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

14 Jun 18

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.