Category: BHA and Regulatory Updates

Racing sets out plan for lifting raceday COVID-19 restrictions


British racing has today outlined plans for easing the remaining COVID-19 raceday restrictions, which would see Weighing Room testing requirements lifted by the end of February. 

Under racing’s provisional timetable, agreed by the industry’s COVID-19 Group: 

  • From Monday 28 February, Weighing Room attendees will no longer be expected to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test prior to entry.
  • From Monday 14 March, racecourses will no longer be required to configure the Weighing Room complex for the purposes of COVID-19 infection control.

These changes are possible due to encouraging trends in both the national data and our own pre-raceday testing, together with anticipated government announcements on self-isolation requirements – all of which help reduce the business continuity risk to racing.

Weighing Room access will continue to be restricted to essential personnel only. Anyone testing positive for or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should not enter the Weighing Room complex until they can demonstrate evidence of a negative test.

Regular self-testing with lateral flow devices will still be encouraged for all Weighing Room personnel and raceday attendees, as will completing a full course of COVID-19 vaccinations, including the booster jab. This will help protect raceday workers and further reduce the risk of COVID-19 related disruption. 

Racecourses are also advised to consider how best-practice improvements such as increased ventilation, additional personal space, and enhanced environmental hygiene can be factored into longer-term planning around changing room arrangements to protect against other respiratory infections.

Announcements from the UK and Scottish Governments on the easing of COVID rules, anticipated for early next week, are unlikely to delay racing’s proposed timetable, but the final plans will be considered in line with government publications.

Commenting on racing’s prospective timetable, BHA Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Jerry Hill, said:

“It is with cautious optimism that we are able to publish a provisional timetable for the removal of the remaining racecourse mitigations, starting with the testing requirement for Weighing Room entry.

“We are satisfied that the data continues to move in the right direction, and that with the UK Government likely to rescind the legal obligation to self-isolate, the risk of COVID-related disruption is further diminished.

“This decision is only possible thanks to the continued efforts of industry colleagues both on and off the racecourse, who have prioritised the health, wellbeing, and livelihood of others. It is through your collective efforts that we have thus far managed to avoid interruption to the racing schedule.

“We will of course continue to monitor the situation over the next few weeks. COVID has not gone away, and therefore racecourse attendees should continue to exercise the necessary vigilance: vaccination and regular testing are still highly advisable.”



From Tuesday 11 January, everyone entering the Weighing Room complex on a raceday will be required to present on arrival evidence of a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT).

As confirmed previously, the intention of racing’s industry COVID-19 Group was to introduce testing at the earliest possible opportunity, with a temporary pause agreed to enable participants to secure a supply of tests. 

With reports of improvement in the supply of LFTs, regular testing will come into effect from Tuesday. We will continue to monitor the availability of tests and keep you updated as to any further adjustments to the requirements should they be necessary. 

Everyone planning to attend fixtures from Tuesday 11 January should ensure that they: 

  1. Continue to order LFTs here;
  2. Download the NHS App here;
  3. Complete the LFT before you leave to go racing; please do not come racing without a negative LFT.
  4. Upload your LFT result here;
  5. On arrival show any of the following as evidence of a negative test: Text reporting a negative test; Email reporting a negative test; NHS App COVID Pass Data;
  6. If you test positive, isolate and follow instructions here.

The LFT should be completed on each day of racing before travelling, with Weighing Room attendees required to demonstrate the negative LFT either via the NHS App, or an NHS text message or email address confirming the result. A photograph of a test will not be accepted, nor will the actual test kit.

Any person who does not have a valid negative LFT result will be refused entry to the Weighing Room. LFT kits will not routinely be available on-site, so those planning to enter the Weighing Room are advised to complete the test before departing for the racecourse. 

We would also recommend maintaining a small number of unused LFTs in your car as a contingency measure, should you or a colleague arrive at the racecourse without evidence of a negative test.  

COVID-19 cases remain high across the country, with positive cases also having been identified within the racing industry and amongst Weighing Room personnel – resulting in self-isolation and absence from work.  

Regular testing in racing will add a further layer of protection for our business-critical personnel and protect the health and availability of everyone in the Weighing Room. Vaccination also remains an essential part of the protection against COVID-19 and you can book an appointment here.

Thank you, as ever, for your continued efforts to keep your Weighing Room colleagues safe.

Programme update


Please note the following updates to the amateur programme:

27th October at Nottingham: Gentleman Jockeys only: Finale

3rd November at Nottingham: Lady Jockeys only: Finale

Revised Race Programme now listed for Sept to Dec


Please refer to for the latest version of races for September through to the end of 2021. Please be prepared for further tweaks and possible additions as work continues on this.

