06 Mar 2008 Pre-2014 Releases

With effect from the start of the 2008 Flat Season, on Saturday 22nd March 2008, trainers will be allowed to self-certify a horse as a non-runner if they believe that the horse is unfit to run in the race for which it has been declared.

This development, approved by the British Horseracing Authority Board earlier this year and agreed in consultation with the National Trainers Federation, will be accompanied by safeguards against the risk of abuse. Any such self-certified non-runner will not be permitted to run in any other race for six days afterwards. For example, a horse that is a non-runner in a race taking place on Monday 7th April will not be permitted to run until Monday 15th April (the entries for which close and are published on Tuesday 8th).

At present a veterinary certificate can be issued which reflects that there were no abnormal clinical findings but that the trainer had reported something to indicate that the horse was unfit to race. Self-certification replaces this.

Trainers will still be able to declare non-runners without penalty or running restriction if:

• the trainer submits a satisfactory veterinary certificate to the British Horseracing Authority Office within 7 days of the race in which horse was declared to run; OR
• there is a change in the going on the day of the race from that which the Trainer could reasonably have expected from the going report either posted on the Racing Administration Internet Site or available from the Clerk of the Course or the person nominated by the Clerk of the Course on the day the horse was declared to run; OR
• the trainer considers the horse will be unsuited by the going, provided the horse is on the racecourse and its identity has been verified by a Veterinary Officer from its passport on the day of the race; OR
• the trainer, his representative or the Owner is able to satisfy the Stewards on the day of the race that the failure of the horse to run was caused by other circumstances outside the reasonable control of the Trainer, his representative or the Owner

The Authority has also agreed that the penalty associated with non-runners in breach of Rule 144 (i) (relating primarily to the non-provision of a certificate and where there was no change in official going) should be standardised at £140, rather than, as at present, relate to the total prize fund of the race in question.

Paul Struthers, PR Manager for the British Horseracing Authority, said “Introducing self-certification will remove the need for vets to issue a veterinary certificate when they can’t find any clinical abnormality, such as a horse not eating up, whilst not allowing such horses to run for 6 days will prevent any abuse. It will also have the benefit of saving owners a significant amount of money in veterinary bills each year.”

6th March 2008

Notes for Editors

All rules are available at