and it is the responsibility of riders to remove them before the race is started. In starting the race the starter also activates the official timing system, which enables the Judge to record the time taken for each horse to complete the race.

Flat races – What happens when the horses arrive at the Start?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

The Stalls Handlers will check each of the horses’ girths to make sure that the saddle won’t slip during the race. When it’s time for the load to begin, the Starter calls out the draw, the horses go behind the Stalls, and the Stalls Handlers – under direction from the Starter – will begin to load them. The normal loading procedure is for horses drawn in the odd numbered stalls to go in first, followed by those drawn in the even numbered stalls. Generally, horses that need blindfolds are loaded first, and certain horses are given special dispensation to load late, due to their past behaviour.

What does the Starter do before a race?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

The Starter will arrive down at the Start about ten minutes before the scheduled start time for the race.   For Flat races, they will test the Stalls, and brief the Stalls Handlers on any horses that are likely to need special equipment or handling.  This might mean using a blindfold on a horse, or putting it into the Stalls late on in the loading process.  For Jump races they test the Starting Gate.

Why are starting stalls used on the Flat and a Tape over Jumps?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

As races are shorter on the Flat, it’s important that the participants begin in as straight a line as possible. For longer races (and that includes some long Flat races as well as all Jump races), riders often want to take up a tactical position that they believe offers their horse its best chance to perform well. For some, that might mean going out in front, whilst for others it might mean taking a lead from another horse or dropping in at the back of the field. The ground would often be too soft to move the Stalls around on at a jumps meeting.

What does the Starter do?

Raceday Operations Starting a Race

The Starter is there to ensure that each race begins on time and as fairly as possible, with each horse and rider given the greatest possible opportunity of an equal start.

What happens if a jockey is not the same weight after the race as they were before?

Raceday Operations Weighing Room

Should a rider weigh in more than one pound under the weight at which he weighed out, the Clerk of the Scales will lodge an objection with the Stewards, who will automatically hold an enquiry. The horse involved will be disqualified and the rider penalised.

If a rider weighs in two pounds or more over the weight that he weighed out, the Clerk of the Scales will report the rider to the Stewards and may be suspended. The one pound under and two pound over tolerances reflect the weight loss or gain a rider may incur dependant on weather conditions.

What does ‘weighing in’ entail?

Raceday Operations Weighing Room

The Clerk of the Scales is required to ‘weigh in’ the riders of the winning and placed horses, and where extended prize money is allocated, as well as any other riders that he chooses to weigh in at his discretion. When the Stewards and the Clerk of the Scales are satisfied with the result of the race, and all riders have weighed in as required, the ‘weighed in’ announcement will be given over the public address system and winning bets may be collected.

What happens if a rider is ‘overweight’?

Raceday Operations Weighing Room

If the rider is too heavy, he may be replaced by another rider, or be permitted to carry ‘overweight’, which will always be announced on the racecourse before a race begins. However, no rider is allowed to weigh out at four pounds or more over the weight he is set to carry. Once they have weighed out, riders are not allowed to change their equipment, and may be fined if they are found to be doing so.

What are the ‘weighing out’ procedures?

Raceday Operations Weighing Room

Before going out to ride in a race, each jockey must ‘weigh out’. This involves standing, with the equipment he is going to carry in a race, on the digital scale in front of the Clerk of the Scales. The Clerk of the Scales will ensure that the rider is carrying at least the weight shown in the racecard (less any ‘claims’ they might be entitled to due to their levels of experience and/or numbers of winners ridden). In some cases, it may be necessary to add lead weights to the jockey’s equipment in order to achieve this.

What is the role of the Clerk of the Scales?

Raceday Operations Weighing Room

The Clerk of the Scales is responsible for ensuring that each rider carries the correct weight when riding in a race. Using digital scales, they weigh the jockeys and their equipment before they go out to ride, before checking again that their weight is correct when they return back after the race. They also ensure that the riders wear the correct colours and horse’s carry the correct headgear (for example, blinkers or a visor) that a horse has been declared to wear during a race.

Are any other additional measures taken to maintain Jump racing?

Race Planning Scheduling extra Fixtures

In exceptional circumstances, a key Jump fixture that would have been abandoned  is delayed so that it can take place 24 hours later, with weather conditions improving.  Also during a prolonged cold snap, all Jump racecourses could be contacted at the beginning of the week to ascertain whether the conditions in any part of the country are less extreme, thereby making it possible to stage a Jump fixture when no other Jump fixtures could be staged.  All decisions are taken in the best interests of the sport rather than individual racecourses.

How is it decided who stages the Jump Replacement fixtures?

