The department has the primary responsibilities of regulating all racing fixtures and protecting the welfare of horses.
Raceday Operations are managed by BHA’s “raceday team” who carry out the various functions necessary to ensure the smooth conduct of racing. Office based functions include the administration of the Disciplinary Panel and Appeal Board, and the real time monitoring of betting on races. The Department also works closely with Integrity, Legal and Risk.
On the racecourse, BHA Stewards, both professional and volunteer, view the races to ensure the Rules of Racing are adhered to. This includes determining the outcome of the race should interference have taken place, ensuring all horses are ridden on their merits, and penalising any licensed persons found to be in breach of the Rules.
Veterinary Officers oversee the welfare of the horse by inspecting horses before and after the event. This covers not only soundness issues and injuries, but also ensuring the biosecurity Rules are adhered to. They also play an important role in overseeing the obtaining of pre and post-race samples from horses to ensure they are free of prohibited substances when competing.
Equine Welfare & Integrity Officers control the stable yard in which all horses are secured during racing. They check the identity of the horses and any person entering the yard making sure they are entitled to do so. Additionally, these Officers obtain samples from selected horses post race.
The Starters start the race with the objective of ensuring all horses achieve a fair start. They maintain behavioural files on each individual horse to determine how a horse is best handled to achieve an efficient and fair start.
The Judge has the primary function of determining the finishing order of the horses at the end of the race, using the photofinish as an aid.
The Clerk of the Scales’ primary task is the weighing out and weighing in of riders before and after the race and thereby ensuring horses carry the weight allocated to them in the race. The Clerk of the Scales also monitors access to the Weighing Room and oversees the drug testing of selected riders.