Amendments to the Rules of Racing – Shoes

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced the details of an amendment to the Rules of Racing which come into effect from 2 April 2016.

Amendment to the Rules of Racing in relation to Shoes

The BHA have also amended the Rules of Racing so that from 2 April 2016 it will be a mandatory requirement that all horses competing in Flat Turf races enter the parade ring to race fully shod, unless permission is otherwise granted by the BHA prior to the 48 hour declaration time to race.

This is the result of an analysis of 12 months of race data which showed that there is an increased risk of a horse slipping if partially shod when racing under Flat Turf conditions.

The issue was raised with the BHA by the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and the BHA worked closely with the PJA, as well as the National Trainers Federation (NTF), and the Racecourse Association (RCA) before implementing the change.

The BHA acknowledges that there can be legitimate reasons as to why trainers might wish to race a horse partially shod in Flat Turf races. Trainers may therefore apply for a dispensation, which must be supported in writing by a suitably qualified professional such as a veterinarian.

Paul Struthers, Chief Executive of the PJA, said

“The wellbeing of horse and jockey are paramount to us. This Rule change will reduce the risk of slipping up, thus improving safety for both horse and rider, and will allow Flat Jockeys to ride with a greater degree of confidence at all times. Trainers of those horses with a genuine veterinary reason to be unshod can apply for dispensation or race on the All-Weather, where grip is far greater. We welcome that in those rare cases where horses are unshod it must be declared.

“We have agreed with the BHA that the situation regarding Jump horses will continue to be monitored, in line with our members’ wishes.”

“The PJA are delighted to have agreed this vital improvement to horse and jockey safety. If the new ruling helps prevent one horse and jockey from slipping up and potentially falling the rule change will have succeeded.”