Category: Jockey Club Notices

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Following a period of consultation with industry stakeholders, the BHA Board has approved changes to the Rules of Racing regarding safety vests which come into force from 1st October 2018:

  • Level 1 safety vests to be replaced by Level 2 safety vests EN 13158:2009 or 2018
  • Weight allowance: an extra 1 lb in addition to the current 2 lbs making a total of 3 lbs allowance for the vest

The amended rules are as follows:

 For implementation from October 1st 2018 

Schedule (D)2 – Equipment PART 1 

Design of safety vests 

6. A safety vest is approved by the Authority if it meets (BS) EN 13158: 2009 or 2018. 

7. The minimum acceptable standard for a safety vest is Level 2 

8. A safety vest must not be 

8.1 modified in any way, or 

8.2 attached to the horse or any equipment carried by the horse. 

Rule (B)22 – Weighing out procedure 

22.6 The Clerk of the Scales will not allow a Rider to be weighed out for any race unless he is wearing a safety vest which conforms to a standard approved by the Authority (see Rule (D)36 (safety vests, skull caps and saddles)). 

22.7 Rule (D)42 (weighing out) specifies requirements applying to a Rider on weighing out, including the items he must include in the scale. 

22.8 Overweight will be rounded down to the nearest 1lb unit. 

22.9 Subject to Paragraph 22.10, to compensate for being required to wear a safety vest, the weight of a Rider on weighing out will automatically be allowed at 3lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales). 

22.10 During the months of December, January and February, to compensate for wearing a safety vest and extra clothing, the weight of the Rider on weighing out for a flat race will automatically be allowed at 4lbs less than the weight that is registered on the scale (factored into the calibration of the Weighing Room scales).

Cat B amateurs only for all Festival amateur races


Cheltenham Racecourse announces today a change to entry conditions for amateur riders taking part in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase and the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase races at The Festival in March.

From 2018 onwards, in line with the G2 National Hunt Chase, these two amateur races will be restricted to those holding a Category B Permit.

Amateur jockeys holding a Category B Permit require at least 15 completed rides under the Rules of Racing, the majority of which must have come over obstacles or at least 20 completed rides in Point-to-Points and/or under the Rules of Racing.

Holders of an equivalent permit from a recognised overseas racing authority will also be eligible to ride at The Festival (for example, a Category C Permit issued in Ireland will be valid).

In 2017, all those riding in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase held a Category B amateur rider permit and just four of the 23 riders having a Category A licence for the St James’ Place Foxhunter Chase.

Simon Claisse, Regional Head of Racing, South West & Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham, commented: “The Festival is the best four days of Jump racing in the calendar and has grown into an event which receives worldwide attention.

“An important and historic dimension to The Festival is the provision of races for amateur riders alongside those for professionals. We are proud of this tradition, which goes all the way back to the foundation of Jump racing.

“This change to the entry conditions for amateur riders will ensure that all competitors have appropriate experience over fences to compete at this level and also by announcing this change now it gives jockeys enough time to qualify for their Category B licence.”

Sarah Oliver, CEO of the Amateur Jockeys Association, declared: “It is welcome news to the Amateur Jockeys Association concerning this change in race conditions for the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

“These showcase races are anticipated from one season to the next by the amateur fraternity and it is only right that the race conditions should reflect the prestige of them. Thank you Cheltenham!”

Nick Sutton, Acting Chairman of the Point-to-Point Authority, added: “The St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase is one of the most prominent races for amateurs in the sport.

“The competitive nature of the race, plus the additional pressures of a 70,000 crowd and TV coverage, make it only an appropriate contest for experienced riders who hold a Category B licence.”

Jamie Stier, Chief Regulatory Officer for the British Horseracing Authority, said: “The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the Jump season, and each year the interest and scrutiny on all of the races run at the meeting grows.

“The changes to entry conditions for amateur riders announced today have the full support of the BHA and will ensure that only the very best-qualified amateur jockeys take part in what are thorough tests for both horse and rider.

