Cheltenham Festival to reduce field sizes in bid to improve safety

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• Changes proposed for meeting after seven deaths this year
• Pre-race veterinary checks to be increased at the fixture

The British Horseracing Authority published a series of recommendations on Wednesday designed to improve the safety and welfare of horses and riders in National Hunt racing as a whole and at the Cheltenham Festival in March in particular. The proposals are the result of a review of the Festival which was launched after seven horses died as a result of injuries sustained at this year’s meeting, including three in the final race, the two-mile Grand Annual Chase.

In all, the review makes 17 recommendations, which include increased pre-race veterinary checks on runners, a reduction in the safety limit for two-mile chases from 24 to 20 and detailed analysis of faller rates for both trainers and jockeys both at Cheltenham and in all jump racing. Trainers and jockeys with faller rates “higher than the historical average” will be required to “engage constructively” with the BHA to find ways in which their number of fallers can be reduced.

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Written by Greg Wood
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/dec/12/cheltenham-festival-reduce-field-sizes-increase-pre-race-vet-checks-to-improve-safety-horse-racing under the title “Cheltenham Festival to reduce field sizes in bid to improve safety”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.