All amateur jockeys from both Ireland 🇮🇪and the UK🇬🇧 riding at Aintree over the next 3 days have been contacted with the following important information.
This is a vital reminder for any jockey unsure of procedures.
Course Walks: Following the 2-year trial of voluntary course walks at the Randox Health Grand National Festival, any rider who has not ridden over the Grand National fences more than twice at a Grand National Festival is required to take part in an official course walk with a BHA Jockey Coach. This will leave the Weighing Room at 10.30am on all 3 days of the Meeting, or at other times by arrangement with the Jockey Coaches.
On Thursday the Jockey Coach will be Brian Harding, and on Friday and Saturday dual the Jockey Coach will be Grand National winning jockey Carl Llewellyn.
Course walks will take place on ALL 3 days of the Meeting. The same initiative is also being made available to professional jockeys who are riding in the Topham and the Grand National.
Those who are required to walk the course will have been notified by the BHA at declaration stage. Other jockeys are welcome to join them and walk the course.
Pre-Race Procedures and Briefings Foxhunter and Grand National Steeple Chases As last year, there will be a Pre-Race Briefing in the Stewards Room at 12 noon on Thursday for ALL amateur jockeys riding in the Foxhunter Steeple Chase, and on Saturday for ALL jockeys riding in the Grand National Steeple Chase. ALL JOCKEYS RIDING IN EITHER RACE MUST ATTEND.
The Start Jockeys are asked to approach the tapes no faster than a jig-jog. If the Starter is not satisfied, for any reason, with the manner in which the field approaches he will not start the race and will instead call the jockeys to a standing start.
Post-Race If you do not finish in the first 4, please unsaddle in the wash-down area, where there is an excellent team on hand to assist with washing down horses.
For those fortunate enough to be interviewed by ITV Racing, we have requested that they speak to you before the post-race interview to confirm you are happy with the well-being of your horse. Please follow the instructions of the vets who may ask you to take additional turns on the horse or to dismount. If you feel the need, please dismount and move away from the horse and continue the interview on foot.
Use of the Whip The use of the whip at major race meetings is under the spotlight, particularly at the Grand National Festival and more recently at the Cheltenham Festival. We are grateful for your respect of the Rules whilst competing on the biggest stage – it is important to our sport.
Pulling-Up/Tired Horses In recent years, jockeys have made excellent collective progress in relation to pulling-up tired and out of contention horses at the Grand National Festivals. We thank you for that and would once again urge you to do the same if you are out of contention. It is important from a welfare perspective.
Remounting If a horse is caught after a fall or unseat, the jockey may ride the horse back to unsaddle only if s/he has been authorised to do so by a vet and the jockey has been assessed by a doctor or paramedic.
Bypassing If black/yellow direction markers are displayed anywhere in the fence/hurdle, the obstacle MUST be bypassed. Jockeys must follow the direction of the arrow on the direction markers.
Thank you for your co-operation with the above to enable us to showcase the very best of our sport and we wish you and your horse good luck for a safe journey around Aintree. 🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇
The first of the gentleman’s Fegentri races took place today in Oman with GB represented by team member Will Pettis. An additional place became available for a non-team member and Craig Dowson, better known as a jump and point-to-point jockey, made the most of it by enjoying a winning ride! Many congratulations to Craig on making our return to Fegentri a winning one!
As we approach The Cheltenham Festival, the BHA are writing with some important information and advice for all riders at this fixture. This includes changes linked to the recommendations of the BHA Cheltenham Festival Review, published in December 2018.
The guidance for 2019, as detailed below, relates to: horse welfare, course walks and pre-race briefings, starting, whip use, pulling up of tired horses, remounting, disruption to racing and bypassing.
Horse welfare The Cheltenham Festival Review included a recommendation that riders should be reminded of their responsibilities in relation to horse welfare. The welfare of horses is of paramount importance and riders should be aware that they will be subject to greater public scrutiny at these fixtures than is typically the case. The Stewards will be covering this subject at all pre-race briefings with riders.
Course walks Any rider who has not ridden since 1 May 2017 on any/either Cheltenham course (Old/New) on which they are booked to ride is required to complete a mandatory course walk with a BHA Jockey Coach. This requirement is based on a recommendation made in The Cheltenham Festival Review.
The only exceptions are riders who have ridden that course 25 times or more during their careers – these riders will be exempt and are not required to take the course walk unless they wish to do so.
Once declarations are made, riders required to complete a course walk will be notified directly. In the meantime, if riders would like to know their experience status regarding a course walk, they can enquire via email@example.com.