Please note:

  • 4th October Windsor race moved to Lingfield on 2nd November
  • 18th October Windsor race moved to Bath on same date;

Additional All-Weather races:

  • 9th November Newcastle
  • 25th November Wolverhampton
  • 9th December Chelmsford

Many thanks to all Clerks of Courses involved for their help and co-operation in accommodating these races together with the loyal support from BHA Race Planning.

Jockey Medical Record Books


Will all amateur jockeys please note that the BHA have amended Rule (E) 16 to . An Amateur Jockey must present their Medical Record Book if requested by a Racecourse Medical Officer or an Official .  This amendment came into force on 1st February 2021. 

To amend the requirement so that Amateur Jockeys are only required to present their MRB if they sustain an injury or otherwise need to see a medical officer on a racecourse (Annex A).

Since the resumption of racing on 1st June the BHA have waived Rule (E)16 so Amateur Jockeys are not currently required to present their MRB. This was designed to limit congestion in the weighing room and documentation requiring checking and signing during the current Covid-19 situation. 

All professional and amateur jockeys as well as RQC holders are on the BHA’s electronic medical record (EMR) system called Smartabase. All injuries and illnesses are documented on Smartabase and as a result the MRB is now obsolete for licensed racecourses. 

Smartabase has not been introduced to the Point to Point field as yet and therefore MRBs are still required for all RQC holders.

Any time an amateur rider who also holds a RQC sees a RMO on the racecourse they must present their MRB so there is a record of that injury/illness for when they next ride at a Point to Point meeting.   

Any queries please contact Kerry Kuznik, Medical Assistant and Jockey Athlete Research Co-ordinator at the BHA on 0207 152 0111 or e-mail Kerry at

Concussion Centres Update


Please find attached the BHA’s updated list of Concussion Centres available to all jockeys.

Amateurs to adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols on return to racecourse


There is just under a week to go before amateur racing returns on Monday next, 29th March, in line with the easing of Government lockdown restrictions. 


In order to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus and safeguard the industry from disruption, all amateur riders are asked to continue to observe the BHA COVID-19 Protocols when returning to the racecourse. Here is a reminder – click on the link below:

Riders are also asked to keep to an absolute minimum time spent on the racecourse both in the weighing and changing rooms as well as in other infection control (Green Zone) areas.

Please do not arrive any earlier at the racecourse than necessary. If arriving early, please stay in your vehicle until it is absolutely essential to enter the weighing room. Also please remember to leave the course as soon as possible after you have finished racing.

It is really important that numbers and time spent on the racecourse is kept to a minimum in an effort to reduce risk and keep everyone safe. Please play your part!Thanks everyone and good luck!

Amateurs look forward to Aintree Foxhunters


Many thanks to all involved at the BHA and Aintree Racecourse for their assistance working together to ensure that amateur jockeys can look forward to returning to Aintree for the Foxhunters – we cannot wait!

BHA announces changes to race conditions for amateurs hoping to ride in the Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase at Aintree

  • Category B Amateurs must have ridden in a Chase or Hurdle contest in Britain or Ireland at least once between 1 November 2020 and 5 April 2021 to compete in Aintree Foxhunters’
  • Additional races scheduled to increase opportunities for those affected

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today confirmed an alteration to the conditions of the Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase at Aintree on Thursday 8 April 2021 that will restrict eligibility to Category B Amateurs who have ridden in at least one steeple chase or hurdle race under the Rules of Racing and/or the Rules of Irish NH Committee between 1 November 2020 and 5 April 2021 inclusive.

Amateur riders will be permitted to return to race riding in England in line with the return of amateur sports, set out as part of the UK Government’s plan for the lifting of lockdown restrictions in England in the coming weeks and months. At this stage, this will happen no earlier than Monday 29 March.

The BHA has taken part in discussions with representatives of Aintree Racecourse and the Amateur Jockeys Association, where concerns were raised about the proximity of a potential return of amateur sport and the Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase. It has therefore been decided that the new minimum number of rides should be introduced for this year’s race, with an additional race scheduled at each of the following meetings to increase the opportunities available to meet the criteria:

Uttoxeter – 1 April

Carlisle – 3 April

Market Rasen – 4 April

Chepstow – 5 April

The Jockey Club’s Regional Head of Racing – North West and Aintree Racecourse Clerk of the Course, Sulekha Varma, said: “The Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase is one of the pinnacles of the Amateur Jockeys’ season and I am thrilled that we look set to have Amateur Jockeys back on course for the race in 2021.

“We are sympathetic to the challenging year that Amateur Jockeys in Britain have had and, with the considerable hiatus in their normal season of both Point-to-Points and racing under rules, we are keen to ensure that all jockeys are ready to take on the Grand National Fences in April. I hope that all Amateur Jockeys wishing to ride at Aintree will do their best to make use of the additional opportunities provided between 29 March and 5 April.”