28 Feb 2013 Pre-2014 Releases

Newton Abbot Racecourse is pleased to announce details of the racecourse trial of a new ‘one-fit’ padded hurdle design, which will be used during all hurdle races throughout the 2013 Summer Jumping programme. The modified hurdle design has been researched and developed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and will be first used at Newton Abbot’s meeting on 30th March 2013.

The new design consists of a standard timber hurdle frame, with a specially fitted foam pad frontage rather than the traditional birch. As part of the BHA’s commitment to maximising participant safety, both equine and human, it is anticipated that the potential benefits of the new design could include a reduction in injuries for both horse and rider. The BHA, in conjunction with racecourses, have made a number of important safety and welfare improvements to hurdles in recent years and this development is part of this ongoing process.

The new design has been trialled extensively over the past 18 months, including periods on two major training schooling grounds, as well as extended sessions with several leading Jumps trainers. The racecourse trial is therefore an important next step and is supported by the National Trainers Federation (NTF), the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and the Racecourse Association (RCA). The trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

The trial is being match funded by both Newton Abbot and the British Horseracing Grant Scheme, the mechanism that was set up to distribute the first £1million of proceeds from the sale of the Tote, to worthwhile projects in or associated with the British thoroughbred Racing and Breeding industries.

Patrick Masterson, Managing Director of Newton Abbot Racecourse, said:

“We are extremely excited at the new hurdle design both from a horse welfare perspective and the positive support it is receiving from both the NTF and PJA. Newton Abbot are delighted to support this trial for our forthcoming season and hopes this ongoing development process is well received and supported.”

Richard Linley, Senior Inspector of Courses at the BHA, said:

“We’ve been coordinating this project for some time and riders and trainers gave us plenty of useful feedback during the schooling phase. This trial is key to whether the design is adopted at other courses in the years ahead.”

Jockey Andrew Thornton, one of the PJA’s Safety Officers, said:

“The PJA is supportive of anything that has the potential to benefit the welfare of the sport’s participants, and we therefore welcome this trial. If the new design can lead to fewer falls and fewer injuries for horses, then it can only be a positive thing for the welfare of Jockeys.”

For further information please contact:

Patrick Masterson
Managing Director, Newton Abbot Racecourse
t: 01626 353235
e: [email protected]

Jason Loosemore
Clerk of the Course, Newton Abbot Racecourse.
t: 07766228109