Category: BHA and Regulatory Updates

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.




Helmet Bounty extended to Amateur Jockeys


Any amateur jockey who sustains a concussion as a result of a fall whilst riding under Rules can now claim a Concussion Bounty in line with the system used by professional jockeys.

If you are unlucky enough to sustain such an injury and have had a red entry into your medical book, you will need to replace your crash helmet.  Upon receipt of the damaged helmet, the sum of £80 will be rewarded to you in order for you to replace your helmet.

To benefit from this entitlement please post your damaged helmet to the AJA at Crews Hill House, Alfrick, Worcester WR6 5HF together with the attached form in order for your claim to be processed.

Please click on this link to download the form required to be posted along with the damaged helmet:


BHA introduce 2 new intermediate Flat races to autumn calendar


In view of the success over the last 3 years of the Betfair Novice Amateur Flat Series (for amateur jockeys who have ridden no more than 3 Flat winners at the start of the current Flat season) the BHA have introduced 2 new Flat races for amateurs who have ridden no more than 10 Flat winners.  (Wins counted are those gained under Rules; both Arab and point-to-point races are discounted.)  These races have been programmed within the old gentlemen’s Fegentri slots of the past so that they do not impinge on the existing racing calendar and are programmed at:
ROYAL WINDSOR on 5th October: FIVE FURLONGS for 3 year olds and upwards rated 51-65. To be ridden by Amateur Riders who, prior to 2nd October 2015, have not ridden more than 10 winners and who are members of AJAGB by the time fixed for declaration of riders under Rule (f)92.2 of the Rules of Racing
NOTTINGHAM on 28th October: ONE MILE 2 FURLONGS for 3 year olds and upwards rated 46-60. To be ridden by Amateur Riders who, prior to 25th October 2015, have not ridden more than 10 winners under the Rules of Racing or the Rules of a recognised Racing Authority and who are members of AJAGB by the time fixed for the declaration of riders under Rule (F)92.2 of the Rules of Racing.
A BHA Jockey Coach will be in attendance on each day for a pre-race coursewalk and a post-race debrief for all jockeys.



Now that the BHA on-line licensing system is up and running, Amateur Jockey Permits for a full 12 months are issued throughout the year.

If your Amateur Rider Permit expires during June or July, please ensure that you submit an online renewal application as soon as possible.

If you need any assistance, please call BHA Licensing 0207 152 0140 or e-mail the Licensing Team on

An application for renewal can be started from the British Horseracing Authority website ( at the following link and should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the date for which the Permit is required.

Jockey Concussion Test Reminder + Concussion Bounty details


Baseline concussion tests for licences should be booked by jockeys. However, appointments for post-concussion testing MUST be made via BHA Medical Department: 0207 152 0138. Jockeys cannot book these appointments direct! This is partly due to the cost but also to ensure that jockeys have a neurology appointment in place. Any queries, please contact Helen Pavitt, Senior Medical Administrator in the Chief Medical Adviser’s Office at the BHA or Pippa on 0207 152 0138 e:

If you are unlucky enough to sustain concussion whilst race riding under Rules, the return of your damaged crash hat to the AJA at Crews Hill House will entitle you to an £80 concussion bounty which will be paid into the claimant’s Weatherbys account or by cheque if no account is held. Please contact the AJA for the appropriate form if you would like to take advantage of this useful scheme which will fund the purchase of your replacement crash hat. Please note: this scheme only applicable to diagnosis on the racecourse by the RMO and does not apply for concussion sustained off the racecourse.