Changes to Hunters’ Chase qualification rules with aim to increase competitiveness

26 Oct 2017 BHA Features Racing/Fixtures
  • From 1 January 2018, once a horse in the care of a licensed trainer has run in a hunters’ steeple chase, it may only run in other hunters’ steeple chases for the remainder of the season
  • Horses now permitted to run during November and December
  • Other performance eligibility remains unchanged

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced changes to the qualification rules for hunters’ steeple chases ahead of the 2018 season.

The changes, which have been approved by the BHA Racing Group and Executive Committee, have been brought in following feedback from participants and consultation with the Point-to-Point Authority, in order to ensure hunters’ steeple chases remain competitive throughout the course of the season.

From 1 January 2018, once a horse in the care of a licensed trainer has run in a hunters’ steeple chase, it may only run in other hunters’ steeple chases for the remainder of the season, as well as the Grand Military and Royal Artillery Gold Cups.

This also applies to horses who are put into the care of a licensed trainer during the course of the season who have already run in a hunter chase that season.

Additionally, the rule in place previously that barred horses who had run on a racecourse in November and December running in the following year’s hunters’ steeple chases will no longer apply as it does not reflect modern training and racing schedules for horses taking part in hunters’ steeple chases.

There have been no changes to the rules on eligibility based on previous race performance.

Stuart Middleton, Racing Operations Manager at the BHA, said:

“The BHA and Point to Point Authority agreed the recommendations announced today following feedback received during the course of the 2016/17 Jump Season.

“The changes should encourage professional trainers to give some thought to the sort of horse they may see as a potential hunter chaser, whilst ensuring hunters’ steeple chases remain competitive affairs.”

Notes to editors:

1.    The season for Hunters’ Steeple Chases begins from 1 January and ends with the final Hunters’ Steeple chase of that calendar year.

2.    Anyone requiring more information can contact the BHA Racing Department on 0207 152 0050 or racing@britishhorseracing.com.

3.    You can view the membership of the BHA’s committees here.

4.  You can find out more information about Point-to-Point Racing here.