2 course walks will take place on each morning of The Festival. The first will take place at 10.15am, with the second at 11.15am. Any riders arriving at the course after these times, for rides later in the day, will have an additional course walk available to them once racing is underway and they should liaise with the BHA Jockey Coaches on the day to ensure they meet the requirements.
In addition to these mandatory walks of the Old and New courses, any rider booked to ride the Cross Country course for the first time in their career will be required to walk the Cross Country course before the day of the race, or on the morning of Wednesday 13 March.
Failure to complete a required course walk will result in disciplinary action from the stewards and possible suspension.
Pre-race briefings The Cheltenham Festival Review also contained a recommendation relating to the daily briefing of riders during The Festival. It is a requirement that all riders attend these briefings, which will take place approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of the first race on each day in the Male Jockeys’ Changing Room. Riders will be required to sign in at scales to confirm their attendance.
These briefings will cover the topics contained in this document and any additional operational or racing issues that may arise during the course of the Festival.
Starting As in previous years, there will be four Starters on duty at the Cheltenham Festival, three of whom will be available to help with girthing up and to provide other assistance at the start as needed.
The current starting procedures are designed to reduce the speed at which riders approach the tapes and to give all horses the chance of a fair start. Outlined in the Appendix are the relevant BHA Rules and a summary of the procedures that will be in use at Cheltenham.
Riders are asked to approach the tapes at no faster than a jig-jog. If the Starter is not satisfied, for any reason, with the manner in which the field approaches the Start on the first attempt, s/he will not start the race and will instead call the riders to a standing start. Any rider deemed to be in breach of the starting procedures (unless a problem arises through no fault of their own) will be reported to the Stewards.
We appreciate that everyone is under pressure on these occasions but ask that jockeys please comply with the starting procedures. By working together, we can get races underway at the first time of asking.
Whip use Penalties for misuse of the whip are suspensions and, in certain circumstances, fines. The Rules are designed to protect the welfare of horses and the image of horseracing. BHA guidelines on the use of the whip can be viewed via the link here (pages 22-25), along with a summary of the Rules/Penalties. These are also attached as an appendix to this document.
As per the note on horse welfare above, use of the whip at these meetings will be under the spotlight. It is vital for the image of the sport that riders adhere to the guidelines. If any rider needs further guidance, they are advised to speak to the Chief Steward on duty.
Pulling-up/tired horses Increased emphasis on the pulling-up of horses that are out of contention was another recommendation of the Cheltenham Festival Review. Jockeys have made excellent collective progress in relation to pulling-up of tired and out of contention horses at both the Cheltenham and Grand National Festivals in recent years. We thank you for that and would once again urge you to do this if you are out of contention, as it is vital from both a welfare and a public perception perspective.
The Rules provide the Stewards with wide powers in relation to this important equine welfare requirement. The penalties for breaching any welfare-related Rule are significant.
Remounting If riders fall or are unseated during the race they may NOT remount their horse and continue in the race. If they do, the horse will be disqualified and the rider will be suspended.
If a horse is caught after a fall or unseat, the jockey may ride the horse back to unsaddle ONLY if s/he has been authorised to do so by a vet and the jockey has been assessed by a Racecourse Medical Officer or ambulance paramedic as set out in the Rules (B 46.2 and B 46.3). A rider will be suspended if s/he rides back on a horse that has not been seen by a vet.
Bypassing At Cheltenham, all fences and hurdles are bypassable. If Black/Yellow direction markers are displayed anywhere in the fence/hurdle, the obstacle MUST be bypassed. Racecourses can now use more than the usual three direction markers in an obstacle if they wish. The rider must follow the direction of the arrow on the direction markers when bypassing an obstacle.
Drones In the event that drones are used, as part of an attempt to disrupt racing, contingency plans have been put in place. Please obey the instructions of officials.
Please note that ITV will be using drones, by prior arrangement, but these will follow an agreed flight path at a safe distance from the track whilst races are in progress.
Advertising (Sponsorship) on jockey clothing/equipment Riders must not carry any form of advertising on any part of their raceday clothing or equipment, unless a Sponsorship Agreement has been lodged in advance with Weatherbys and approved by the BHA.
Furthermore, the posterior site (beneath the coccyx site) is the property of the Professional Jockeys Association and, as such, may only be sold by them as part of a group deal.
Thank you for your assistance with all of the above, which will help to ensure a successful and incident-free Cheltenham Festival, enabling us to showcase the very best of our sport.
The BHA will assess these procedures following The Festival and will be in touch again in due course should changes be required for the Grand National Festival at Aintree.
