Category: BHA and Regulatory Updates

Betfair Series date changes: Novice Riders please note


18th July: Catterick Bridge
25th July: Leicester
1st August: Redcar
14th August: Thirsk
17th August: Nottingham
27th August: Ripon
6th September: Carlisle
8th October: Royal Windsor
Attention all novice amateur riders: Important update:
  • Due to circumstances beyond our control, the following race at ROYAL WINDSOR has been re-scheduled within the Racing Calendar:
 SUNDAY 12TH AUGUST: ROYAL WINDSOR: now a mixed amateur riders race;
BETFAIR novice riders’ date = 8TH OCTOBER which will be the final in this year’s series.
  • More BETFAIR updates and good news for NOVICE RIDERS:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Betfair race originally planned for CARLISLE on 30th August will now remain a novice riders race but not carry Betfair sponsorship. The same race conditions remain and a Jockey Coach will be in attendance but this race will not count towards the Betfair Series.
The CARLISLE leg of the Betfair Series, the penultimate race in the series, will now take place on Thursday 6th September before the finale at Royal Windsor on Monday 8th October.
We are most grateful to Carlisle Racecourse (and all other Betfair supporting racecourses) for all of their help and support.
Carlisle are now giving us not only a gentlemen’s (an additional fixture) and a ladies race this month, but also two novice riders races. Many thanks to Carlisle Racecourse’s Executive.
The Betfair 8 Race Novice Riders Series now looks like this:
18th July: Catterick Bridge
25th July: Leicester
1st August: Redcar
14th August: Thirsk
17th August: Nottingham
27th August: Ripon
6th September: Carlisle
8th October: Royal Windsor



Following a period of consultation with industry stakeholders, the BHA Board has approved changes to the Rules of Racing regarding safety vests which come into force from 1st October 2018:

  • Level 1 safety vests to be replaced by Level 2 safety vests EN 13158:2009 or 2018
  • Weight allowance: an extra 1 lb in addition to the current 2 lbs making a total of 3 lbs allowance for the vest

The amended rules are as follows:

 For implementation from October 1st 2018 

Schedule (D)2 – Equipment PART 1 

Design of safety vests 

6. A safety vest is approved by the Authority if it meets (BS) EN 13158: 2009 or 2018. 

7. The minimum acceptable standard for a safety vest is Level 2 

8. A safety vest must not be 

8.1 modified in any way, or 

8.2 attached to the horse or any equipment carried by the horse. 

Rule (B)22 – Weighing out procedure 

22.6 The Clerk of the Scales will not allow a Rider to be weighed out for any race unless he is wearing a safety vest which conforms to a standard approved by the Authority (see Rule (D)36 (safety vests, skull caps and saddles)). 

22.7 Rule (D)42 (weighing out) specifies requirements applying to a Rider on weighing out, including the items he must include in the scale. 

22.8 Overweight will be rounded down to the nearest 1lb unit. 

22.9 Subject to Paragraph 22.10, to compensate for being required to wear a safety vest, the weight of a Rider on weighing out will automatically be allowed at 3lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales). 

22.10 During the months of December, January and February, to compensate for wearing a safety vest and extra clothing, the weight of the Rider on weighing out for a flat race will automatically be allowed at 4lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales).

Conditional Course upcoming at BRS end June


Are you an amateur Cat B licensed jockey looking to turn professional in the near future? Then read on!!
The British Racing School has kindly programmed an additional Conditional Jockey Course from 25 to 29 June.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a Course purely for Category B Amateurs converting to Conditional only. This course is NOT for brand new applicants or Category A Amateurs wanting to become Conditionals.
The Course is a last minute addition to this year’s programme and there will not be another Conditional Course until mid-August after this.
If there is anyone wanting to ride as a Conditional over the summer who currently holds a Category B Permit, they need to act fast and get their applications in to the BHA as soon as possible.
DO NOT FORGET!!: Current BHA Rules state that any conditional/apprentice jockey who wants to revert to amateur status can only do so whilst aged 25 or under and with no more than 25 wins as a professional!
Any queries please contact Max Milward, Licensing Assistant at the BHA on 0207 152 0145.

Course walk on offer for all amateur jockeys prior to Cheltenham rides


By kind arrangement with Cheltenham Racecourse the following has been arranged for any Amateur Jockey riding at Cheltenham Festival:

Former jockey and BHA Coach Carl Llewellyn will be offering a Course Walk at the Cheltenham Festival prior to racing each day.  The initiative mirrors that of the previously established course walks at Aintree.  The majority of amateurs riding at Cheltenham are invariably experienced and many are previous course winners but those jockeys with inexperience of Cheltenham are encouraged to try and attend the walk.

Please meet Carl in the Weighing Room from 11:30 am.

Good luck to all amateur jockeys riding at Cheltenham!

