Minor changes to the Rules of Racing | March 2024

22 Mar 2024 BHA Features Integrity

The following minor changes to the Rules of Racing have been approved by the BHA Board and come into effect immediately (22 March 2024).

Some Rules have been simplified to improve clarity and consistency, while others have been modified following engagement with and feedback from participants.

If you have any queries, please contact: [email protected]


Trainers may request that the BHA take blood and hair samples from any NEW horse in their care and for this to be analysed for Category A Prohibited At All Times substances, and which will include some long-acting therapeutic medications, provided that:

  • The request is made within seven days of the horse entering their care
  • The horse has not run during this time
  • They pay the amount outlined in the Fee Code.

This new Rule aims to provide an extra layer of protection by helping give trainers greater confidence that a new arrival in their yard is not putting them at risk of an adverse analytical finding.

Where such a sample is found to contain a Category A Prohibited At All Times Substance, the previous Responsible Person will be the person liable under Rule (K)2, unless they can prove otherwise.

To request a Private Sample Analysis please contact the Medication Control and Anti-Doping department at Anti-[email protected].

Rule K (26) – Sampling – has been updated accordingly.



The Vaccinations Code has been updated to clarify that no horse should enter racecourse property within seven days of vaccinations having been administered.

The updated wording makes it clear that no horse shall enter the racecourse for this period – whether to race, for a stalls test or as a companion animal.

Please also note that all horses entering racecourse property must be fully vaccinated in accordance with the Vaccinations Code. This includes companion animals.

The Vaccinations Code (3) has been updated to reflect this adjustment.



Jockeys wishing to appeal against a decision of the Raceday Stewards will now have two working days in which to do so, following agreement between the BHA and Professional Jockeys Association (PJA).

Previously, jockeys had to lodge an appeal within two calendar days. For races taking place on a Saturday, this would mean appealing before 5pm on the following Monday.

The Rule change gives jockeys additional time to consider whether to appeal a decision, during which they can obtain and review video evidence and seek appropriate guidance from the PJA.

The Judicial Panel Code 6 (57) has been updated to reflect this change.


A licence of an Apprentice or Conditional jockey will now remain valid for seven days on BHA approval in the event that the Trainer who employs them ceases to hold a licence.

This expands the existing Rule to allow for the various circumstances in which a trainer may cease to hold a licence, including where the licence may have been suspended.

In this scenario, the Apprentice or Conditional Jockey can continue to ride in the immediate future – something which was not possible under the previous Rule.

The change seeks to minimise disruption for the jockey themselves, but also any unconnected trainer who might also be using the Apprentice / Conditional Jockey.

Rule B (37) – Apprentice Jockeys and Conditional Jockeys has been amended.


An addition to the Race Entry Code to clarify that no declaration to run may be amended or cancelled after 9.30am two days before the race.

This has been normal practice for several years, with trainers unable to remove a declared horse from a race after this time following the introduction of transparent declarations.

The deadline for submitting a declaration to run remains 10am two days before the race.

The Race Entry Code (34) has been updated accordingly.