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British Horseracing Authority announces changes to rules and regulations

The British Horseracing Authority has announced new rules and regulations that will come into effect on Monday 2 April 2018. The amendments are as follows: 

Application of ice pre-race

Horse owners will no longer be able to apply ice to a horse before a rac while on racecourse grounds. The application of ice has a short-term analgesic (pain-killing) effect in the horse. The amendment to the Rules of Racing will prevent the icing of horses pre-race in the racecourse stables on raceday.

Addition to Rule (C)33. Restrictions applying in relation to a horse whilst on racecourse property
33.8 It is not permissible to stand a horse in ice or iced water, nor is it permissible to apply a cooling device to any part of the horse (including ice boots or bandages, or ice bags), unless a Veterinary Officer grants a special dispensation. The use of such treatments is permitted post-race, or following withdrawal from a race.

Manipulative Therapy

Manipulative therapy may have a short-term analgesic (pain-killing) effect in the horse. Under the following amendment to the Rules of Racing it will not be permissible for any horse to receive Manipulative Therapy on raceday.
Amendment to Rule (C)33. 
33A.1 On the day of the race in which the horse is declared to run, it is not permissible for the horse to receive Manipulative Therapy until such time as the horse has either run in the race or has been withdrawn.
33A.2 In this Rule, Manipulative Therapy includes physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture.

Cyclosporine implants

Cyclosporine implants are used in the treatment of immune mediated corneal disease and autoimmune uveitis, in particular Equine Recurrent Uveitis. This relatively uncommon condition results in recurrent inflammatory episodes in the eye and may cause blindness. A suprachoroidal cyclosporine implant is a device which delivers a sustained therapeutic level of cyclosporine for approximately three years, and studies have shown that systemic uptake of the implanted drug is poor. In order to place and remove the implants, horses must undergo ocular surgery under general anaesthetic. It is not considered to be in the interests of horse welfare to mandate that they must be removed for racing.
Addition to Schedule (B)3 
8.1 The horse must not have any implant apart from one that is pharmacologically inactive.
8.2 Paragraph 8.1 does not apply where the implant is a suprachoroidal cyclosporine implant for the treatment of immune mediated corneal disease or autoimmune uveitis in specific, documented and monitored cases.
Additional Rule (C)17D
17D Information about suprachoroidal cyclosporine implants
17D.1 Where a horse undergoes surgery for the placement of a suprachoroidal cyclosporine implant, a Licensed or Permitted Trainer must notify the BHA Equine Health and Welfare Department within 7 days of surgery with a certificate, signed by a veterinary surgeon to this effect.
Penalty range for Rule (C)17
Entry Point: £650
Range: £400 - £1500

Pre-race parades

Amendment to Rule (B)30 - The requirement for pre-race parades to be conducted in racecard order has been removed. Parades must now be conducted in the order stipulated by the racecourse managing executive.
30.4 Any parade must take place in the order requested by the racecourse managing executive.
30.5.2 Trainers, Riders and horse attendants must make every effort to assist racecourse officials in maintaining the Parade order requested by the racecourse managing executive in the pre-Parade ring, Parade Ring and during the Parade itself and, where possible, horses should be mounted on the move to assist in this respect.

Categories of flat race

Amendment to Rule (F)4 - the changes include additions to; Rule 4.6 concerning Median Auction Maiden races,  Rule 4.7.1 concerning Novice Flat Races, Rule 4.7.2  concerning Novice Auction Races and Rule 4.7.3 concerning Median Auction Novice Races. 
Further information can be viewed in the following document.

Withdrawals on veterinary advice

Amendment to Rule (B)6 - Horses that are withdrawn by the Stewards on veterinary grounds will now be subject to the same three-day restriction as horses declared as non-runners with a vet's certificate.
6.4 Any horse withdrawn under paragraph 6.1.9 or 6.1.13 will be suspended from running in future races in Great Britain for the period of three days, starting with the day of the race.

Flexible suspension dates

Amendment to Schedule (B)1- Jockeys or their agents may now move one day of a suspension of up to four days. This applies to suspensions imposed on and after 2 April 2018.

Sponsorship Penalty

Penalty change - the penalty structure for breaches of the sponsorship code of conduct has been revised so as it is now applied over a rolling 12-month period, rather than records being wiped clean annually on 31st December. The penalty structure also now pays cognisance to the number of breaches against runners, by increasing the number of warnings a trainer will receive.
1st - 3rd Offence*  -  Warning
4th offence onwards - A
*(extra warning for 750 runners and every 250 runners thereafter)
Trainers can check the sponsorship registered for every horse in their yard by hovering on the icon after the horse’s name on the new Racing Admin Site. If the registration is incorrect, the error should be taken up with the Sponsorship Desk at Weatherbys. If the error relates to a horse running that day, the Judge on the respective racecourse should be spoken to in advance of the race.

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