“While we understand that this will impact current category A permit holders, the sport must always look at ways it can improve safety and welfare for our participants and our horses.

“Any riders currently holding a category A permit who wish to enquire about gaining a category B permit should contact the BHA Licensing team as a matter of priority.”


Good luck Guy!



Sandown Park plays host today to the Royal Artillery Gold Cup and amongst the 10 military amateur riders taking part is an extraordinary man.  Guy Disney lost his right leg from below the knee whilst on active duty in Helmand Province in 2009 and he will make racing history today when riding BALLYALLIA MAN.

Guy’s journey back into the saddle on the racecourse has not been smooth as his jockey licence application was originally declined by the BHA.  Since that time he has enjoyed riding in a charity race at Fakenham and has been able to satisfy the authorities that his artificial limb is up to the stresses and strains of race riding.  Guy enjoyed 2nd and 3rd placed rides in the Combined Service point-to-point at Larkhill last weekend – a great warm up to today’s race.  This afternoon Guy will become the first jockey ever to race ride under Rules with a prosthetic leg within the UK.  We wish him every success.



The AJA are pleased to announce that, thanks to agreement reached with the BHA after very lengthy negotiation, as from 1st October 2010 there has been a change to the Rules of Racing whereby a conditional/apprentice jockey wishing to revert to amateur status can do so if s/he has not ridden more than 25 winners as a conditional/apprentice.  

In addition, the 48 month time limit within which a conditional/apprentice must revert has been scrapped.

Please refer to: Manual (D)


19. Persons ineligible for an amateur rider’s permit

19.1 Subject to Paragraphs 19.2 and 19.3,

a Person is ineligible for an Amateur Rider’s Permit if he has been paid directly or indirectly for riding in a race, whether payment to him is made directly or indirectly.

19.2 A Person who was paid for riding in a race whilst authorised to ride by a Recognised Racing Authority is not ineligible by virtue of Paragraph 19.1 if the following conditions are met in relation to him

19.2.1 the first condition is that his authorisation by the Authority or a Recognised Racing Authority corresponds to an Apprentice Jockey’s Licence, a Conditional Jockey’s Licence, or a steeple chase and hurdle race licence issued before July 1978 under the Rules of Racing then inforce;

19.2.2 the second condition is that he did not ride more than 25 winners under the Rules of any Recognised Racing Authority whilst holding such licences.

19.3 The following shall be disregarded for the purposes of Paragraph 19.1

19.3.1 any trophy that was advertised in the conditions of the race, 19.3.2 any expenses apportioned by F.E.G.E.N.T.R.I. for their Championship races under these Rules, 19.3.3 any reasonable expenses for Overseas Riders which are offered by sponsors of an amateur or club race, included in the conditions of the race, and approved by the Authority,

19.3.4 any assisted or free travel and accommodation which is offered to amateur riders when taking part in invitation races abroad, and approved by the Racing Authority for the racecourse concerned, and

19.3.5 any other expenses or benefits approved by the Authority. 



  • As from 1 October no horse will be permitted to carry more than 4lbs overweight.
  • Any Jockey that exceeds the 4lb threshold, by any amount, up to 15 minutes before the race will be replaced.
  • The replacement Jockey will be of similar status i.e Claimer for Claimer.
  • Late Jockey changes, through overweight, will not carry any penalties.
  • Statistics show that in the main the new rule is more likely to affect Amateurs, Apprentices and Conditionals.

42. Weighing out

42.1 This Rule applies to a Rider when weighing out.42.2 The Rider must present to the Clerk of the Scales

42.2.1 his body protector, and42.2.2 any blinkers, hood, visor, eyeshield, eyecover or number cloth which he is to carry in the race but which are excluded from the scale (by virtue of Paragraphs 42.4.6 to 42.4.10 and 42.4.17).

42.3 Where a Rider

42.3.1 intends to carry over-weight, he must declare the amount, and42.3.2 is in doubt as to his proper weight, he may declare the weight he intends to carry.

