Category: BHA and Regulatory Updates

All jockeys with agents to discuss horse footwear!


The BHA is currently working with Weatherbys to develop the Declaration process to include a section requiring the Trainer to confirm when declaring to run whether the horse will be fully shod, without hind shoes or unshod.  This may take until the end of 2015 before reaching completion.

All jockeys’ agents are being asked to take instruction from their jockeys as to whether they will accept bookings on their behalf if a horse will wear only front shoes or will be unshod in the race in which they are due to run.

In the unlikely event of a dispute, should the jockey refuse to ride because they consider they had been provided with inaccurate information by the trainer at the time of being booked, an enquiry will be held by the Stewards to establish the facts.  To assist the BHA in considering the matter, it is likely that the Stipendiary Stewards will contact you to confirm what information was provided to you by the trainer.  The BHA therefore strongly advise that you keep a record of the details provided to you by trainers.





PLEASE NOTE new Rule regarding body protectors comes into force on Tuesday 5th May 2015!  On and after 5th May, checks will be carried out by racecourse officials.  Any rider found to be wearing a Safety Vest without the EN 13158: 2009 will not be allowed to weigh out and will be liable to a fine of £290.

Body protectors – Jockeys must provide evidence if awaiting delivery of new vest to avoid fine


Body protector BHA Rules update in acknowledgement of depleted stocks at retail outlets:

In acknowledging the difficulty manufacturers are having in meeting the high volume of demand for Safety Vests meeting the 2009 Standard, required by the change to Schedule (D)2 effective from 1 April 2015, for the first month of the new Safety Vest requirements it has been agreed that those jockeys who are not in possession of a 2009 Standard Vest will be allowed to weigh out and ride in their old 2000 Standard Vest.

Jockeys who weigh out without a 2009 Standard Vest will still be reported to the Stewards and an enquiry held but where the jockey is able to demonstrate to the Stewards’ satisfaction that the reason for the non-compliance was because of circumstances beyond their reasonable control i.e an order placed in good time but still awaiting delivery, no fine will be imposed and the jockey given permission to continue using their 2000 Standard Vest up to and until 30 April 2015.

Those jockeys without a satisfactory explanation will be given the same period during which they will be allowed to continue wearing their 2000 Standard but will be fined £290 (Band C).

On and after 1 May 2015 all jockeys will be required to weigh out and ride in the 2009 Standard and anybody without the correct Standard will not be allowed to ride.




A final reminder that as from Wednesday 1st April new BHA rules regarding jockey vests come into force.

  • Body protectors to be worn for race riding under Rules must conform to BSEN 13158:2009.
  • Body protectors must not be modified in any way.  Taking a modified body protector onto the racecourse is an offence under the Rules of Racing!

Update on Standard for Jockey Skull Caps


The EU Commission withdrew EN 1384 as an acceptable Standard at the end of 2014. Being well aware that the BHA recently insisted that every jockey must update Skull Caps, they have agreed that for the purpose of on-going compliance with the requirements of Rule Schedule (D)2, the existing (BS or CSN) EN 1384:2012 Standard will remain an acceptable Standard until 31st December 2016. Please therefore note the amended Schedule:

Schedule (D)2 – Equipment
Skull caps and safety vests
Design of skull cap
1. A skull cap is approved by the Authority if it meets (BS) EN 1384: 2012*, PAS 015: 2011 or (CSN) EN 1384: 2012*.
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.
* (BS) EN 1384: 2912 and (CSN) EN 1384: 2012 will be removed as acceptable standards on and after 1 January 2017.

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.
Design of safety vests
6. A safety vest must conform to (BS) EN 13158: 2000 (level 1 only)*, (BS) EN 13158: 2009 or (CSN) EN 13158: 2009.
7. A safety vest must not be
7.1 modified in any way, or
7.2 attached to the horse or any equipment carried by the horse.
*see ‘Forthcoming Rule Changes’ on 3 November 2014 for further change effective from 1 April 2015.

