BHA

Britain To Run Raceday Testing Pilot

The British racing industry will launch a pilot scheme on Monday offering routine pre-raceday Covid testing for racecourse attendees including jockeys, valets and officials. The pilot, which is funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board, will last for an initial four-week period and will use regular and repeat Later Flow Testing to detect positive Covid-19 cases well in advance of race day. Dr Jerry Hill, the British Horseracing Authority's chief medical adviser, said, "Advances in testing means that it can now be delivered in a more rapid, convenient and targeted...

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BHA Moves To Stop Elliott Having Runners In Britain

As the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) investigates the case of the photograph of Gordon Elliott sitting astride a dead horse on his gallops, racing authorities in Ireland and Britain expressed their dismay at the distressing image.  A statement released by Horseracing Ireland on Monday afternoon read, "Horse Racing Ireland unreservedly condemns the disturbing photograph that appeared on social media at the weekend. "This image does not reflect the care, attention and respect that racehorses receive, and does a disservice to the thousands of people who look after their horses...

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Elliott Admits Photo on Dead Horse is Him

Leading National Hunt trainer Gordon Elliott, the subject of a firestorm this weekend after a photo of him sitting on a dead horse was circulated over the weekend, admitted that the photo was genuine. Hours after saying he would cooperate with investigators without specifically addressing the validity of the photo, he relented and said that the photo was real. The photo shows Elliott sitting astride a stricken horse on the ground. In it, the trainer is making a peace sign. Some versions circulated have the caption "New work rider." His...

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Gordon Elliott Cooperating With IHRB Regarding Disputed Photo

Three-time Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott is fully cooperating with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB)'s inquiry into a disputed photo allegedly displaying Elliott sitting on a dead horse, the BBC reported on Sunday. The image, which some believe to be digitally altered, appears to show Elliott making a peace gesture while sitting on a dead horse lying on its side and captioned "new work rider". "I'm aware of a photo circulating on social media," the trainer tweeted late on Saturday night. "The IHRB have been in contact with me...

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BHA Planning For Return Of Owners On Mar. 29

The British Horseracing Authority is planning to welcome owners and amateur riders back to racecourses on Mar. 29. Spectators are expected to be allowed back on racecourses in mid-May. This year's Cheltenham Festival and the start of the flat season on Mar. 27 will take place behind closed doors. A BHA update released on Friday evening read, "Following the publication on Monday, Feb. 22 of the UK Government's plan to ease lockdown restrictions in England, the industry Covid-19 group has carefully studied the implications for racing in England. Any changes...

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BHA Releases 2021 Fixtures

The British Horseracing Authority has released its full fixture list for 2021, with 1,486 total fixtures-897 flat and 589 jumps-- scheduled and with prizemoney minimums across all races set to return to pre-Covid levels with the Horserace Betting and Levy Board continuing its higher than usual contribution to prizemoney. There will be 1,079 afternoon fixtures and 407 evening fixtures. Jockeys will continue to be restricted to one meeting per day, with the situation to be reviewed when Covid protocols are no longer required. The BHA will reduce the number of...

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BHA To Pilot Saliva Testing For Jockeys

The British Horseracing Authority will this spring roll out a pilot programme to assess the use of saliva testing of jockeys on raceday to get near instant results for the presence of cocaine and other banned substances. The BHA is developing the pilot programme in conjunction with the Professional Jockeys Association. The programme would mean that any jockey testing positive could be stood down prior to race riding. Oral swabbing is highly cost effective, meaning that if successful the programme would result in a significant increase in raceday testing of...

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Hollie Doyle's Appeal Denied

The Feb. 8 appeal made by Hollie Doyle in regards to a six-day ban after improper use of the whip on Echo Brava (GB) (Proclamation {Ire}) at Kempton was denied by the British Horseracing Authority Disciplinary Panel, the BHA announced on Monday. The six-day ban will stand. The Group 1-winning rider had chosen to appeal after feeling that the stewards' tone when conducting the original inquiry was objectionable.

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Archie Watson Runners Out for Two Weeks Following Disease Positive

Trainer Archie Watson's runners will not compete at racecourses for at least two weeks after a horse was found to be positive for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) antibodies before an intended trip to France. Watson withdrew a trio of UK runners from races on Saturday and another runner from Southwell on Sunday. Horses infected with the virus are typically asymptomatic, but can display a fever, and conjunctivitis among other symptoms. "We recently had a horse undergo routine testing for transit to France as part of the new export testing protocols,"...

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BHA Responds to Hollie Doyle's Inquiry Concerns

The British Horseracing Authority has acknowledged jockey Hollie Doyle's concerns regarding the handling of a recent stewards' inquiry and expressed their thanks to Doyle on Monday. During a BHA inquiry last month, Doyle indicated concern over the inquiry process itself. Doyle's inquiry dealt with improper use of the whip aboard Echo Brava (GB) (Proclamation {Ire}) at Kempton in January and resulted in a six-day ban. She opted to appeal, in part due to the stewards' tone when conducting the original inquiry. "It's important all parties involved in a stewards' inquiry...

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Newbury in Talks With BHA to Keep Vaccination Centre Running While Racing

Newbury Racecourse is in talks with the British Horseracing Authority to continue its role as a vaccination centre while simultaneously holding racing. Located in Berkshire, the venue is a COVID-19 vaccination centre and has the capacity to vaccinate 1,500 people daily. However, that service was halted on Wednesday, as that date marked a National Hunt card. Vaccinations will resume on Thursday, Jan. 21. The next fixture at the course in on Feb. 13. Newbury is not providing vaccinations seven days a week at this time. "The BHA supports the idea...

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BHA's Nick Rust to Receive New Year's Honours

British Horseracing Authority Chief Executive Nick Rust will be honoured with an OBE for his service to the sport of horse racing. Rust steps down from his post on Jan. 1. He has served in his position for nearly six years and dealt with a range of issues, including changes to the Levy, presiding over a review of buying/selling bloodstock, the increasingly important improvements to horse welfare, increasing diversity and inclusion in the sport of horse racing in the UK and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Jumps jockey Bob Champion was...

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