Category: BHA and Regulatory Updates

Impending New Rule for Body Protectors


Calling all jockeys! Are you thinking of buying a new body protector?

As of 1st January 2017, all jockeys racing in Ireland 🇮🇪(National Hunt, Flat and Point-to-Point jockeys) have been required by the Turf Club to wear a minimum of a level 2 body protector. (An increase in the weight allowance from 2lbs to 3lbs has been made to accommodate this rule change under Irish Rules of Racing.)

Within the next 6 months (possibly end March 2018) this Rule will be phased in within the UK under BHA Rules and will become MANDATORY in about 12 months time (date details to follow) with a Rule Change.

This will bring our 🇬🇧 Rules of Racing into line with Ireland’s and help to protect jockeys from serious injury when sustaining a fall. Further details will appear as soon as details are available from the BHA.

Reminder: AJA membership emergency procedure


A reminder that all amateur Flat races require AJA membership for amateur jockeys.  If you are unable to be jocked up over the weekend by Weatherbys due to lapse of your membership, then in this emergency please call Weatherbys Jockey Desk on 01933 440011 between 8:30 am & 12:00 pm on Saturday or between 9:00 am &  1:00 pm on Sunday to make payment via card and be registered instantly.



Please take the time to read this if you are considering turning professional in the future or if you are thinking of applying for a Category B course
Important update for
– all amateur jockeys wanting to apply for a Cat B licence and
– all amateur jockeys wishing to turn professional:
A major change has taken place regarding the length of the Category B licence course which up until now has been held as a combined 5-day residential course for both Conditional and Amateur Jockeys. (Amateur jockeys must have completed 15 jump rides under Rules or 20 rides in point-to-points or a combination of the two.)
From the date of the next Category B course to held the British Racing School from 20 to 24 February 2017, the course will remain as 5 days for amateur jockeys wishing to obtain their Category B.
However, for professional jockeys there will be an extension of a further 5 days which must be attended before their Conditional licence will be granted by the BHA.
Further dates for Cat B courses in 2017:
British Racing School, Newmarket:
15 to 19 May
Northern Racing College, Doncaster:
17 to 21 July
2 to 6 October
There are a limited number of places funded by the AJA but once these places have been taken, the cost of the course is £830.
The following 2nd week conditional course dates for 2017 are:
1-12 May therefore 2nd week for Cat B amateurs = 8-12 May
27 Nov – 8 Dec therefore 2nd week for Cat Bs = 4-8 December
To book your place on the above course, please call BHA Licensing on 0207 152 0148 without delay.
This is obviously going to require forward planning on your part. Please spread the word with your weighing room colleagues.



Further to the BHA notice of 29 January 2015, BSEN 1384:2012 and CSN EN 1384:2012 has been removed as an acceptable standard on and after 1st January 2017! Please check your skull cap NOW – checks will be made when you next weigh out on the racecourse!

Help checking your cap: helmet-skull-cap-flow-chart

More information here: helmet-information-sheet-jan-2017

The revised required standards are:

Design of skull cap

1. A skull cap is approved by the Authority if it meets PAS 015: 2011, SNELL E2001, VG1 01.040 2014-12, or UTAC/CRITT 04/2015.

2. The skull cap must not have a chin cup, cradle or draw lace.

3. The chin strap must pass under the jaw and be attached to the harness by a quick release buckle.

4. The skull cap must not have metal hooks.

Fitting of skull cap

5.1 The skull cap must be of the correct size for the Rider and must be correctly fitted and fastened.

5.2 The face harness must be correctly adjusted and the chin strap fastened at all times when the Rider is mounted on a horse.

Do not forget:  a helmet/skull cap which has been involved in an impact should be replaced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. Jockeys who sustain a concussion under Rules which is diagnosed at the time by a Racecourse Medical Officer are eligible for an £80.00 voucher towards a replacement helmet/skull cap under the BHA/BETA Concussion Bounty Scheme.

Cat B licence required for Aintree Foxhunter!


2017 dates for the Category B Rider assessment courses have just been finalised at both The British Racing School and the Northern Racing College:
NRC: 16-20 January 2017
BRS: 20-24 February 2017
These are the ONLY two 5-day Category B assessment courses before the AINTREE FOXHUNTER race (in which riders must hold a Cat B Permit).
Traditionally this race generates the most interest from Cat A holders looking to progress to becoming Cat B riders.
Applicants must meet the Category B criteria in full before applying to BHA Licensing for a space on a course. A limited number of courses are available free of charge to AJA members. Any queries, please call Henry Bradley in BHA Licensing on 0207 152 0140.
The next opportunity for Category B Assessment following the above dates is not until May 15-19!