Robert Hawker wins AJA Hurdle at Ludlow and Ross Birkett wins at Wolves


It was a busy day today for amateurs with races both at Ludlow and Wolverhampton. Many congratulations to Robert Hawker who enjoyed success at Ludlow in the largest field of the day, with 17 runners in the AJA Amateur Riders Handicap Hurdle.  Defying top weight on ASCENDANT for Johnny Farrelly, they won  going way much to the delight of owner Alan Clegg who was visiting the course for the first time from his home in Plymouth.


Not so lucky was Brodie Hampson who sustained a broken collar bone when her horse ARISTOCRACY fell at the third last when still well on contention.  Get well soon Brodie!

Meanwhile over at Wolverhampton 2014 Epsom Gentlemen’s Derby winning jockey Ross Birkett landed the 6f handicap on WATERLOO DOCK who was running for the first time on Tapeta.  All did not go to plan with front running tactics in mind as the horse reared when the stalls opened, but Ross kept the horse wide and enjoyed a game win. This was a great send off for Ross who leaves Newmarket for Australia in a week to work for Gai Waterhouse in Sydney where he will be riding 12 lots a morning.  The 3-month trip was won by Ross under the Alex Scott scholarship scheme and will keep him in great shape before returning to the UK in May.  



Amateur riders are being offered advice from former professional jockeys as part of the British Horseracing Authority’s Jockey Coaching Programme (JCP).


A series of workshops run by former professional jockeys are being put together. While initially set up to benefit conditional and apprentice jockeys, the BHA has recognised the importance of including amateur and point-to-point riders. An increasing number of young people – many having ridden in pony races – are now spending a season or two as amateurs before turning professional.


Gill Greeves, the BHA’s vocational training manager, says: “The very successful BHA Jockey Coaching Programme is growing from strength to strength with the recent launch of Regional Coaching Workshops. For an introductory period we are pleased to invite amateur riders to join this exciting new initiative – receiving expert tuition and advice from professional coaches can only benefit them, and I am sure amateur riders will gain by attending one of these workshops.”


The workshops will review and enhance technical and tactical skills, discuss fitness and nutrition and evaluate race-riding skills. A fee of £10 will apply.


Two dates for the JCP workshops:

27 January: British Racing School, Newmarket, (6 – 9pm) with Michael Tebbutt

5 February: Northern Racing College, Doncaster, (4 – 7pm) with Tom O’Ryan.



Riders should contact Jennie Durrans on 01638 665103 or e-mail



A number of Amateur Riders appear unaware of the recently updated standards for Skull Caps that came into effect from 1 October 2014.  To avoid any further problems of Riders turning up to racecourses without the correct standard of Skull Cap, please note the change detailed below and ensure future compliance. 


Also detailed below is the updated change to Safety Vest standards, which will have a direct effect on all Amateur Riders riding in races after 1 April 2015.


Skull Caps

From 1 October 2014 all riders must have a Skull Caps meeting either of the following standards: EN 1384: 2012 and/or PAS 015: 2011.  If a Skull Cap contains two labels, as long as one of the labels is the most up-to-date standard it will be acceptable.  Any Skull Cap that is not labelled or only has an earlier dated standard will not be allowed.  Any rider without a Skull Cap meeting either of the standards will not be allowed to ride and will be subject to a BHA fine of £140.


Safety Vests

The updating of Safety Vest standards is being conducted in two stages:


·         from 1 October 2014 Safety Vests (other than Level 1) must carry the standard EN 13158: 2009

·         from 1 April 2015 all Safety Vests (including Level 1) must carry the standard EN 13158: 2009


Please note that you have on-going responsibility as an Amateur Rider to visit the Rules of Racing website (http://rules.britishhorseracing.comon a regular basis to ensure that you are up to date with the Rules and any changes since your last ride.



The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today confirmed the details of amendments to starting procedures for Jump races, which will be written into the Rules of Racing and come into effect from Monday 13 October.