Race Planning Scheduling extra Fixtures

The Racing Department invites all Jump racecourses to apply to stage these fixtures, if geographical considerations are not considered important. Following consultation with the Inspectorate, the fixtures are then allocated with a view to providing opportunities in those regions particularly impacted by abandonments, and/or those regions to which the greatest number of trainers are likely to have access. The programmes for these fixtures are put together with considerable care following a review of the latest relevant data and discussions with trainers.

How does the Racing Department establish how many additional fixtures can be facilitated?

Race Planning Scheduling extra Fixtures

With a view to providing the most competitive racing possible, the Racing Department scan the latest horses-in-training data and review recent races that have involved eliminating horses so that it can determine just how many additional fixtures could be facilitated and the particular races to programme. The main aim is to ensure that, during times of inclement weather, at least two afternoon fixtures take place on each week day and two or three on a Saturday of suitable quality for terrestrial TV coverage.

What is the optimum number of fixtures the Levy Board like to maintain?

Race Planning Scheduling extra Fixtures

The Levy Board’s position is that it is keen to ensure that at least two fixtures take place each afternoon. Throughout the core winter period, one All Weather (AWT) fixture is scheduled every afternoon and, therefore, if Jump fixtures are (or look like) being abandoned, the Levy Board would usually make the finance available for a second AWT fixture to be programmed at short notice.

In what circumstances would an extra fixture be scheduled?

Race Planning Scheduling extra Fixtures

There are occasions when additional fixtures are created. These usually arise in one of two situations when either additional All Weather (AWT) fixtures, including “Jumpers’ Bumpers”, replace abandoned Jump fixtures or Jump replacement fixtures follow a spate of abandonments. In winter, when the outlook for Jumping appears bleak, the Levy Board is contacted with a view to providing financial support for additional AWT fixtures, or from time to time, Jump Fixtures in areas of the country no so affected by the prevailing weather.

Is any additional funding available?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

To reschedule the race, it is usually imperative that the Levy Board provides additional funding to the new venue. This is not a straightforward decision for the Levy Board as this may require providing significantly greater support than will be generated in levy by the race itself, especially if it does not prove possible for the race to appear on terrestrial television. To that end, the Levy Board sometimes requires a minimum number of declarations for its financial support to be given.

What happens to prizemoney in a re-scheduled race?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

Owners’ stakes are likely to be significantly reduced; the standard treatment in Group 1/Grade 1 races is to refund the stakes of those horses which opt not to enter the rescheduled race and, in the event of reduced prize money, to refund an appropriate percentage of stakes paid by those that are entered. In other races, the original stakes for all horses are generally refunded with the entrants for the new race charged a reduced stake (in line with the reduced prize money).

Do sponsors have the opportunity to sponsor the restaged race?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

The position of the race sponsor varies, with some sponsors agreeing to retain their support for the race at the new venue, albeit sometimes at a reduced level. For most organisations, this is a commercially -based decision and will be affected by factors such as whether the rescheduled race will be televised, or if hospitality is available for guests or if there is a clash of sponsors at the new venue.

How do you approach the issue of funding to stage the race at an alternative venue?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

The biggest hurdle to overcome when rescheduling a major race invariably relates to securing sufficient funding. In order to get the race run, a pragmatic approach often has to be adopted when determining the prize money value at which the rescheduled event is to be staged. Regrettably this may involve an amount below the minimum value for the particular class of race. However, there is clearly a level below which the prize money on offer would be so low that the race is no longer viable.

Who is consulted when re-scheduling a race?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

In addressing these issues, the connections of the principal original entrants are consulted to establish their intentions and, more specifically, under what circumstances they would run in the rescheduled race. Discussions also take place at this stage with the possible venues for the rescheduled race, to ascertain whether they would be prepared to stage the race at its existing fixture; racecourses generally react positively to such proposals.

How do you decide which forthcoming fixture could stage a rescheduled race?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

It is usually only commercially viable to stage a rescheduled race at a fixture that is already scheduled. In attempting to identify a possible venue, factors that are taken into consideration include the suitability of the racecourse for staging the race including similarity with the original venue (flat/undulating, left-handed/right-handed). The date of the fixture in proximity to the original race, weather forecast and likely going is also considered.

Which races are most likely to be rescheduled?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

Pattern races are almost always the most likely candidates for rescheduling. The associated Black Type status can have a significant impact on the future value of horses, particularly on the Flat, whilst the co-ordinated programme of races within the Pattern means that it is highly unlikely that an alternative race of equal stature is pending.

How is it decided if a race is worthy of re-scheduling?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

When a major race is lost to the weather, the first question that is asked is whether the race is sufficiently important to render it worth rescheduling. This involves consideration of factors such as the longer-term significance of the race, the strength of runners in the original race and whether alternative options already exist in the near future for the affected horses.

