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We explain all the procedures and practices we will undertake to make sure racing behind closed doors remain safe. 


British horse racing is safely returning behind closed doors as part of a phased return for the sport. In doing so we will be introducing strict protocols designed to safeguard everyone's health and wellbeing and to ensure that racing can take place safely behind closed doors. These measures have been developed in consultation with government and public health officials to help keep those attending safe and include:

  • A three stage health check that all attendees on courses will have to pass
  • Strict social distancing measures on course
  • Detailed new guidance for all participants on how they will have to do things differently on course in order that we can race safely and mitigate any risks.


We will be reducing the use of any medical or NHS services to a minimum, acting responsibly by using private ambulances, hospitals and medics – to protect the NHS.


For those working at an event, including officials, racecourse staff and participants, the implementation of these guidelines ensures that racing will take place in a more controlled environment than most day-to-day activities.


Please take the time to view the informative videos below that will talk you through how racing is returning safely.



What is the process for horses arriving at racecourses?

Racing already adheres to very strict bio-security measures but there will now be additional protocols in place.


ONLY staff with the appropriate accreditation will be permitted to enter the stable yard and as a general principle this will be limited to stable staff (or trainer/representative when accompanying the horse), equine welfare and integrity officers, vets and relevant racecourse staff ONLY. Trainers or their assistants will be generally be permitted access only where the racecourse adopts saddling in the stables.


On arrival horses will be taken to the specified area for the horse check-in where the horse’s microchip and identification will be checked.


Ideally, all horses will be saddled in the same area (i.e. stable box or saddling area of the parade ring. The trainer or their representative will retrieve equipment from the designated area (in or near the weighing room) and proceed to saddling area. After handling or transferring any equipment they will wash or sanitise their hands. When tacking the horse for the race, social distancing must be maintained by keeping one person on either side of the horse.

medical screening


Who will be able to attend a racecourse?

Access to the racecourse will be extremely limited and only authorised personnel will be able to attend. The names of those planning to attend on a given day must be submitted in advance and if the name is not on the list, that individual will not be permitted entrance under any circumstances. There is a three stage health check that everyone will have to  pass before they are allowed onto courses


What are the screening steps everyone will have to go through?

  • First of all everyone will have to complete an online educational course on Covid 19
  • Each person will have to complete an online health questionnaire within the 7 days prior to them going to a racecourse. This will expire after 7 days and will have to be repeated on a rolling 7 day basis to monitor their health.
  • On arrival at a racecourse, ALL attendees will be required to answer further questions, as well as having their temperature recorded twice. This will be done in a secure area from people’s cars. And, if on both occasions this temperature exceeds 37.8°C, they will not be allowed onto the course and will have to head home immediately and self isolate.


It is only when someone has successfully completed all three steps that they be allowed to onto the racecourse and given their accreditation showing that they have successfully completed screening.

social distancing


What social distancing measures will be in place on course?

Racing is an outdoor activity taking place across an extensive site. The vast majority of a race meeting can be run whilst maintaining social distancing guidelines, and dedicated social distancing officers will be at every fixture to ensure these guidelines are maintained at all times.


We’ll be making sure that people on courses maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible and in certain areas there may be specific demarcation of the 2meters, such as in the jockeys’ changing rooms, the weighing room and in the parade ring.


There are a small number of activities such as legging up jockeys which will require individuals to be within 2m for a short period of time – but this will only be very brief and in these instances people will be wearing face coverings and will wash and sanitise their hands straight afterwards.

weighing room in and out processes


How will the weighing in and out process take place?

The weighing in and out process will be carried out as normal but with social distancing and access to the weighing room strictly limited to BHA officials, relevant racecourse staff and Valets, and jockeys only.  


All equipment must be cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival on course and will be cleaned once more by the valets on arrival. All equipment must be in a clean, single (where possible) bag, clearly labelled with the name of the trainer, the horse’s name, and the race number and time.


There will be a series of clearly designated areas, in view of the Clerk of the Scales, where saddles, weight cloths, number cloths etc can be passed from jockeys to trainers or their representatives after weighing out.

jockeys on course


How will you be keeping jockeys safe in the changing rooms?


We have a number of measures to keep jockeys safe on course including ensuring that there is social distancing in the jockeys’ changing rooms and that each jockey has a clear space of 2m which must be maintained and this may include taped areas or putting up screens. As a result, courses may provide additional changing room space for jockeys so that this can be achieved.


In addition, the shower and sauna facilities will not be available to prevent any spray.


There will also be no catering on courses and jockeys will need to bring their own food and drink to the course with them, but bottled water will be provided.

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Frequently asked Questions

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