42.4 The Rider must put into the scale and include in his weight everything that the horse is to carry in the race, apart from

42.4.1 skull cap,42.4.2 whip,42.4.3 bridle,42.4.4 rings,42.4.5 plates,42.4.6 blinkers,42.4.7 hood,42.4.8 visor,42.4.9 eyeshield,42.4.10 eyecover,42.4.11 anything worn on the horse’s legs,42.4.12 breast plate,42.4.13 breast girth,42.4.14 martingale,42.4.15 muzzle,42.4.16 neck strap,42.4.17 number cloth,42.4.18 sheepskin cheek pieces, and42.4.19 tongue strap.

42.5 Subject to Rule (F)143, no Rider may weigh out if he will be carrying 4lbs or more overweight.



Guide to the Application of the Rules relating to Maximum Weights and the Replacement of Riders due to Overweight

Maximum weights – 12st Flat (Rule (F)29.10) & 13st Jumping (Rule (F)41.7)

The claim of the rider must be ignored. e.g. Racecard weight 12st 2lbs even with a rider claiming 7lbs is still considered to be 12st 2lbs so cannot run.  Scenarios are unlikely to occur Flat or Jumping.      


4lbs or more overweight

No rider may weigh out if he will be carrying 4lbs or more overweight (Rule (D)42.5). 

A rider or trainer cannot choose not to claim the riders allowance at scale (Rule (F)143.8). 

The claim must be taken into account when calculating the overweight e.g. Racecard weight 10st, rider claims 7lbs but is on the Scales at 9st 11lbs or more therefore cannot ride.  


Replacement of riders who would weigh out at 4lbs or more overweight (Rule (B)25.7)

A claiming rider must be replaced by any claiming rider regardless of licence e.g. on the Flat a 7lbs claiming Apprentice may be replaced by Gary Bartley who holds a full licence but claims 3lbs. 

A 3lbs claiming Amateur in an open professional race may be replaced by any claiming rider, Amateur or Professional/Conditional, regardless of how much the replacement claims (3 – 10lbs potentially). 

A claiming Conditional may be replaced by a claiming Amateur e.g. a 10lbs claimer riding for his own yard could be replaced by say Mr O Greenall claiming 3lbs. i.e. any claiming jockey must be replaced by any other jockey who claims an allowance irrespective of licence category, amateur or professional. 

A rider with no claim must be replaced by a rider with no claim e.g. L Dettori could be replaced by L Vickers, AP McCoy could potentially be replaced by an Amateur who does not claim.

Riders in races confined to Conditionals, Apprentices or Amateurs can be replaced by any other qualified rider regardless of any allowance the rider might claim in the race e.g. in an Apprentice race a rider who has not ridden a winner and claims an allowance under the conditions of the race may be replaced by another qualified Apprentice who does not claim an allowance under the conditions of the race.  

There is NO distinction between Rhys Flint who holds a Conditional Licence and no longer claims and AP McCoy. A Rider who holds a Conditional Licence and no longer claims an allowance could replace AP McCoy.  

There is NO distinction between a non claiming Category B Amateur and AP McCoy. E.g. Mr Non Claiming Amateur would put up 4lbs or more in a valuable handicap chase and could be replaced by AP McCoy (and vice versa). 

In the same race the amateur Mr Bloggs claiming 7lbs could be replaced by top conditional P Toole, claiming 3lbs (and vice versa).  

NB If the trainer is unable to find a rider of a similar level regarding the claiming of an allowance or he is unwilling to substitute another rider the trainer must withdraw the horse but the non-runner penalty should not be imposed.  Brief details should be entered on the Non-Runner Return

Replacement of riders between 1lbs and 3lbs overweight (Rule (B)25.3.8)

If a rider is due to carry 1lb to 3lb overweight the trainer may substitute the rider with any available rider regardless of type of licence or claim.  The request should be handled in the same way as any other substitution under Rule (B)25.3 

Replacements for other reasons under Rule (B)25.3

Any rider may be replaced under the conditions of (B)25.3 e.g. hasn’t arrived in time, red entry etc by any available rider regardless of licence or claim.