Jockey Club Supports Brush Hurdle Initiative
Published: 24 October 2001
Following the announcement from Haydock Park that the racecourse will stage a series of races this season using the Brush Hurdle, the Jockey Club issued the following statement:
JOCKEY CLUB CONFIRM SUPPORT FOR HAYDOCK’S BRUSH HURDLE SERIES FOLLOWING SUCCESSFUL RESULTS FROM WORCESTER
“The exact same design of brush hurdle due to be used at Haydock Park this season was in use throughout the summer at Worcester, with very encouraging results,” reports the Jockey Club’s Director of Racecourse Services, Tony Goodhew.
From 675 runners in hurdle races – a figure well above previous totals for the track while racing during the summer – there were just 5 fallers. In comparison during the 2000 summer jumping term of May to September there were 585 runners over the timber hurdle design and 21 fallers. The National Hunt average for fallers to runners over hurdles between May and September 2001 was 1.80%, Worcester’s percentage with the brush hurdle in place was only 0.74%.
Tony Goodhew continued: “We are very pleased with how this design of the brush hurdle has been received. When we spoke with the jockeys at their seminars in the spring, many of them were sceptical of the initiative, however, the faller statistics and the general feedback from both jockeys and trainers has been very encouraging.
“I think it is excellent news that Haydock are using the brush hurdle for a series of races this National Hunt season. The layout of the course makes it an ideal venue for such an initiative and demonstrates their commitment to nurturing the steeplechasers of the future. The increase in opportunities to run horses over brush hurdles is very welcome.”
“Even so, our figures show that only 37% of horses running in hurdle races go on to run in steeplechases, that is why there is a role for both designs, the timber and brush hurdle. All timber hurdles now have padded bars and padded top rails, and the indications are that these changes have noticeably decreased the chances of injury.”
Leading jump jockey Mick Fitzgerald is also supportive of the decision to expand the use of the brush hurdle: “The hurdles at Worcester have ridden very well this summer and personally I’d like to see more courses adopt this type of obstacle. They provide a natural progression for future steeplechasers, as horses respect them and consequently jump them cleaner and better than they do the timber hurdle. Furthermore, in my experience it’s not just National Hunt bred horses that appreciate them, Flat bred horses jump them well too.”
Notes for Editors:
Worcester Summer Hurdle Jumping May to September All National % based on May – Sept of that year
Year Type RUNNERS FALLS % NATIONAL % WORCS/NAT
2001 Brush 675 5 0.74% 1.80% – 41.11%
2000 Timber 585 21 3.59% 2.58% + 39.15%
1999 Timber 613 14 2.28% 2.02% + 12.87%
1998 Timber 618 22 3.56% 2.69% + 32.34%
October 24th 2001.