New detection times from 1st June

The BHA has informed trainers by email of some new Detection Times for misoprostol and xylazine, and an updated Detection Time for dantrolene. These Detection Times will be effective from 1st June 2019.

The BHA Published Detection Times have been updated to reflect this change, and can be viewed here. Although the BHA informs the British Equine Veterinary Association of all these changes, it is worth checking your vet is aware.

Neither Dantrolene nor Misoprostol are licensed for use in horses in the UK but they may be prescribed for use in horses by a veterinary surgeon under the Veterinary Medicine Directorate’s Cascade legislation.

The EU Settlement Scheme is live

The EU Settlement Scheme is fully open. Now is the time to support your EU nationals to ensure they get the status they need to stay in the UK after Brexit for as long as they wish.

The service has been designed to make it as simple as possible for EU citizens and their family members to apply. During the public test phase earlier this year, over 200,000 applications were received from citizens of all 27 EU countries:

  • 95% of applicants successfully used the mobile phone app to prove their identity remotely, most in under 10 minutes
  • 88% of applicants were able to have their UK residence automatically checked by providing their National Insurance number

Your EU employees can apply to the Settlement Scheme free of charge. Applicants only need to prove their identity, demonstrate their UK residence, and declare any criminal convictions. You can find full guidance for them at: There are Android and Apple apps for proving their identity. Or they can visit an identity scanner location to help them complete this part of the application process or post document for verification. The EU Settlement Resolution Centre is available to advise. Telephone: 0300 123 7379

Mental Health in racing report will help shape NTF services

Yesterday was the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and we were at Windsor Racecourse for an event to publicise the findings of a report commissioned by Racing Welfare about mental health in British horseracing. It can be found here on Racing Welfare’s website.

Over the last twelve months, the NTF has highlighted researcher Will McConn’s interaction with trainers and other groups whose collective efforts make racing happen. Thank you to all the trainers who spoke to Will and took part in forums.

According to the research reported yesterday, 76% of trainers surveyed said that they felt the industry provided inadequate support for their mental health.  We will be using the report’s recommendations, along with those from the Horseracing MBA report on Occupation Stressors for Trainers, to shape future NTF services for our members.

At the same time, we would encourage you to make the most of our existing services, many of which address issues raised in the report. For instance, debt collection and management was a key theme for trainers. Applying the advice available in the Business Section in the members area of the NTF website should avoid many debt problems. These include credit management advice and services, debt recovery through the Legal Expenses Insurance scheme, and Weatherbys Invoice Payment Service. 

France and Germany end equine flu biosecurity requirements

France Galop and the Direktorium in Germany have both announced the termination of requirements introduced during the heightened threat of equine flu around Europe.

In France, the effective date is tomorrow (Wednesday 8th May.) In Germany the change is with immediate effect.

Last week we mentioned that the Irish Racehorse Regulatory Board had announced that from 1st January 2020, all horses racing in Ireland will be required to be vaccinated with an equine influenza vaccine containing a Clade 1 representative every six months. For the remainder of this year, horses must have been vaccinated on or after the 18th January 2019 with a vaccine containing a Clade 1 equine influenza representative.

The BHA has informed us that talks are taking place between the three Tripartite countries (Britain, France and Ireland) to see if there is any prospect of alignment on aspects of the Equine flu protocols across the three countries.

Commonwealth Cup to be restricted to Colts and Fillies from 2020

From 2020, geldings will no longer be permitted to run in the Commonwealth Cup (Group 1, 6f, 3yo only) at Royal Ascot.  The European Pattern Committee (EPC) initially agreed to relax its Ground Rules relating to 3yo only Group 1 races to help the race to become established.  However, the BHA, with the support of the EPC, has now confirmed that, with effect from 2020, the race will become restricted to colts and fillies only.

This announcement is being made now to give horsemen an early warning of the change in race conditions.

For further information, please contact the BHA’s Racing Department on 020 7152 0050 or

Race planning forum will enhance communication with the BHA

From Wednesday 1st May a new race planning forum was launched within the Racing Admin site and without need for any additional login.

The aim of this forum is to improve two-way communication between trainers and the Racing Department.  A standing topic in the forum will be dedicated to requests for races but the forum has been specifically designed to allow both parties to add, and comment on, topics of any type.  The forum will be visible to all licensed trainers, members of the BHA Racing Department and the NTF and is intended to provide greater visibility and improved discussion on issues including the fixture list, the race programme and race times.

You’ll find a link to the Race Planning Forum on your Fixtures & Races menu. On opening the forum you will see active topics for discussion and polls, which you can filter by topic area or search for a keyword. Posts will be listed in date order with pinned posts and polls at the top.

More details about using the forum are being sent to trainers by the BHA Racing Department in an email this week.

Transparent entries and declarations jumping trial

At its April meeting, the industry’s Racing Group discussed possible updates to the system of transparent entries and declarations following the trial over the winter on the AWT.

As a result of feedback from the NTF Flat Committee, the next Racing Admin update will see the inclusion of official ratings and ballot marks on declaration screens. The BHA will also look into adding weights at the declarations stage. Navigation will be improved so trainers can see this information through the My Entries section, and not just the specific tracking pages.

There has been feedback from some trainers about the 9.30am deadline (after which entries cannot be removed) making it harder to gauge whether a race will divide. The background to this is that trainers would often declare more than one runner at an early stage to signal intentions to run both if there was a division. The second horse could then be taken out if a division looked less likely approaching 10am. The Racing Group felt the deadline should remain to avoid the risk of gaming the system. We will continue to gather trainer opinions on this through the summer.

Trial during Summer Jumping period

Given the success of the trial on the Flat, the Racing Group agreed to begin a trial of transparent entries and declarations for summer jumping from 1st June to 31st August.