Mandatory Pre-Race Examinations Enforced For All Grand National Runners
The British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) has announced all runners in the Randox Grand National Festival will undergo pre-race examinations.
The pre-race check-ups were already mandatory for the majority of the Festival’s races. However, the new (2019) regulations will enforce pre-race examinations and a trot up of horse running in the Foxhunter, Topham and the infamous Grand National Steeplechase.
Examinations include an in-depth vet assessment, including a trot up in the morning of every horse that enters a race that day. Designed as a final health check, the examination identifies whether or not the horse has any health issues, before they are allowed to race.
The BHA have stated any horses, who are entered into the Randox Health Grand National Festival, are to be assessed on gait by trainers.
If any horses are identified as a “poor mover” or have an “asymmetrical gait” in the period leading up to the event, the BHA has requested that the runners be made known.
This should enable the horse to be examined and observed, additionally allowing abnormalities to be noted by veterinarians before the race day examinations commence.
To ensure the health of the runners, trainers are also required to submit a BHA Medication Declaration form. The form covers a 45-day period, in the run-up to the race, allowing the identification of substances the horse may have been exposed to. This prevents the risk of horses racing under the influence of drugs, further protecting their health and well-being.
The new enforcement of the pre-race examinations has been requested by Aintree Racecourse. The BHA have shown gratitude to the racecourse in the enforcement this regulatory step, stating their mission is to ‘prioritise the health and welfare of racehorses’.
However, the BHA are working in partnership with numerous trainers ensuring withdrawal is not need prior to the festival. Full details of these measures are being communicated directly to trainers and support is being provided.
The Randox Health Grand National Festival is set to begin on the 11th April, running until the 13th April 2024.