BHA regulatory update

21 May 2020 BHA Features Disciplinary

Following the UK Government’s publication of a provisional timeline for the return of sport, Racing’s industry leaders are now planning for racing to resume behind closed doors on 1 June. The exact timetable for the resumption of racing will remain subject to agreement from government and an assessment by public health officials of the risks posed by the virus at that time.

Below is an update on a number of regulatory matters and previously agreed permanent changes to the Rules of Racing, some of which will be triggered by racing resuming. These are listed below to ensure there is clarity prior to a resumption. All Rule changes described below will take effect from 1 June 2020.

A number of temporary changes to both the Rules of Racing and the BHA’s General Instructions will also be required for racing to resume behind-closed-doors which will be communicated in the coming days.

Training partnerships

Two separate individuals can now apply for a training partnership licence. If approved, this will result in a new training entity being created and a joint licence to train being granted.

Both individuals comprising a training partnership are required to meet all the existing pre-requisite criteria covering competency and capability. In addition, both applicants must complete all the related modular training courses in advance of being eligible to apply.

Trainers who are interested in finding out more should contact the BHA Licensing Team for more information.

Changes to Jump race classification

It has been agreed that the Jump Race Classification will be altered such that 0-105 handicaps (both hurdles and steeple chases) will be reclassified as Class 5 (from Class 4). This is to promote increased flexibility and variety at the lower end of the programme, enabling racecourses to stage more 0-105 races within their daily budget.

Allied to this and in order to guard against any potential overall downgrade to the programme, the minimum Class that weight-for-age Maiden, Novices’ and Juvenile races may be run at should be raised from Class 5 to Class 4.

Professional jockeys reverting to amateur status

Current restrictions on applying for an amateur jockey’s licence state that riding more than 25 winners under the Rules other than as an amateur jockey will prohibit the rider from gaining an amateur licence.

The Rules also state that those who have held a professional licence, except if it were as an apprentice or conditional, may not hold an amateur licence.

The latter condition has been removed, meaning that only the number of wins as a professional are relevant when assessing eligibility for an amateur licence.

Vaccination App

As announced on 14 May,  in order to assist BHA staff and those responsible for the horses to maintain social distancing on racedays, the vaccinations in a horse’s passports will have to be pre-cleared via a new vaccination app.

Once the vaccination history has been cleared by the BHA, all future and subsequent vaccinations between the pre-clearance and raceay should be uploaded directly by those responsible for the horse onto the Weatherbys Vaccination App. The Rules will be updated to reflect this.

Licensing changes

A number of changes to both licensing and the operation of the licensing team have been made in light of the corona virus. More information on this can be found on the coronavirus section of the Licensing forms and information page of the BHA website.

Changes to process for retiring horses

Changes to the process for retiring racehorses were announced in February in order to improve traceability and make the process itself more efficient and simpler to understand. Trainers are now able to permanently retire a horse and the optional creation of non-racing agreements has also been incorporated within the new online process via the racing admin site. The Rules have been updated to reflect both of these changes.