New SNELL skull cap standard

SNELL have developed a new skull cap standard – E2016 – which the BHA intends to add to the list of skull cap standards permitted in the rules.

Manufacture of the E2001 standard ceased in 2018 and this standard will remain on the permitted list for the time being while stocks are held in shops. Because the maximum lifetime of a skull cap is four to five years, the BHA envisages 2023/24 as a probable date to withdraw the E2001 standard from the rules.

If a hat with an E2001 label also has PAS 011 or the other current standard, it will remain acceptable even when SNELL E2001 has gone.

Equine flu outbreak becoming more serious – take extra precautions

Late yesterday the Animal Health Trust issued an update on the outbreak of equine flu. As a result, trainers should take extra care about biosecurity to prevent the infection entering their yard.

Your first point of reference is the NTF’s Code of Practice for Infectious Diseases and associated Bio-Security Guidelines. These are found in the Horse Welfare section of the Members Area on our website. You can also check them on the EquiBioSafe app, which can be downloaded on both Apple and Android mobile devices.

With the increased threat to thoroughbreds in training, you should take precautions about service providers (e.g. farriers, vets, para-professionals) entering your premises and mixing with the horses. Ask where they have been prior to arriving at your yard. Consider providing clean over-clothing for them. Don’t forget to include headwear as a potential carrier of disease. Find out if any of your staff visit other equestrian premises or mix with other horses whose health status is unknown. New horses entering a yard should be isolated for a period of 14 days.

Vaccinations – the strong recommendation is to give an equine flu vaccination booster to any of your horses that have not received one in the last six months. Obviously this will depend on when the horse is likely to be racing next. It is a recommendation, not a rule.

Be vigilant. Confirmed cases must be reported to the British Horseracing Authority – this can be done via the EquiBioSafe App or by emailing equine@britishhorseracing.com or calling 020 7152 0009.