The new procedures have now been ratified by both the BHA Board and Rules Committee after a constructive meeting between BHA, Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and Aintree and Cheltenham Racecourses led to a series of proposals for the improvements.


Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for BHA, said:

“The amendments to the procedures are not radical but are intended to provide greater clarity for both starters and jockeys involved in Jump races.

“The procedures have been simplified where possible, which was the aim of all parties involved in the constructive discussions.


“The revised Rules and procedures are being circulated to all riders in advance of Monday, and representatives from BHA and PJA will be at racecourses next week to speak to riders and ensure everyone is aware of the Rules and answer any questions they might have.”


The revised starting procedures are as follows:


Unless unavoidable, races will not be started with horses coming directly from girthing pens to the start line.

When girthing is complete, the Starter in charge shall mount the rostrum, even if there is still time to wait before the designated off time.

When girthed up, horses will walk round on course some distance back from the Start. However, no start will be effected if the runners are too far back. It is envisaged that they will be approximately 25 – 30 yards maximum from the start line.

There will be no goggles shout or any indication of the time remaining to the designated start time. It is the responsibility of the riders to be prepared, including having their goggles down, for the start.

When the Starter, who will be at the top of the rostrum, wishes the field to walk forward he will raise his flag to indicate this and also give the normal voice instructions. The Advanced Flag Operator will simultaneously raise their flag which should also be visible to riders.

Having raised the flag, only the Starter will issue instructions to the riders

The field must come forward at a walk and no faster than a jig jog.

The start will be effected by the simultaneous release of the tape and dropping of the flag when the field have approached the Starter in such a way that he is satisfied that the start will be safe and fair.

Races will not be started if the field line up and commence to move forward before the Starter raises his flag or approach the start at faster than a jig jog before the tape is released and flag lowered.

If the above happens, the Starter will wave his flag to indicate that the race will not be started and the field must pull up. The Advance Flag Operator will also wave their flag to enable riders furthest away from the Starter to understand that the race will not be started.

Should the field be unable to pull up, the tape may be released for safety reasons but the Starter will continue to wave his flag and declare a false start which will be reciprocated by the Advanced Flag Operator.

If the race is not started at the first attempt, the field will regroup at the marker poles and a standing start to the satisfaction of the Starter will be effected by tape and flag. There will not be a further attempt at a walk-in start and runners will not be sent back further than is necessary to regroup at the marker poles.

Starters will report offending riders to the Stewards.

A two-week bedding in period has been agreed whereby any rider who does not conform to the revised Rules will be reported to the Stewards by the Starter, however the Stewards may not take punitive action against the rider where they believe their actions are not of wilful disregard for the new procedures. 




As posted earlier in April this year, the BHA introduce new skull cap standards from tomorrow, 1st October. This affects all jockeys whether professional or amateur riding on the racecourse and will also apply to jockeys riding in UK point-to-points from 1st April 2015.  Also from 1st April 2015 new style body protectors will be mandatory both under Rules and on the UK point-to-point course for all jockeys.

Some shops are short on stock so do not delay in getting yourself equipped to avoid disappointment.

All skull caps will need to comply with the following standards so check your kite marks NOW:

  • (BS) EN 1384: 2012 
  • CSN EN 14572: 2005
  • BS EN 14572: 2005
  • PAS 015: 2011 
  • or CSN EN 1384: 2012

We believe that the helmets listed below meet the new standards but please make sure you check this carefully when purchasing a new helmet!

Champion Vent Air Deluxe

Champion Euro Deluxe

Charles Owen APM

Charles Owen Adventura 2

Charles Owen Pro 2 Skull

Charles Owen J3

KEP Italian Cromo

GPA Jock Up 1

All skull caps will need to be labelled with the new kite mark and date standards to satisfy the BHA checks!

You will not be able to ride in a helmet without the correct kite mark but the BHA have agreed to a 2 week amnesty on issuing fines for attempting to ride with a skull cap that does not have the new standards.


Please also remember that revised body protector standards come into force from 1st April 2015.