02 Dec 2011 Pre-2014 Releases

Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare from the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“The British Horseracing Authority is sad to learn of the death of [insert horse name] during today’s [Becher Chase/Grand Sefton Handicap Chase].

“It is the role of the BHA to minimise the risks commensurate with the sport, which is why last month we published, ‘The Grand National: A Review of Safety and Welfare’. The Review included a set of 30 recommendations designed to continue enhancing the safety and welfare of the Grand National, and the Grand National course.

“The Review followed a three-month consultation with the Aintree Managing Executive and representatives from its Veterinary Team, the Jockeys and the Professional Jockeys Association, Racehorse Trainers and the National Trainers Federation, and animal welfare organisations including the RSPCA, SSPCA and World Horse Welfare.

“Part of the recommendations included making modifications to certain fences, while retaining the unique and challenging character of the course. These modifications were accepted by the Aintree Executive and subsequently implemented ahead of today’s races. Other areas covered included the condition of the racing surface, race day procedures, on-course veterinary and medical services, and the eligibility of both jockeys and horses to take part in the Grand National.

“The purpose of the Review and the subsequent recommendations was to improve standards of equine welfare and safety on the Grand National course, and we are confident that the recommendations will help achieve this aim. However, they will never be able to neutralise risk completely. Racing is a sport which carries risk, we are honest and open about this.

“We will work closely with the Aintree Executive to investigate the circumstances surrounding today’s fatality, as with all fatalities on the Grand National course, and are committed to constantly monitor the course to help reduce risks without losing the challenging and unique nature of Britain’s most iconic racecourse.”