Ludlow Racecourse to use ‘One Fit’ Padded Hurdle

Ludlow Racecourse on 11th October 2017 will be the latest racecourse to adopt the ‘One Fit’ Padded Hurdle, joining Bangor, Exeter, Kelso, Newton Abbot, Stratford, Taunton and Uttoxeter.

The BHA launched the hurdle as a trial at Newton Abbot in 2013 and the design has been rolled out to eight courses in total following positive feedback from the industry.

Auto enrolment rules on opting out

During inspections carried out by The Pension Regulator across the country, there have been a number of instances where employers had agreed to opt staff out of a workplace pension before they had been enrolled.

If employers do this, they are not complying with their duties in the correct way and may risk a fine if they appear to be making the decision to opt out on behalf of their staff. Eligible staff must be enrolled first – they can only opt out (if they wish to) after being enrolled.

Employers need to follow all the steps in the TPR Duties Checker, including setting up a pension scheme, putting eligible staff into it and writing to them, before they can choose whether to stay in or opt out. See the TPR website for more information on the key steps to follow.

Lowering of the weights in jump handicaps

As part of the discussion on including horses rated +1lb or +2lb above the top of the rating band in jump handicaps, the BHA Racing Group has considered the Rule governing the raising and lowering of weights in Jump handicaps. It has now been agreed to mirror the way in which the rule operates on the Flat with regard to the lowering of weights when all declared runners are above 9st 2lb.

This has been operating successfully on the Flat for some years now and was introduced principally to remove the incidents of horses carrying unnecessarily high weights in races where all declared runners are above an agreed weight.

Rule (F)45.5 is being changed to bring those same benefits to Jump racing. After consulting the NTF, the BHA has agreed that where all declared runners are above 11st, the weights should be lowered to 11st accordingly.

Have your say on British racecourses

The Racecourse Association is requesting the help of trainers to get a better understanding of the key reasons for running horses at their Racecourses. A joint letter from the RCA and NTF Presidents inviting you to participate can be read at the link below.

Trainers Survey – letter from RCA and NTF Presidents

By completing the survey below, the results will enable racecourses to better understand the entry process and ultimately how they can improve the experience for trainers and owners. The survey has a number of generalities which have been necessary for practical reasons. However the RCA hopes the survey can be used to drive positive change and help to inform prize money and spending decisions.


Deadline approaching for Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship applications

All trainers will have received a poster to notify their staff about the Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship and the new Toby Balding Award. Please would you make sure your staff are aware of these opportunities.

From 2017 the Alex Scott Scholarship is being funded by the Tim Dunlop Memorial Travelling Scholarship (TDMS). TDMS is a charity that was set up by friends of Tim, in his memory, after he was tragically killed in a car accident in France at the age of 21 in 1987. The winner will receive a grant of £3000 towards their travel costs and living expenses. The NTF will assist the winner to plan their trip and if necessary will facilitate introductions to a trainer abroad.

To get an idea of the hugely valuable experiences these and others have gained, reports from recent winners can be viewed on the Awards page on our website. Applications, which must be received by 30th September, can be made by downloading the form from the same page here:

Thoroughbred Health Network launches pelvic fractures research review

The THN have reviewed the literature available and written a review of the risk factors, diagnosis and future prognosis of pelvic fractures.  They have identified 10 key messages which are clearly organised by the level of scientific evidence supporting for each point available in the academic paper itself.

 The Thoroughbred Health Network has now been approved as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) by OSCR.  The THN first launched in June 2015 as a northern pilot project and expanded nationwide in March 2017.  This structure enables the THN to work throughout Scotland, England and Wales.  The objectives of the THN will remain the same, these are to 1) build a network of those interested in horse health and 2) review, translate and communicate research findings. Follow the growing THN network on Twitter: @ThoroughbredHN  

New reforms launched to improve ownership experience through simplified administration

The BHA has launched a package of reforms to modernise and simplify the administration of racehorse ownership. The measures will mean the task of ownership administration is more convenient, efficient and easy to understand, with the transfer of the registration and management process online expected to save owners thousands of hours a year of filling in forms. The simplification and reduction of ownership fees will also save owners thousands of pounds per year in total, with the types and number of ownership options simplified to mean there are now only five types rather than eight: Sole, Company, Partnership, Syndicate and Racing Club.

New and existing owners now have access to the new Racing Admin system, where a newly designed, intuitive ownership portal enables them to manage their ownerships online and keep up to date with their horses and ownerships. It also facilitates free access to a number of enhanced features such as the ability to search the race programme.

New registrations are also handled through the portal which will not only mean the process is more user friendly, but also ensures swifter turnaround time between submitting the forms and the approval of applications. The reforms benefit existing owners through the alignment of re-registration fees, which will now fall on one date in the year to reduce the drip feeding of charges and correspondence received.

A new code of conduct for syndicates has also been brought in, which highlights a number of basic requirements that all syndicate managers will need to ensure are met. These have been added to the Rules of Racing in order to protect syndicate members.

A dedicated ownership support team at Weatherbys is on hand to answer any questions and guide owners through the new portal. The team is available on 01933 304808 or via   If trainers are aware their owners cannot use or do not have access to the internet they should be asked to call the Ownership Team at Weatherbys, contact details as above.  To ensure owners are confident using the new Racing Admin system a programme of events has been compiled. The sessions will take the form of workshops, Q&As at racecourses and online demonstrations and will be staged across the following dates and locations:

26th September – Warwick Racecourse

4th October – Weatherbys, Wellingborough

12th October – Exeter Racecourse

16th October – BHA, London