Lost Medical Record Book? Injured? Read on!


If you turn up at the races to ride with no Medical Record Book because you have either lost, mislaid or forgotten it, you MUST contact the Medical Adviser’s Office at the BHA IMMEDIATELY you discover that you do not have your MRB.
You can only ride if the BHA can be satisfied that you were not injured from your last ride with a phone call from the RMO on duty to the BHA and the return of the Attestation form completed by the RMO at the course.
Also a reminder that under Rules you MUST declare ANY injury sustained at the yard, at home, on the gallops, etc. This is a condition of your amateur licence and you will receive a letter from the BHA’s Disciplinary Department if you have omitted to declare an injury.
As always, the BHA Medical Department will do all that they can to help you back to racing in a timely manner following an injury, thereby ensuring you are safe to return.
If you have any queries on the above, please contact Helen Pavitt, Senior Medical Administrator in the Chief Medical Adviser’s Office at the BHA on 0207 152 0138 or you can e-mail Helen at



With the NH season now in full flow, this is of course a particularly busy time for the BHA’s Licensing Department not only with amateur jockeys’ licence renewals but also with new licence applications.
In order to avoid disappointment, AJA members are reminded that the BHA ask for 2 weeks to process a renewal application and this is in fact a Rule of racing:
D 20.3 The renewal application must be received at the Authority’s Office at least 2 weeks before the date on which the permit will be required.
Essentially, BHA Licensing would much rather have a quick phone call from an amateur jockey clarifying when their Permit is due to expire rather than 3 jockeys all submitting applications and expecting a 48 hour turnaround! Frequently medical clearances can delay processing Permits, making an immediate turnaround impossible.
All applicants are emailed 6 weeks prior to their Permit expiring with all the renewal information required to renew their Permits. Please can all jockeys respect this and thank you to those of you who already do so.
Good luck!




All amateur riders who aim to ride under Rules MUST have a baseline concussion test in place. (Professional jockeys must have these annually but for amateurs it is only once every 5 years unless aged 55 or over, when annual rules apply.)

The British Horseracing Concussion Protocol applies regardless of where the concussion takes place, whether on a racecourse, in a point-to-point, on the gallops, in a car crash, in the yard, or wherever.

Following a concussion, riders cannot return to racing until cleared by the British Horseracing Medical Department. This is the course of action required following a concussion:

You must send your medical record book to the BHA Medical Department as soon as possible after your accident.

  1. Wait until you have fully recovered and are symptom free
  2.  Contact British Horseracing Medical Department on 020 7152 0138 or 020 7152 0111/
  3. Indicate when you would like to start race riding again
  4. The BHA Medical Department will make an appointment for you to attend one of the Regional Centres to undertake (a) a repeat neuropsychological assessment and (b) a consultation with a consultant physician
  5. Following the appointment, the reports should be back within 2-4 working days and you will be notified once cleared.


For riders who hold a point-to-point permit only (ie do not have an Amateur A or B Licence) different rules apply:

Baseline concussion testing is not mandatory but is recommended. Action following a concussion is the same as for amateur jockeys (see above).

Any queries, please contact either the BHA Medical Department on 020 7152 0138 or Sarah Oliver at The Amateur Jockeys Association on 01886 884488

Each applicant must complete a Baseline test at one of the designated Regional test centres. Details of these centres can be found through the following link:


Rule amendments to be effective from 1st January 2016


UnknownThe AJA are pleased to advise that following a request from the AJA to the BHA, the deposit cost for an appeal by an amateur jockey has been adjusted, reducing it to be in line with the deposit cost for an appeal by an apprentice or conditional jockey.

All jockeys are advised that following consultation, the BHA Board approved the following Rule amendments which will be effective from 1st January 2016:

Rule (A)78. Bringing an appeal

78.3 No appeal notice may be lodged unless it is accompanied by a deposit of

78.3.1 in the case of an appeal by an Apprentice Jockey, Conditional Jockey or amateur rider £110, in any case where a financial penalty of £500 or less was imposed, and otherwise £250;

78.3.2 in any other case £220, in any case where a financial penalty of £500 or less was imposed, and otherwise £500.

Rule (B)46. Remounting or Pulling up a horse

46.1 If during the race a horse is remounted and continues in the race it shall, on an objection to the Stewards under Part 7, be disqualified.

