New Appearance Money Scheme starts 1 Jan 2018

Following the recent Levy reform and the expected higher returns to the sport from betting, the industry is introducing a new appearance money scheme for 2018, worth in the region of £6.5 million.

This new scheme ensures that no horse finishing in the first eight in the majority of Flat races at classes 4-6 will win less than £300. Over Jumps, the scheme applies to most races run at classes 3-5, with connections of the first eight home guaranteed a minimum payment of £350. Eligible races run on Friday and Saturday evenings, and all eligible races on Sundays, will see the minimum payment increase by £100, to £400 on the Flat, and £450 over Jumps. This new scheme will supercede the existing Sunday appearance money scheme. Full eligibility details can be found in the table below.

These payments will be distributed as follows:

  • 80% to owner of the horse
  • 8% to trainer of the horse
  • 6% to the rider in the race
  • 6% to the stable from which the horse was trained

In order for races to qualify for the scheme, racecourses must ensure that the race is run for £900 or more above minimum value. As such, the purpose of the scheme is two-fold:

  1. To improve returns to connections by incentivising racecourses to invest their own funds in prize money at the grassroots of the sport
  2. To improve field sizes through an increased frequency of runs per horse and/or distributing existing runners differently

Details of exactly which race types are eligible are shown in the table below:

All Class 4-6 races included, but not:
WFA Novice races
WFA Maiden races
All Class 3-5 races included, but not:
All Hunter Chases
All NHF races
WFA Novice/Maiden Hurdles
For the avoidance of doubt, all Novices’ Chases, Beginners’ Chases & all Juvenile Hurdles (WFA or handicap) are included in the scheme.

Eligible races will be marked with this logo in the Racing Calendar:


If you have any questions on the scheme, please contact the BHA Racing Department on

Plus 10 owner registration discount

Owners of yearlings registered for the Plus 10 bonus scheme are encouraged to finalise scheme registration before the end of the year.

Up until 31 December, the cost of the third and final Owner Registration is £300. After this date, the fee rises to £350 per horse and must be paid by 28 February 2017.

The Owner Registration is required to be paid to qualify a horse to win a full £10,000 bonus on top of first-place winnings, with the horse’s registered owner at the time of the win receiving £7,500.

More than £11 million worth of Plus 10 bonuses have been won since March 2015. Bonuses apply to more than 650 two and three-year-old races in Britain and Ireland each year.


Horses running in Hunter Chases for a Permit Trainer

We have asked the BHA for further clarification about the restrictions on horses switching between runs in normal handicap chases and Hunter Chases. This is because the rule refers only to runs for a licensed trainer.

The BHA has confirmed that if a horse has run in a Hunter Chase after 1st January 2018 for a permit trainer, then the horse is restricted to Hunter Chases for the remainder of the season.  It cannot run in a handicap if moved to a licensed trainer because the restriction stays with the horse. We have asked the BHA to revise the wording of the rule.

Closure of old BHA Racing Admin website

Late last year the BHA made the decision not to close the old racing admin site until after the Ownership changes had been introduced to Ownership Admin. That activity has been completed and a number of workshops and course visits have been staged to provide help and support.

BHA and Weatherbys are now starting the process of shutting down the old Racing Admin website. Some parts of the site will close before the end of the year (such as Horses in Training and Stable Employees) but the entries and declarations part of the website will remain open until the middle of January 2018 at which point the site will become unavailable.

Throughout the site’s development the BHA and Weatherbys have asked for feedback and trainers have been fantastic in coming forward with suggestions and amendments, of which over 250 have been implemented since launch to make the website better for you. They ask that any further feedback should be sent to . The team will endeavour to deal with these before the closure. It is worth noting however that the site will continue to be developed as time progresses and this does rely on feedback, so this email address will remain open so you may do that.

Trainers are encouraged to use the time between now and the closure to ensure they are familiar with the new website at You will find help and support within the website under your Information Menu and “Help & Support”. Help Videos are also available under “How To Videos”.

Raising of weights in flat and jump handicaps

Allowing horses rated 1lb or 2lbs above the rating band in handicaps has led to a number of anomalies. The BHA Racing Group has now agreed a change from 1st November.

Where the raising of weights is necessary, horses rated 1lb or 2lb above the upper rating limit of the race are initially disregarded for the purposes of raising of the weights. Once the weights have been raised based upon the horses rated within the rating range of the race, the weights of the horses above the band are also raised accordingly.

From 1st November, if the top weight (excluding penalties) remaining engaged in the race is therefore raised above 12st 7lb in jump handicaps or 10st 7lbs in flat handicaps, the top weight will be lowered to a maximum of 12st 7lb in jump handicaps and 10st 7lbs in flat handicaps, and all other weights lowered accordingly. In flat handicaps confined to Amateur Riders, the relevant top weight will be 12st.

Northern Lights Series nearing its conclusion

The Northern Lights Series was launched earlier this year to provide a further incentive to own and train jump horses in the north, and stimulate investment into the grassroots of the sport in this region.

A series of 75 qualifiers are taking place which will culminate in five £25,000 finals, which will be class 2 handicaps, at Carlisle on 3 December.

The series are not confined exclusively to horses trained in the North and to qualify horses must have started in at least two series qualifiers and been placed in the first eight on at least one occasion. This qualification is specific to each individual series and cannot be mixed and matched across two different series. The dates, locations and ratings bands of remaining series qualifiers and locations can be seen below:

There remain significant, valuable and winnable opportunities for horses partly qualified for the finals so the BHA is communicating with trainers and owners via text and e-mail to ensure they are aware of the series, which only has a few qualifiers left. Trainers or owners wishing to see if their horse is fully or partially qualified can do so via the BHA notices section on the Racing Admin site:

ROA Owners Jackpot race update

The table below is an updated list of upcoming ROA Owners Jackpot races. Note that the race on Sunday 19th November originally earmarked as a Jackpot race is no longer designated as such. This has been substituted for the race at Taunton on 16th November.

Fri 27 Oct Doncaster (Jackpot +) 1m 2f Class 3 3yo 0-95 Handicap
Wed 1 Nov Nottingham 1m Class 4 3yo+ 0-85 Handicap
Wed 8 Nov Musselburgh 3m Class 4 4yo+ 0-120 Handicap Hurdle
Thur 16 Nov Taunton 2m 1/2f Class 5 4-6yo Maiden National Hunt Flat
Tues 21 Nov Southwell 2m4f Class 4 4yo+ 0-105 Handicap Chase
Wed 29 Nov Hereford 2m 3 1/2f Class 4 4yo+ 0-105 Handicap Hurdle