Category: BHA and Regulatory Updates

Lingfield reschedule amateur race 16th July


With the abandonment of racing at Lingfield on Saturday evening resulting in the loss of the amateur race, we are delighted to announce that following speedy negotiations with the BHA, Lingfield’s Clerk of the Course Neil Mackenzie-Ross has very kindly confirmed that an amateur race over 1m 2f 46-60 Handicap will now take place on 16th July.

We are most grateful to Arena Racing, Lingfield Park Racecourse and the BHA for making this additional race possible.

Need a new skullcap? Replacing a body protector? Buying a whip? Then read on!


Please will all jockeys note that as from the new date of 1ST APRIL 2015 a revised BHA specification for skull caps, safety vests and whips will come into force:

Rider Manual (D)


Schedule 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, CSN EN 14572: 2005, BS EN 14572: 2005, 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.

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: 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.



8. As regards a whip carried in a flat race

8.1 the maximum length (including flap) is 70 centimetres, and
8.2 there must be no binding within 17 centimetres of the end of the flap.

9. As regards a whip carried in a steeple chase or hurdle race

9.1 the maximum length (including flap) is 68 centimetres, and
9.2 there must be no binding within 23 centimetres of the end of the flap.

10. The minimum diameter for a whip is 1 centimetre.
11. The overall weight must not exceed 160 grams.
12. The contact area of the shaft must be smooth, with no protrusion or raised surface, and covered by shock absorbing material throughout its circumference such that it gives a compression factor of at least 6 millimetres.

13.1 The only additional feature that may be attached to a whip is a flap.
13.2 If a flap is attached, it must comply with the following requirements

13.2.1 the maximum length of the flap from the end of the shaft is 10 centimetres;
13.2.2 the maximum width of the flap is 4 centimetres, with a minimum width of 2 centimetres;
13.2.3 the flap from the end of the shaft must not contain any reinforcements or additions;
13.2.4 the flap must have similar shock absorbing characteristics to that of the contact area.
  • Comes into effect: 01-10-2014




Thanks to recent agreement with the BHA regarding funding for international racing for amateurs, the AJA are delighted to announce that for 2014 Alice Mills and Freddie Tett will represent Great Britain within the Fegentri series.  Many thanks to all those amateur jockeys who  have posted in applications; as many different amateur jockeys as possible will be invited to enjoy trips to ride abroad in 2014.

Alice leaves for Oman on Monday to ride there on 2nd January which is His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s Majesties Day, Oman’s most prestigious day’s racing of the year.  Good luck to both our representatives for 2014!

If you are a licensed amateur jockey interested in representing Great Britain abroad but have not yet posted in your application form, you can download it here:  applicationformfegentri2014.doc



THE BHA and Amateur Jockeys Association (AJA) have announced a three-year funding agreement to run from 2014 to give amateur riders better financial help.  Under the deal a guaranteed £24,000 per annum will be provided for amateur riders’ training, while financial assistance will be offered towards riding overseas.

Under a previous 2011 deal a proportion of prize-money earned by amateur jockeys riding against professionals, money which until then went to the BHA, was handed to the AJA. However, funding fluctuated depending on how successful amateur jockeys were in any given season.

The new agreement guarantees a sum for training – which from 2014 will be administered by the BHA’s industry training strategy – and for the International Racing Grant, which helps with the cost of amateur riders racing abroad.

Amateur jockeys also receive support through the central insurance policy, one third of which is funded by riders’ licence fees, and from free physiotherapy at about 1,000 meetings.

BHA Media Manager Robin Mounsey said: “This commitment is designed to provide the AJA with a more consistent funding model and enables the organisation to plan further into the future, removing the uncertainty of the previous annual budgets.”

AJA Chief Executive Sarah Oliver added: “Guaranteeing training for amateur riders is greatly appreciated and is vital to the development of many of our members for both Flat and National Hunt racing.”

To read the full press release click here:





ALL injuries need to be entered onto the online injury management system as a matter of urgency and if the BHA Medical Department are not made aware of these injuries, they will not hold accurate records.  If a jockey then decides to return to race riding without checking with the BHA, there could be serious consequences if that jockey is not fully fit and in addition it will INVALIDATE your insurance!


REMEMBER:  ALL injuries must be reported to the Medical Department at the BHA. This includes injuries sustained whilst race riding abroad. Any queries, contact the AJA or the BHA Medical Department. 

A Jockey’s Must Read: Let’s take Brain Injuries Out of Racing





  • Concussion is a brain injury that alters the way your brain functions;
  • Concussion can occur from a blow to the head/body following helmet/helmet contact and/or contact with the ground, object or another athlete;
  • Most concussions occur without being knocked unconscious;
  • Severity of injury is unknown until symptoms resolve and brain function is back to normal;
  • All concussions are not created equally. Each athlete is different, each injury is different and you should be evaluated by medical staff.
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Amnesia/difficulty remembering
  • Balance problems
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling sluggish/groggy
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Double/fuzzy vision
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Feeling more emotional
  • Sleep disturbances



Why Should I Report my Symptoms?

