05 Mar 2001 Pre-2014 Releases

Racing to Resume Following Positive ‘risk Assessment’ From Maff

Published: 5 March 2001

Following a thorough review of the Risk Assessment by MAFF officials issued today, the British Horseracing Board (BHB) and Jockey Club today confirmed the decision that racing will resume on Wednesday 7th March 2001, outside infected areas.

In a joint statement, Peter Savill, Chairman of the BHB and Christopher Spence, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said today “The decision to resume racing was discussed at great length today, and was confirmed for the following reasons.

 The racing authorities’ veterinary advice is that racing represents a negligible risk provided that there is full compliance with the Instructions and Guidelines laid down by the BHB and Jockey Club. This advice has been further endorsed today by MAFF’s Risk Assessment.
 Government officials are aware of the decision to resume, and continue to support the industry’s actions.
 Racing has a responsibility to those dependent for their living on the industry to base its decisions on scientific evidence.

Peter Savill added “We have listened to all racing’s constituents very carefully, and while respecting the concerns about the farming industry, the weight of the combined scientific advice from Government and our own veterinary officials, as well as the damage the loss of racing for an indefinite period would do to those employed in our industry, lead us to believe that resuming racing is the right decision.”

It is expected therefore that Cheltenham will go ahead as planned.


Note to Editors

1. The BHB and Jockey Club note with regret the decision of the French Government to impose a ban on the movement of horses. It is understood the ban was imposed by the French Government following the discovery of traces of Foot and Mouth disease in some slaughtered sheep, and was not directly connected to horse racing.

2. Other major sporting events which have high crowd attendances from diverse geographical areas, have gone ahead, with no additional safety precautions.

3. A copy of the Risk Assessment will be printed in full on the MAFF website –

4. Currently the planned programme of racing for this week is as follows:

Wednesday – Lingfield (AWT)
Thursday – Wolverhampton (AWT) (to be
Friday – Sandown
Ayr (to be confirmed)
Saturday – Sandown
Ayr (to be confirmed)
Wolverhampton (AWT)

The meetings go ahead providing the racecourses are not in an “Infected Area” and providing the racecourses fully comply with the Instructions and Guidelines laid down by the BHB and Jockey Club.

For further information please contact:

Alan Delmonte, BHB 0207 343 3318 or 07931 701536
John Maxse, Jockey Club, 0207 343 3219 or 07785 243232
Peter Webbon, Chief Veterinary Advisor – 07785 228872