Who is involved with the re-scheduling of races?

Race Planning Re-scheduling Races

Rescheduling requires concerted and coordinated efforts involving all parties associated with the staging of the race. This includes the BHA, the connections of the runners, the Levy Board, the original racecourse and its sponsor, potential new venues and broadcasters. To reschedule a major race, these parties must successfully address a number of issues within extremely tight timelines and an absence of support from just one of these parties may jeopardise the entire process.

Where can I find a horse’s new rating?

Race Planning Race Programme

The ratings file is updated every Tuesday morning to take account of horses performances from the previous Sunday to Saturday. The ratings can be found in BHA’s Official Ratings or find out more about what Handicappers do in What We Do.

How is it decided which races will be divided?

Race Planning Race Programme

A set of criteria has been agreed by the BHA, which governs which races will be permitted to divide and this may vary throughout the year. If there are multiple races on a day which could divide, the department will issue an order of preference based upon the number of entries received and alternative options at other venues. Priority will generally be given to developmental races for young unexposed horses which may not yet have qualified to run in handicaps.

What statistical analysis is done when planning the race programmes?

Race Planning Race Programme

Statistical research is used to ensure that the Fixture List and race programmes continue to reflect the needs of the racehorse population, including analysing the success of different types of races in terms of field sizes, the role they play for the horse population and the demand for types of races and fixtures from those within the industry.

How and when are Race Times decided?

Race Planning Race Programme

Race times are planned four months in advance, with regular updates made in between to accommodate changes to broadcaster’s schedules or racecourse requests. Various elements are taken into account when compiling race times so that race clashes or overlaps are avoided and the various requirements of broadcasters, race sponsors and racecourses are taken into consideration.

How does BHA liaise with racecourses to produce a raceday programme?

Race Planning Race Programme

The department identifies gaps and potential race clashes in the programme and analyses the success of, or demand for, certain types of races.  It then measures the performance of existing races in terms of the number of runners, entries and ratings for each type of race, to deem whether the race was a success.  All this has to take into account the budget available to the racecourse on any given day.

Who should I ask for a clearance certificate in order to ride abroad?

Medical

You should contact the BHA Licensing Department in the first instance or the Medical Department.

Who should I notify if I want to ride abroad?

Medical

You should contact Dr Hill the Chief Medical Adviser at the BHA in the first instance.

What happens if I have a long standing illness/disease which requires regular medication?

Medical

You can check the Medical Standards for Fitness to Ride list of medical conditions, or if you are still unsure, call the Medical Department on 020 7152 0138.

What happens if the CMA finds me unfit and won’t grant my license?

Medical

A formal Medical Review procedure is in place and is administered by the Licensing Department.

How often do I need a new Medical Report from my GP?

Medical

Every five years. Please see here for details on medical examinations.

Do I have to pay for my annual baseline test?

Medical

No.  However if you fail to turn up for your booked appointment, you will be charged £80.00 for the missed appointment.  There is also a 24 hour notice cancellation policy in operation.

If I go to hospital, what should I ask for before I leave?

Medical

You must ask the hospital A+E Department to give you a ‘Discharge Note’ (also called a Discharge Summary or GP letter) before you leave.

This can be done very quickly and a copy of the Discharge Note can then be sent by fax to the BHA Medical Department on 020 7152 0136 or by email to medical@britishhorseracing.com. This will speed up your return to race riding

If my GP prescribes medication – Can I take the medication and race ride?

Medical

If your GP has prescribed medication which you need in order to recover/get well then you should follow your GP’s advice.

However a jockey must inform the Chief Medical Adviser’s office immediately of any notifiable medication prescribed.  If you are unsure, please check with the Medical Department on 020 7152 0138.

If you are taking any medication including over the counter medication, i.e for hayfever or pain relief, these should always be declared if you are chosen to be tested on a racecourse.

Note: you cannot ride in France on any medication.

Who can help me with medical advice or a second opinion?

Medical

For all professionals, amateurs, and Point to Point jockeys, please contact your GP.

What should I do if I sustain a non-racing related injury?

Medical

Any jockey who is unable to race ride as a result of an injury or illness must notify the BHA Medical Department as soon as it is practically possible.

This is a mandatory requirement and applies to any injury, regardless of where or when it happened – schooling, car accident, playing soccer etc.

 

Can I ride with a RED entry?

Medical

No you cannot ride with a Red Entry.

RED CMA – you can only be cleared by the BHA Chief Medical Adviser; contact the Medical Department on 020 7152 0138 for further guidance on clearance.

Red RMO – you will need to present yourself to the Racecourse Medical Officer on the racecourse or final clearance BEFORE you ride.