28 May 1999 Pre-2014 Releases

Jockey Club Recommendations In Place at Sedgefield

Published: 28 May 1999

Following Tuesday’s freak accident, a meeting was held at Sedgefield this morning to view the changes recommended to the racecourse by the Jockey Club’s Course Inspector, Ron Barry. The recommendations were made in the light of the report filed by the racecourse stewards after their enquiry on the day.

Representatives of the jockeys, trainers and racecourse stewards, together with the Sedgefield Officials inspected the changes designed to further reduce the risks posed by loose horses by making the exits from the racing area more accessible. Representatives of the RSPCA were also present to see the proposals.

All the recommended changes will be in place for the next scheduled meeting on Tuesday 23rd February.

Tony Goodhew, the Jockey Club’s Director of Racecourse Services, said: “No issue has a higher priority for the Jockey Club than the safety and welfare of horse and rider. The incident on Tuesday at Sedgefield was a tragic accident, and we are very sorry for those connections who lost a horse as a result. Ron Barry has worked with the racecourse to implement these changes which we hope will further reduce the risk, though sometimes all the safety measures in the world cannot prevent some accidents occurring. Horses running loose on a racecourse when their adrenaline is pumping can be very unpredictable.

“In the light of Tuesday’s accident, we plan to revisit all the options of how best to deal with horses that get loose during the course of a race. This problem has been studied extensively in the past but we will again seek the views of jockeys, trainers and racecourses on the subject. If any improvements can be identified we will introduce them, taking into account the circumstances at each and every course.”

Notes for editors:

1. Among those who inspected the changes to the lay out at Sedgefield were jockey Lorcan Wyer, trainer Denys Smith and RSPCA equine consultants Bernard Donigan and David Muir. The Sedgefield Clerk of the Course, John Cleverley, and the Chairman of the Stewards’ Panel, Jeremy Howie, were also present.