Statement on the new requirement to declare wind surgery



22 November 2017

National Trainers Federation statement on the new requirement to declare wind surgery

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) sent an email to trainers yesterday informing them that they would have to notify the BHA of certain types of wind surgery carried out on any previously raced horse in their care before that horse’s next run after surgery.

The National Trainers Federation (NTF) is concerned about the new rule on several fronts. First, any rule change should have been prefaced by more research. The BHA has made it clear that its motive for implementing this rule is to provide information for bettors that might influence their betting behaviour. The NTF understands the desire to fulfil the needs of racing’s customers but in this data driven world, reliable data is essential.

In the consultation we proposed that the BHA’s first step should be to collect data from trainers about wind surgeries carried out over a two year period. That data would then be analysed to assess the extent to which different wind surgeries have a significant effect on the performance of a large enough cohort of horses to have some confidence in the value of information provided to bettors. The BHA has opted to ignore the opportunity for an evidence-based approach on this issue. We believe that is poor regulation.

The NTF’s other concerns include the impossibility of effectively policing the rule, especially in relation to horses trained outside Britain. Some types of surgery cannot be detected post-operatively. We urged the BHA to seek alignment from Ireland and France before introducing the rule. The BHA chose to make the running but we fear this will leave British racing connections at a disadvantage and undermine the objective of the rule.


The National Trainers Federation represents the interests of British licensed racehorse trainers.

For more information, please contact Rupert Arnold, NTF Chief Executive, on 01488 71794 or 07899 797010. E-mail:

For more information on the National Trainers Federation, please go to


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.

Regulation deadlines (as at 21 Nov 2017)

  • Pension auto enrolment staging dates
    • Up to February 2018 for businesses started since April 2012
  • By the end of 2017 – original Racing Admin website will close.
  • 30th October 2017 – New non-runner rules take effect: trainer’s non-runner percentage, 2-day stand down for Vet Certificates; increased fine for non-runners after 9.00am
  • 1st November 2017 – in handicaps, if after raising of weights, a horse rated 1lb or 2lbs above the rating band is set to carry more than 10.7 (flat) or 12.7 (jumps), the weights will be lowered so the top weight carried 10.7/12.7 and other weights lowered accordingly. Amateur races on flat – 12st.
  • 1st January 2018 – minimum ratings applies to all non-two year old Group 1 and non-novice Grade 1 races.
  • 1st January 2018 – when extending declaration deadline, each trainer with a declaration will be deemed to have declared only one horse
  • 1st January 2018 – microchip number on any horse under trainer’s care must be checked against the number in the passport
  • 1st January 2018 – a horse may not be made a non-runner on a self-cert once the Declaration Sheet on the racecourse has been signed.
  • 1st January 2018 – trainer becomes responsible for notifying the BHA when a mare in their care is pregnant.

Further details about EHV vaccination for racing in France

Last week we told you about the mandatory EHV vaccination required to race in France next year. Some trainers have asked for clarity about details of the vaccination intervals required by France Galop. The BHA has issued the following guidance:

Vaccination Protocol
The vaccination protocol will be the same as the protocol for vaccinations against Equine Influenza:

  • The horse must have received two primary vaccinations which are given not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart
  • If sufficient time has elapsed, the horse must also have received o A booster vaccination which is given not less than 150 days and not more than 215 days after the second component of the primary vaccination
  • Further booster vaccinations at intervals of not more than a year apart (or such lesser times as the Authority may, in an emergency, decide) Booster vaccinations at six months are not required, though these may be administered in accordance with the vaccine manufacturer’s recommendations if deemed appropriate by a trainer’s veterinary surgeon.

The horse must have been vaccinated against Equine Herpes Virus by a veterinary surgeon, and the vaccination must be licensed for use in UK.

Stand-Down period following vaccination
France: none of the vaccinations must have been given on the day of a race in which the horse is declared to run or on any of the 4 days before the race.
Great Britain: none of the vaccinations must have been given on the day of a race in which the horse is declared to run or on any of the 6 days before the race. This Stand-Down period applies to all vaccinations, including Equine Herpes Virus.

Failure to comply Horses arriving on racecourses in France that have not been correctly vaccinated against Equine Herpes Virus will not be permitted to run.

This Rule has not yet been published in the France Galop Rules of Racing. The requirements of the Rule will be made effective 3 months after publication. The BHA will communicate the date of publication as soon as it is made aware.

New ringworm certificate required from 1st December

From 1st December, if you are taking a horse previously affected by ringworm to the racecourse, a new form must be used to certify that it is no longer contagious. The form can be found on the BHA website here [and at the link at the end of this article.] The differences from the old certificate are:

  • The certificate is now valid for 14 days, rather than 30
  • The certificate now requires a stamp from the veterinary surgeon that is signing the certificate
  • The horse’s microchip number is now required
  • Section A: a diagnosis for the non-contagious dermatitis is now required
  • Section B: the BHA will now accept fungal culture and PCR results, in addition to fungal microscopy
  • Section C: the word ‘prescribed’ has been removed (as Imaverol is a POM-VPS, and may be obtained by a trainer without a vet’s prescription)
  • Section C: the vet is now signing to say that he/she has examined the horse post-treatment, and there is no evidence of active ringworm in his/her opinion. On the old-style certificate, the vet was signing to say that they were prescribing treatment (but not that the horse had been treated)

There is also a minor rule change in the pipeline relating to ringworm. The modification is to rule (C)31 such that a horse “which appears to be affected with any form of ringworm may be withdrawn.” Arguably this reflects how the rule is being applied now. The rule change is effective from 1st January 2018.


EHV vaccine to become mandatory to race in France

The BHA has been told by France Galop that from January 2018, it will make vaccination against Equine Herpes Virus mandatory under their rules of racing. We understand that the BHA and Animal Health Trust do not favour the French policy. However, a letter written by France Galop and found on the internet by a British trainer states, “The EHV vaccination was already mandatory in France for the breeding stock…and our stakeholders have expressed the will to have all the racehorses vaccinated. Consequently we have decided to extend the benefit of this vaccination to the training and racing areas.”

The French policy appears to disregard the shortage of vaccine in Europe and the problems encountered by trainers who have used imported vaccine. Although the letter indicates that the rule has not yet been published, it would be wise to plan ahead now if you intend to have runners in France after 1st January 2018.


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”.