46.2 No rider may remount after a race has started and ride back to the place appointed for unsaddling unless

46.2.1 he has been examined by a Racecourse Medical Officer, and

46.2.2 his horse has been examined by a Veterinary Surgeon.

46.3 Paragraph 46.2.1 does not apply if the Racecourse Medical Officer is unable to carry out the examination before completion of the veterinary examination under Paragraph 46.2.2.

46.4 Where a Rider pulls up for any of the reasons listed under Rule (D)45.3, he cannot subsequently re-join the race and must wait in the area where he pulled up until all contenders in the race have passed by and, if the race is a steeple chase or hurdle race, he must refrain from jumping any further Obstacles.

46.5 The horse of a Rider who is found to have contravened Paragraph 46.4 shall, on an objection to the Stewards under Part 7, be disqualified.

46.6 In this Rule Veterinary Surgeon means any qualified veterinary practitioner appropriately registered to practice.

Rule (D)37. Whips used for racing

37.1 No Rider may ride in any race unless he is carrying a whip approved by the Authority that complies with the specifications contained in Part 2 of Schedule 2.

37.2 Other than adjustments to the handle/grip, an approved whip must not be modified in any way (for example, by the addition of tape to the flap or shaft).

37.3 No substitute for a whip may be carried in any race.

37.4 A whip approved for racing in steeple chases or hurdle races may be carried in such races or in flat races, but a whip approved for flat racing may be carried in flat races only.

Rule (D)45. Riding to achieve the best possible placing

45.1 A Rider must

45.1.1 ride his horse throughout the race in such a way that he can be seen to have made a genuine attempt to obtain from his horse timely, real and substantial efforts to achieve the best possible placing, and

45.1.2 take and be seen to take all other reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race, however it develops, to ensure the horse is given a full opportunity to achieve the best possible placing.

45.2 For the purposes of Paragraph 45.1, whilst it is not necessary for the Rider to use the whip, the Rider must give his horse at least a hands and heels ride.

45.3 But the Rider must pull up the horse where

45.3.1 it is lame or injured,

45.3.2 it is exhausted, or

45.3.3 the Rider consider that it would be contrary to the horse’s welfare to continue riding out because the horse45.3.3.1 has no more to give or is ‘tailed off’ through fatigue, or has a problem which is materially affecting its performance.

45.4 Where the horse is lame or injured, the Rider must dismount immediately and must not ride to a finish.

Schedule (B)6 – Causing interference and improper use of whip


Improper use of whip

5. The Stewards should hold an enquiry into any case where a Rider has used his whip contrary to Paragraph 6.

Improper riding

6.1 The following are examples of uses of the whip which may be regarded as improper riding for the purposes of Rule 54.3.

Example 1 Using the whip on a horse

6.1.1 with the whip arm above shoulder height;

6.1.2 rapidly without regard to their stride (that is, twice or more in one stride);

6.1.3 with excessive force;

6.1.4 without giving the horse time to respond.

Example 2 Using the whip on a horse which is

6.1.5 showing no response;

6.1.6 out of contention;

6.1.7 clearly winning;

6.1.8 past the winning post.

Example 3 Using the whip on a horse in any place except

6.1.9 on the quarters with the whip in either the backhand or forehand position;

6.1.10 down the shoulder with the whip in the backhand position; unless exceptional circumstances prevail.

Example 4 Using the whip on a horse above the permitted level for frequency.

6.2 Use of the whip may be judged to be improper in other circumstances.


7.1 Horses will be subject to an inspection by a Veterinary Officer after the race.

7.2 A Trainer must remove or adjust rugs or sheets for the purposes of any inspection.

7.3 The Veterinary Officer will report to the Stewards every horse which is wealed or injured.

8. A Trainer must attend any enquiry into a wealed or injured horse trained by him and, in the event of a finding that the Rider is in breach of one of the examples in Paragraph 6, may be liable to Disciplinary Action pursuant to Rule (C)45 (which requires trainers to give pre-race instructions to riders).

Licensed amateurs who are AJA members benefit from 50% Racing UK discount


Did you know that one of the benefits of AJA membership for any licensed amateur jockey (Flat, Jump or Point-to-Point licence holders included) is that you are entitled to 50% discount of subscription to Racing UK?

This in itself actually would cover the cost of AJA membership (currently £100 for 12 months) within a year!

This generous discount is in addition to the automatic insurance which all AJA members are entitled to upon joining.

If you would like to apply for the RUK discount, please download the form from the link below and post it to the AJA for it to be actioned for you.