Should you have any queries, or if you require further advice or guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact Brant Dunshea, BHA Chief Regulatory Officer, by telephone 0207 152 000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Appendix Summary of Starting Procedures 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.
Summary of Whip Rules and Penalties 1.Rather than rules based solely on a fixed number, stewards will focus more on how the whip is used and be able to apply their discretion when considering a rider’s use of the whip.
2. The trigger for stewards to review a rider’s use of the whip remains the existing figures of eight times or more for Flat races and nine times or more for Jump races. However, rather than such use representing an automatic breach, the stewards will look at the ride and decide whether or not to hold an enquiry.
3. When deciding whether to hold an enquiry the stewards will consider the rider’s use the whip during the course of the entire race, with particular attention to its use in the closing stages and relevant factors such as: a) The manner in which the whip was used, including the degree of force; b) The purpose for which the whip was used; c) The distance over which the whip was used and whether the number of times it was used was reasonable and necessary; d) Whether the horse was continuing to respond.
4. Provided that the overall manner in which the whip had been used was measured, stewards may choose to disregard occasions when the whip was used, for example: a) To keep a horse in contention or to maintain a challenging position prior to what would be considered the closing stages of a race; b) To maintain a horse’s focus and concentration; c) To correct a horse that is noticeably hanging; d) Where there is only light contact with the horse; e) Following a mistake at an obstacle; f) To correct a horse that is running down an obstacle;
5. A rider found to have used his whip once over the permitted level, after the Stewards have applied their discretion, will be suspended for two days, two times over will incur a four day suspension and three times over a seven day suspension, with each extra usage adding two days to the penalty.
6. Previous offences are not to be taken into account when deciding on the level of penalty. Offences which incur a suspension of two to six days are to be treated separately from those offences that incur a suspension of seven days or more.
7. Under a revised referral process repeat offenders will be referred to the Disciplinary Panel and incur a lengthy suspension (see penalty guidelines). Riders will be referred after their fifth offence of a two to six day ban within the previous six months, or after their fourth offence of seven days or more within the previous six months.
8. It is generally accepted that the incentive to breach the rules is greater in more valuable races. Consequently stewards will have the ability to impose a fine on a rider between £200 and £10,000. This will apply in Jump races worth £20,000 or more and Flat races worth £27,500 or more. Stewards will consider the gravity of the offence and the rider’s earnings in that particular race when identifying the appropriate level of fine.
The AJA are delighted to announce our teams of Fegentri riders for 2019 as follows:
Longines Fegentri World Championship for Gentlemen Riders (Flat): William Easterby, James Harding, Pat Millman, Will Pettis and David Prichard
Longines Fegentri World Championship for Lady Riders (Flat): Carol Bartley, Serena Brotherton, Jessica Gillam, Antonia Peck and Hannah Welch
The gentlemen have plenty to look forward to with trips to be shared between all 5 of them to Oman, Germany, Spain, Sweden, France, and Italy * whilst the girls also have much to be excited about with trips to be shared to Oman, Switzerland, Martinique, Germany, France, Norway, Italy, Sweden, Czech Republic, Belgium, Turkey, Austria and Mauritius *.
* subject to invitation
With our return to membership of Fegentri for 2019, we are also delighted to announce that we will be supporting the Gentleman’s League (Jump) this year which comes under the Fegentri umbrella and that David Prichard will be our representative.
The Gentleman’s League calendar for 2019 includes:
21st March Cork, Ireland 19th May Auteuil, France 30th May Le Lion d’Angers, France 27th August Waregem, Belgium 28th Sept Merano, Italy 13th Oct Pardubice, Czech Republic 8th Nov Compienge, France
There is also a point-to-point at Chateau Gonthier in France on 4th May so plenty of fun to be had!
If YOU would like to represent UK and ride abroad but have not necessarily had the requisite 5 wins for Fegentri and/or struggle to do 9 stone (girls) or under 10 stone (lads) then please e-mail email@example.com for any other international trips which crop up from time to time so that your name can be added to the list of interested jockeys. If you cannot commit to the whole series, it would still be useful to know if you may be interested in an occasional ride abroad. Please note: Lady jockeys can also apply for the Gentleman’s League!
Good luck to all of Team GB for a great Fegentri 2019!✈️🏇🍀😎
A reminder to ensure that all amateur jockeys are aware that ACUTE INJURY CLINICS are available to all licensed jockeys who have sustained an acute race-riding related injury (from a fall or kick etc).