Your brain is the most vital organ in your body: Training or racing while still experiencing symptoms can prolong the time it takes to recover and return to racing.  Unlike other injuries, there may be significant consequences to ‘racing through’ a concussion.  Respective brain injury, when not managed properly and promptly, may cause permanent damage to your brain.  Symptoms may worsen with physical or mental exertion (lifting, reading, riding, etc.)


Report it: Never ignore the symptoms!

Get Checked Out: Your concussion should be managed by the BHA’s Concussion Protocol which involves undergoing a neurology examination and a COGSPORT test before being cleared to ride by the Chief Medical Adviser.

Take Care of Your Brain: Traumatic brain injury can cause a wide range of short or long term changes leading to problems with memory and communication, personality changes, depression and early onset dementia. Concussions and conditions resulting from repeated brain injury can change your life and your family’

For all queries call the BHA Medical Department on 

020 7152 0138




  • 5 hits in the final furlong/after the last obstacle are the maximum number of hits that are acceptable.
  • 7 hits (flat) 8 hits (jump) in the whole race are the maximum number of hits that are acceptable.
  • Excessive frequency – minimum suspension of 5 days for 1 hit over the permitted maximum and a further 2 days for every hit thereafter.
  • Penalties for other breaches of Schedule (B)6 part 2 have been increased.
  • Repeat offences will result in at least a doubling of the suspension.
  • Group 1 and Grade 1 exemptions will not apply to whip offences.
  • Every time a rider’s whip makes contact with his horse with his whip hand off the reins will be considered as a hit regardless of how, where or with what force the whip is used.
  • Any offence which warrants a suspension of more than 20 days before previous offences are taken into account will be referred.
  • Any offence which warrants a suspension of 42 days having taken previous offences into account will be referred.
  • Penalties imposed by the Disciplinary Panel have been increased considerably.

The full BHA review of the use of the whip can be viewed by this link:


BHA agrees to contribute to AJA for amateur jockeys’ wins v professionals at last!



The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced it will share the benefits of the income it generates from amateur jockeys riding against professionals with the Amateur Jockeys Association for the very first time.  Whilst the BHA already supports amateur jockeys through a contribution towards the provision of insurance and funds industry training and on-course physiotherapists – totalling in excess of £450,000 over the past four years – a major proportion of future prize money and riding fees earned by amateur jockeys will now be shared with the AJA.

In addition, the outstanding achievements of Sam Waley-Cohen in becoming the first amateur jockey in 30 years to win the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup and finishing second in the John Smith’s Grand National in 2011, have enabled the BHA to provide a further £30,000 grant to be divided between the AJA, the Pony Racing Authority (PRA) and to Sam’s newly-founded charity, the Thomas Andrew Waley-Cohen (TAWC) Fund, which is aimed at providing financial support for charitable initiatives across the country.

£20,000 of this grant has been allocated to the AJA towards funding for a small number of valuable Jump races for amateur riders, which will be planned in consultation with BHA Racing Department and the racecourses concerned, with the hope of building a stronger platform from which amateur jockeys can launch their riding careers.

Sam said:  I am delighted that the BHA has revised the current system so that in future a percentage of amateurs’ prize money from wins against professionals will be awarded to the Amateur Jockeys Association. This will undoubtedly benefit all amateur riders, and represents a significant step forward for the sport.  It is also rewarding for me personally that the memorable season I was fortunate enough to enjoy in 2010/11 will benefit the AJA, PRA and my own charity, the TAWC Fund. I am excited to see what developments can arise as a result of these grants, including the prospect of additional races for amateurs, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to put something back into a sport which has given me so much, and perhaps in doing so help all amateur jockeys to continue their fine contribution to the sport.

Sarah Oliver, Chief Executive of the AJA, said: Following the recent hugely successful partnerships of Sam Waley-Cohen with Long Run and Oscar Time, the AJA are delighted that agreement has been reached with the BHA so that amateur jockeys will benefit from future winning rides against professionals. Not only will a fund from Sam Waley-Cohen’s wins last season finance additional amateur races, future amateur jockeys’ winning ride percentage prize money against professionals will also be included. The AJA acknowledges the significant contribution made by all amateur jockeys who has won against professionals in the past.”

BHA increase Category B course funding


Thanks to a request from the AJA, we are delighted to report that the BHA have very kindly agreed to increase the current Category B course funding of 26 places per year to 36 places per year (to be completed at either the British Racing School (Newmarket) or The Northern Racing College (Doncaster)) as from 2010.

This is really welcome news to all aspiring Cat A amateur jockeys with an eye to progressing their riding careers and we are most grateful to the British Horseracing Authority and to both racing colleges for all of their help and support.



The BHA has announced the introduction of a new whip for jockeys but the good news for amateurs is that they are exempt from this change.

The modified whip, which will include a microchip to allow research into the whip’s cushioning longevity, will be made available to British professional jockeys over the next few months, firstly on the Flat.  Modifications have also been made to the grip.  

The BHA policy on whip use can be found at: