BHA confirms scope of Cheltenham racecourse review
A review is set to examine all recent equine fatalities and long-term injuries at Cheltenham racecourse and the Cheltenham Festival, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed.
The move comes shortly after the deaths of six horses at this year’s four-day festival in March.
BHA is aiming to adopt an evidence-based approach to improving equine welfare, to reduce risks for horses, demonstrate openness and transparency and use relvant expertise to inform the review process.
The review will focus on the following areas: courses, obstacles, participant factors, starts, safety factors and race tempo, programming and race conditions, and veterinary aspects.
It will be led by Brant Dunshea, BHA’s director of integrity and regulatory operations, and co-ordinated by Emma Marley, head of racecourse operations. Relevant internal and experts will also assist the process, including organisations such as the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare.
The review is expected to conclude in summer 2018, to allow recommendations to be implemented ahead of the 2018/19 jump season.
BHA also recently announced it would look at whether existing penalties for misuse of the whip offer an adequate deterrent for jockeys. This topic will be discussed by the board before the scope and timings are finalised.