Resumption of racing update

26 Jun 2020 BHA Features

Please see below the latest resumption update, which includes: 

  • The availability of accommodation and stabling at racecourses
  • Important information for trainers and staff ahead of the start of the Jumps season on 1 July

Racecourse accommodation and stabling

Overnight accommodation and stabling at racecourses will start to be reintroduced from Saturday night, following the easing of government restrictions in relation to staying away from home for work purposes.

Hamilton Racecourse will be the first to offer overnight accommodation and stabling from Saturday night (27 June) ahead of racing on Sunday 28 June.

Racecourses offering overnight accommodation (for staff and horses) will be applying the following protocols:

  • All accommodation must be booked with the racecourse in advance and by no later than 3pm on the day of declaration (48-hours before the fixture)
  • Accommodation will be available on a first come, first served basis
  • Only single accommodation with ensuite facilities will be available, though twin accommodation with ensuite facilities may be provided for those from the same household
  • No accommodation with shared facilities (i.e. showers etc) or dormitories will be provided
  • Health screening protocols as advised by the BHA must be followed.
  • Canteens will remain closed

Please note that accommodation will not be available immediately at all racecourses – for example, those with shared rooms or bathroom facilities – due to social distancing and infection control measures.

For more information about overnight accommodation, please check the going updates, or contact the racecourse in advance of a fixture.

Resumption of Jump racing

With Jump racing returning on Wednesday 1 July, we recognise that some trainers and staff will be experiencing the behind closed doors racing protocols for the first time.

To support you and your staff in adapting to these changes, we have detailed below the relevant protocols and processes, together with additional guidance on some of the specific actions that need to be completed prior to raceday.

These steps require every attendee to have a unique email address that is checked regularly and not used by another person.

General guidelines

Prior to attending the racecourse, all racing staff must have read and understood the BHA’s COVID-19 guidelines and operating procedures for behind closed doors racing. Please also read and comply with the BHA’s COVID-19 requirements.

In addition, the NTF has produced Raceday Guide for Employees, to help trainers communicate specific raceday requirements to your staff.

Health screening process

All racecourse attendees must complete the three-stage screening process (detailed on pages 9 and 10 of the guidelines and operating procedures).

  • Step 1 – Online education module – COVID-19 information for participants of the racing industry. To be completed on the Racing2Learn website.
  • Step 2 – Online health questionnaire – to be completed within the 7 days prior to any planned racecourse attendance on a rolling basis. The online health form will be sent directly to everyone registered to attend the fixture (see confirming staff attendance, below) via their unique email address.
  • Step 3 – On course screening – on arrival at the racecourse, all attendees will need to answer two / three further questions about their current health and have their temperature recorded twice. They will also be required to provide appropriate photo ID (Stable Pass, Driving Licence, Passport) as proof of identity. Please have this ready to present on arrival.

Confirming staff attendance at racecourse

Declarations for all races must be made 48-hours before the fixture.

Once a horse has been declared, trainers will receive an email asking them to confirm which members of staff will be attending the fixture. This must be completed as fully and accurately as possible by 1pm on the day of declaration.

The online screening form (Step 2 of the screening process) will be emailed automatically to each attendee.

It is essential that yards complete this process as quickly and precisely as possible, as your staff will not receive an online medical questionnaire until they are formally declared as attending the race meeting.

The 1pm deadline ensures that screening forms can be sent to all attendees via email, and that they can be checked and verified (or queried, if necessary) on completion, prior to raceday.

If for any reason you are unable to meet the deadline, you must have contacted the BHA by email (covid19attendees@britishhorseracing.com) or via the BHA helpdesk (see below) before 1pm to explain why this has not been possible.

We ask all yards to take the following steps to reduce delays and enable our teams to focus on supporting yards that are experiencing difficulties:

  • Please ensure that every individual attendee has a valid email address that is checked regularly and is up to date on the Stable Employee Register. The online medical form will be sent to each attendee using this specific email address. The online system will reject any duplicate email addresses, so please ensure that each individual employee has a unique email address.
  • Only staff who are in possession of, or have applied for, a Racehorse Attendants Pass (stable pass) should be selected to travel to the racecourse.
  • Staffing information from trainers can only be submitted via the online form. It should not be emailed separately unless this has been specifically agreed by the Helpdesk in advance.
  • It may be possible to accommodate emergency changes to staff attendance declarations after the 1pm deadline; however, this should only be in exceptional circumstances and is not guaranteed. Trainers who need to make emergency substitutions should contact the BHA via email covid19attendees@britishhorseracing.com) or the BHA helpdesk (see below) at the earliest possible opportunity.

Please also note that the BHA will not send reports to trainers about which members of staff have completed the online medical form; but will contact the trainer in the instance that an individual is flagged as RED (i.e. not to be permitted entry to the racecourse).

To assist you and your staff in completing the declaration process, we have produced a short guide, which outlines the basic steps to follow when declaring horses in advance of raceday.

This guide is specific to the declaration process and should be read alongside, not instead of, the full guidelines and operating procedures, where you will find additional information regarding advance preparation required for raceday.

Virtual declaration desk

This is an online version of the on-course declarations desk. There will not be a declarations desk at the course on raceday, and access to the Weighing Room and Stewards’ Room will be restricted.

If you need to request privileges or provide further information to Officials e.g. if your horse is to be fed on course, details around withdrawal processes, loading requests or assistance, going to start early, mounted early or wearing a hood in the preliminaries, please complete this form for each horse that requires it. This form is also available on Racing Admin.

This must be completed by 1pm the day before racing.

Race programme and conditions

As communicated in a previous update, the Jump programme for July has been published and is available on Racing Admin. It can also be downloaded as an Excel document from the ‘Race programme and fixture list’ section of BHA website’s COVID-19 page.

The August Jumps programme will be published on Racing Admin by the end of June, and we will share this with you via email.

To reduce the risk of incident and injury on resumption of Jump racing:

  • The first three fixtures (Southwell, Uttoxeter and Newton Abbot) will comprise two chases per meeting. The plan is to increase this to a minimum of three chases per fixture for subsequent meetings
  • Field sizes will initially be limited to 12 runners per race

Please also note that jockey eligibility for Jump races will be as follows:

  • 1 – 12 July: restricted to riders who have ridden at least 40 winners under rules
  • 13 – 19 July: restricted to riders who have ridden at least 20 winners under rules
  • 20 July onwards: no specific restrictions – normal qualifications apply

Resumption helpdesk

If you have any queries about the new processes, please contact the BHA’s dedicated helpdesk, which is staffed from 9am to 5pm every day (including weekends).

Note: enquiries about the equine vaccination app should continue to be directed to Weatherbys on +44 (0)1933 440077 or vaccapp@weatherbys.co.uk.