After the announcement of regulatory integration between Purebred Arabian and Thoroughbred racing in the UK last December, further integration steps were released in a joint statement by the British Horseracing Authority and Arabian Racing Organisation on Tuesday. A period of phased implementation by ARO began with the support of the Racing Foundation after the initial announcement.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there were inevitable delays, however a series of interim measures are being introduced in 2021. Existing BHA licenced trainers will be permitted to train both Purebred Arabians and Thoroughbreds from the same premises. Existing ARO trainers who wish to continue training only Arabians next year should apply for an ARO licence as normal, but if they also wish to apply for a BHA licence for 2022, they should contact ARO for more details. Finally new Purebred Arabian trainers who wish to train in 2021 should apply to the ARO office and utilise next year towards fulfilling the requirements of the BHA licencing process for 2022. ARO will continued to administer all facets of Arabian racing in 2021, with the organisation providing the BHA and Weatherbys all appropriate data relating to trainers, horses, stable staff and owners as and when appropriate or required.
Charles Gregson, ARO Chairman commented, “The announcement last December that integration was to begin, was the most significant breakthrough for our sport since we started racing under the guidance of the BHA following our inception. It has always been the vision of our Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that Arabian racing would be fully integrated alongside the British thoroughbred racing industry.
“This brings the UK into line with the rest of the world, where Arabians are routinely trained alongside Thoroughbreds. It was also encouraging to welcome new owners, trainers and jockeys to the sport in the UK, even with the new restrictions.
“We thank the BHA and the Racing Foundation in enabling this progress towards integration. We are also very grateful to all our participants, sponsors, the officials, racecourses and supporters for their commitment to Arabian racing this year and look forward to the 2021 season.”