Category: BHA and Regulatory Updates
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.
ALL AMATEUR RIDERS PLEASE READ AND NOTE:
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!
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.”
Some good news to cheer up amateur jockeys at long last!
Additional Amateur Flat Races Added: Newcastle 7th & 15th April; Doncaster 24th April
Due to the relaxation of government restrictions around grassroots sport participation, the BHA have scheduled an additional three flat races for Amateur Riders throughout April. Race details are as follows:
7th April – Newcastle – 10f 4yo+ Class 4 Handicap (61-80)
15th April – Newcastle – 7f 4yo+ Class 5 Handicap (56-75)
24th April – Doncaster – 8f 4yo+ Class 6 Handicap (46-65)
**Please note – the programmed Amateur riders 12f Handicap at Doncaster on 28th March has reverted to professional jockeys as it falls before the relaxation of restrictions**
Many thanks to BHA Race Planning for their co-operation in making these additions possible.
With the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown announced on Monday including that grass roots sport cannot return until 29th March, the resumption of outdoor grassroots sports for children and adults from the end of March is earlier than many expected. The date dovetails with the return of point-to-points in England which has been announced by the Point-To-Point Authority.
The one big caveat is the three-week gap following the full reopening of schools. The Government will carefully monitor the impact of each stage of its roadmap on Covid-19 transmission rates and will be watching for any significant increases in infections during March.
The BHA would welcome seeing amateur jockeys able to ride again and are currently working with The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, as they have throughout the pandemic, to ensure that this happens as soon as possible.
Please note the following confirmation from the BHA regarding amateur Flat All-Weather fixtures programmed for Southwell (19th) and Lingfield (29th):
“Following the latest government guidance around the continuation of elite sport during lockdown, it has been necessary to amend the conditions of race number 60285 THE HEED YOUR HUNCH AT BETWAY HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 6) at Southwell on 19 January and 60434 THE PLAY 4 TO SCORE AT BETWAY HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 6) at Lingfield on 29 January.
“Government guidance only permits elite professional sport under these conditions, so these races will revert to professional jockeys only.
“Further announcements regarding future Flat Amateur Jockeys’ races will be made once the restrictions have been reviewed by government in due course.”
Following the end of national lockdown due from 00:01 on Wednesday 2nd December and the newly revamped Tier system coming into effect at the same time, the BHA understand that amateur racing can go ahead as planned.
Please note: This could be subject to change, but as of today amateur races will be run as planned within the Racing Calendar.
Many thanks to all at the BHA and to supporting racecourses with the publication of an additional 6 amateur races to add to the calendar for September as follows:
- 3 September HAYDOCK (gents only)
- 8 September CATTERICK BRIDGE
- 11 September CHESTER
- 19 September NEWMARKET
- 22 September BEVERLEY
- 28 September HAMILTON
Full details can be found here:
RACING CALENDAR UPDATE: JOCKEYS TAKE NOTE!
Following discussions with the BHA regarding the programming of 2 amateur races on 21 August, the following has been agreed:
- BATH 19 August 1m6f Class 6 Handicap will be for amateur jockeys
- WOLVERHAMPTON 21 August will now be for professional jockeys
Thanks to all working to make it work in these challenging times!
The latest revised list is here: https://www.amateurjockeys.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Races-AUGUST-2020-ReRevised.pdf
GOOD NEWS FOR AMATEUR JUMP JOCKEYS !
The BHA’s latest update included changes to jockey restrictions for flat fixtures which are based on further assessment of risk and logistical factors.
To ensure consistency across both codes, jockey eligibility for Jump races in the initial stages following resumption will be as follows:
1 – 12 July: restricted to riders who have ridden at least 40 winners under rules·
13 – 19 July: restricted to riders who have ridden at least 20 winners under rules
20 July onwards: no specific restrictions – normal qualifications apply
This ruling applies to both amateur and professional jump jockeys and the tally refers to any winner that would typically count towards a rider losing their claim (Flat, Jump, Foreign etc.)
The new season for the NH Amateur Championships will therefore start on 20 July when there are no restrictions on participating jockeys.
It is with regret that the BHA have advised today that owing to the current Covid 19 pandemic there will be no amateur riders’ races scheduled until September 2020 at the earliest, subject to review nearer the time.