Jockeys can literally turn up and be seen by a physiotherapist without making a prior appointment at the following times:
Oaksey House: Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 10-11 am
Jack Berry House: Mondays between 10 am and 11:30 am
Brodie Hampson memorably won the 2016 Royal Artillery Gold Cup in her father’s colours before his sad death later that year and repeated that emotional success earlier today at Sandown, having spread some of her late father’s ashes on the winning line earlier in the day.
It was a thrilling race to watch with Brodie partnering Ben Pauling’s Carlos du Fruitier and making much of the running. Brodie explained “The plan wasn’t to make the running, but with a circuit to go the pace was a bit on and off and I know he needed a good pace, so I thought ‘we are going to have to take it up here and now, and you are going to have to help me out and I will help you out’.
“I definitely spread some more of his (father’s) ashes at the winning line today and he was with me all the way, I know that. It was massively emotional – it is every time I come here.
“Dad was was in the Royal Artillery for 24 years, so it was a big part of his life and to come back here and do it again for him, he would be so proud.
“Next year hopefully we will get back into his colours again on another horse.” Many congratulations Brodie!
Whilst we all await the annual 🇮🇪Irish🇮🇪 invasion to Cheltenham it was brilliant to have a small invasion of our own 🇬🇧British🇬🇧 team Zac Baker, Alex Edwards, Brodie Hampson and Tabitha Worsley flying over to Fairyhouse for the inaugural Anglo/Irish Challenge Chase on 13th February and taking on the formidable Irish team on their own turf headed by Patrick Mullins, Derek O’Connor, Aine O’Connor and Lisa O’Neill.
13 went to post and ultimately half of each team did not complete, with GB’s Alex unseated and Zac pulling up, whilst Aine and Patrick were also PU. Sadly we did not have a team member in the winner’s enclosure but Tabitha had a great spin for Gordon Elliott on KAYR THOU to finish 3rd, bringing home the trophy for GB, with Lisa and Derek 4th and 5th respectively and Brodie 6th.
We really appreciate these international invitation races which give unique race riding opportunities to our members and huge thanks must go again to Fairyhouse’s Peter Roe for his kindness as well as Susan Leahy for her support, with the re-run in 2020 already eagerly awaited!🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀
Next Wednesday 13th February sees the inaugural running of the Ireland v Britain (Q.R.) Challenge Handicap Steeplechase at Fairyhouse by kind agreement with Peter Roe. Many thanks to Peter and also to Susan Leahy for this special race to look forward to.
Team Ireland (2 gentlemen and 2 lady amateur riders) will compete v Team GB with each team drawn from the 8 top weighted declared runners with the race run over just under 3 miles (2m 7f).
Good luck to our GB representatives – last season’s joint champion gentlemen runners-up Zac Baker and Alex Edwards together with leading lady riders Brodie Hampson and Tabitha Worsley 🍀🇮🇪🇬🇧🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🏇🍀🇬🇧🇮🇪🍀
We are delighted to announce that the AJA are returning to Fegentri which will give opportunities to many of our members to enjoy racing abroad on the Flat. This follows the good news that Fegentri rules have been updated to allow up to 5 gentlemen and 5 lady riders to represent their country and take part in the LONGINES FEGENTRI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR LADY RIDERS AND FOR GENTLEMEN RIDERS rather than restrict this to one individual as in the past.
This weekend sees the annual Fegentri General Assembly in St Moritz and details will follow of this year’s calendar in due course.
Meanwhile applications are invited from amateur jockeys to take part in this exciting opportunity to become part of Team GB for 2019.
Jockeys must have ridden a minimum of 5 winners (which can include point-to-points) with ladies able to ride at 58 kg (9 stone) and gentlemen at 62 kg (under 10 stone ie 9 stone 11 lbs).
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an application form.
Many congratulations to Sam Waley-Cohen who enjoyed a great victory at Warwick this afternoon when partnering Neil Hulholland’s Impulsive Star to win the McCoy Contractors Classic Chase. To add to his satisfaction, Sam managed to drop to his lightest for several years which his father Robert suggested made all the difference.
The only other amateur in the race, Gina Andrews, cut out the early running with last year’s winner Milansbar but faded in the latter stages, with Impulsive Star taking up the running 5 from home.
Sam said “He’s learned a lot and given me a great ride and was really courageous. We don’t know that much about him but he’s obviously improving although he’s the coldest horse I’ve know on the schooling grounds – you have to throw him at a fence. I don’t think he’ll get in this year’s Grand National, and it may be a year too soon anyhow.”
Winning part-owner Robert Waley-Cohen said “The four-miler at Cheltenham has been the target all year and we’ll stick to that.” Well done and good luck Sam!