BHA Admits Risks In Allowing Racing To Go Ahead

The BHA on Monday evening released a statement seeing the return of racing to British race tracks as soon as Wednesday afternoon following the outbreak of equine influenza that has seen the sport without racing in the UK for six days.

Last Thursday racing fans woke up to the damning news that saw racing abandoned in Britain for the foreseeable future with a meeting set to be held on Monday between the BHA and the Veterinary Committee to see what the picture looked like.

The governing body kept social media waiting until the late hours of Monday evening when they officially released a statement lifting the ban and for racing to go ahead on Wednesday.

(Credit BHA) The BHA said: "This decision to return racing in a controlled, risk-managed manner was unanimously supported by the industry veterinary committee."

Brant Dunshea, BHA's chief regulatory officer, added: "After analysis of thousands of samples, and no further positive tests on Monday, we still only have two confirmed sites of infection. We have put robust containment measures in place around both.  

“From the testing and analysis conducted the disease appears to be contained at present.

"Clearly, there is some risk associated with returning to racing. This risk has been assessed and, based on the evidence - and ensuring biosecurity measures are in place – the level of risk is viewed as acceptable."

With racing being back this week it has sparked the racing world into frenzy with a lot of apprehension still about how safe it is for the horses with some cases of the flu still in circulation and the issue that some horses still won't be allowed to race until being sufficiently vaccinated.


Horses that had not been vaccinated for equine flu in the last six months will have to have a bumper injection which could see them out for over a week and may add another delay to top horses that could be returning this weekend in preparation races before the Cheltenham Festival.

Overall out of all 174 yards put into lockdown only two returned with a total of 10 horses from trainers Donald McCain and Simon Crisford's yards having been effected by the virus and this allowed for the BHA to allow racing to return under certain guidelines.

The governing body still have there queries and are still on high alert off the back of this serious issue in the sport but and racing ha only allowed to go ahead with the meetings having to undergo crucial bio security measures so something like this can be prevented.

Two courses that are set to feature for the first day of racing back in Britain is Plumpton and Musselburgh over the jumps and they will be particularly invested in putting on a good show as they wee hit hard during this six days missing two meetings each to an accumulation of the virus and the weather.

(Credit Racing Post) Plumpton clerk of the course and head groundsman Mark Cornford said on Monday: "We've set the track up ready and I've got my fingers crossed.

"It's heavy ground but things are improving. It was dry most of yesterday during daylight hours and has been dry today. If we get as far as declarations it should be more soft, heavy in places."

The cut off for trainers to be able to declare there horses for racing on Wednesday is at 10am on Tuesday with Thursday's all weather meetings will now be set at the 24 hour stage for declarations.

This is great news for the sport with still certain restrictions being set in place but a now light at the end of the tunnel with exactly four weeks until the Cheltenham Festival.