29 Sep 2005 Pre-2014 Releases

Jockey Club Strengthen Existing Rules On Remounting

Published: 29 September 2005

The Jockey Club announced today that it will strengthen existing rules regarding the remounting of racehorses and is issuing a Jockey Club notice on the subject. There would be no ban on remounting.

This decision follows several months of consultation and consideration, the final stage of which were meetings yesterday between representatives of the Jockey Club, owners, trainers, jockeys and welfare organisations. These consultations failed to achieve a consensus of opinion on whether any changes to rules and regulations of racing could be justified.

The National Trainers’ Federation, Racehorse Owners’ Association and Jockeys Association of Great Britain supported current arrangements which allow owners and trainers to decide whether a horse should be remounted, and leaving the final judgement on whether to do so to the jockey. The RSPCA and the Veterinary Committee of the Jockey Club advised that they wished to ban remounting.

Malcolm Wallace, Director of Regulation, said “The Regulatory Board of the Jockey Club debated long and hard about the issues over remounting, at several separate meetings. During these discussions it became apparent that, in the absence of a consensus industry opinion, a ban on remounting would create many problems without addressing any known detriment.

“It is important to bear in mind that instances where the opportunity for a horse to be remounted following separation from its rider are rare. Even with so few instances where remounting could occur, a ban would inevitably lead to situations where horses that are perfectly capable of being remounted and completing a race without any damage to their welfare are prevented from doing so.

“The Regulatory Board felt that a ban on remounting would be using a sledgehammer to crack a nut and were confident that the welfare of the horse would remain at the forefront of owners’, trainers’ and jockeys’ minds.

“The Board considered carefully the concerns of the Veterinary Committee and welfare organisations, and we discussed those concerns again yesterday. However we explained that, in our role as a responsible regulator, the actions we have taken represent a carefully considered and appropriate response to this issue. We will, however, be keeping the situation under constant review and would not rule any further changes or amendments in the future.”

28th September 2005

Notes for Editors:

1. Jockey Club Notice and Revised Instruction H18

“In the interests of the welfare of the horse, this Notice reminds all riders that they should not remount a horse that has fallen during a race if they believe that their horse is showing signs of being lame, injured or exhausted (see instruction H18). Moreover, Owners and Trainers should ensure that they do not issue any instructions to a Rider that might conflict with this Notice or with provisions of Instruction H18. Trainers are also encouraged to have horses that have fallen examined by a Veterinary Surgeon before leaving racecourse premises.”

The Stewards of the Jockey Club instruct Riders that they must dismount as soon as possible from any lame or injured horse. In the event of the lameness or injury resulting from the horse falling in the race it must not be remounted. Riding a lame or injured horse to a finish is therefore unacceptable. Riders must also pull up if their horse is exhausted. Any Rider failing to do either will be acting in breach of Rule 152(i) or Rule 153 (Improper Riding) and Stewards have been requested to exercise fully their powers under Rule 16 in such cases.

Penalties for breaches of H18 are:
Lame – 7 to 14 days or refer
Exhausted – 3 to 14 days or refer

2. Remounting Examples

In this years Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, with a small but elite field, prize money for sixth place was over £3,500. Had one of the runners unseated its rider at the last, would it be right that the rider, despite being satisfied that the horse is okay, be barred from remounting and completing in his own time?

Another scenario is the possibility of a race having to be declared void due to banning remounting resulting in there being no finishers, an example of such a race being a two runner chase at Doncaster in December 2003, which saw one horse fall and another unseat. Both horses were remounted to complete, with no harm done to either horse.

It is an extreme case, but in the 2001 Grand National there were only four finishers, with the third and fourth, Blowing Wind and Papillon, remounted after being baulked by a loose horse and unseating their jockeys.