Amateur jockey name details in racecards


The AJA have always included all amateur jockeys’ Christian names when publishing tables to make all amateur jockeys more “user-friendly” to the racing public and to help raise all amateurs’ profiles.

After much discussion it has at last been agreed with the BHA that this can apply to all amateur jockeys when names appear in the press and on racecards but this is subject to each individual amateur jockey’s wishes.

From 1st March 2018 all amateur jockeys’ names will be made up of a title, forename (in full) and surname as opposed to the current system whereby most jockeys are known only by title, initial and surname.  If you would prefer a different style from this, please respond via e-mail to by no later than Monday 12th February.

If you are happy with the proposed new racing style, you do not need to do anything and you will be notified when the changes have been made.

Reminder: AJA AGM Tuesday 6th February @ Welcombe Stratford


Diary reminder: AJA AGM (originally planned for Monday 4th December) takes place on Tuesday 6th February to maximise attendances.

The AGM will take place in The Oak Room, The Welcombe Hotel, Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 0NR at 12 noon and all AJA members are welcome.

ALL AJA members are welcome but please e-mail if you plan to attend in order for catering to be booked.

Last chance for Cat B course pre Cheltenham & Aintree


Are you hoping to ride at this year’s Cheltenham Festival or Aintree but need your Cat B licence?

The 22-26 January Rider Assessment course is virtually full but there are a few spaces on the 12-16 February course.

Please note: This is the LAST CHANCE for applicants to complete Category B training prior to Cheltenham Festival and Aintree. The next course is to be held at the BRS on 14-18 May.

For all queries regarding this please call Henry Bradley at BHA Licensing on 0207 152 0140.

Are you thinking of turning Conditional in the near future?


Any amateur jockeys with a view to turning conditional in the near future should be aware that a Conditional Jockeys Licence Course is taking place from 19th February until 2nd March at the British Racing School.  In order to attend, applicants must successfully complete one of the Pre-Assessment days:

  • 8 January 2018 at British Racing School
  • 10 January 2018 at Northern Racing College


Brand new Conditionals and Category ‘A’ Amateurs who wish to turn Conditional must attend the full two weeks of the Licence Course.  Category ‘B’ Amateurs only have to attend the second week of the Course.

After February there will not be another Conditional Course until August 2018!  Any Amateurs who are thinking about applying for a Conditional Licence in the next month or two, must submit applications to BHA Licensing  as soon as possible!

If you have any queries please call Max Milward  on 0207 152 0145.

Cat B amateurs only for all Festival amateur races


Cheltenham Racecourse announces today a change to entry conditions for amateur riders taking part in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase and the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase races at The Festival in March.

From 2018 onwards, in line with the G2 National Hunt Chase, these two amateur races will be restricted to those holding a Category B Permit.

Amateur jockeys holding a Category B Permit require at least 15 completed rides under the Rules of Racing, the majority of which must have come over obstacles or at least 20 completed rides in Point-to-Points and/or under the Rules of Racing.

Holders of an equivalent permit from a recognised overseas racing authority will also be eligible to ride at The Festival (for example, a Category C Permit issued in Ireland will be valid).

In 2017, all those riding in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase held a Category B amateur rider permit and just four of the 23 riders having a Category A licence for the St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase.

Simon Claisse, Regional Head of Racing, South West & Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham, commented: “The Festival is the best four days of Jump racing in the calendar and has grown into an event which receives worldwide attention.

“An important and historic dimension to The Festival is the provision of races for amateur riders alongside those for professionals. We are proud of this tradition, which goes all the way back to the foundation of Jump racing.

“This change to the entry conditions for amateur riders will ensure that all competitors have appropriate experience over fences to compete at this level and also by announcing this change now it gives jockeys enough time to qualify for their Category B licence.”

Sarah Oliver, CEO of the Amateur Jockeys Association, declared: “It is welcome news to the Amateur Jockeys Association concerning this change in race conditions for the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

“These showcase races are anticipated from one season to the next by the amateur fraternity and it is only right that the race conditions should reflect the prestige of them. Thank you Cheltenham!”

Nick Sutton, Acting Chairman of the Point-to-Point Authority, added: “The St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase is one of the most prominent races for amateurs in the sport.

“The competitive nature of the race, plus the additional pressures of a 70,000 crowd and TV coverage, make it only an appropriate contest for experienced riders who hold a Category B licence.”

Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer for the British Horseracing Authority, said: “The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the Jump season, and each year the interest and scrutiny on all of the races run at the meeting grows.

“The changes to entry conditions for amateur riders announced today have the full support of the BHA and will ensure that only the very best-qualified amateur jockeys take part in what are thorough tests for both horse and rider.

“While we understand that this will impact current category A permit holders, the sport must always look at ways it can improve safety and welfare for our participants and our horses.

“Any riders currently holding a category A permit who wish to enquire about gaining a category B permit should contact the BHA Licensing team as a matter of priority.”


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.