Remounting Ban for Steeplechase Racing
Steeplechase racing has always been a controversial sport, and across the board in all racing disciplines, rules and regulations have been changed to ensure the safety of the jockeys and the equine athletes. Many feel that the new remounting ban will not affect the sport too greatly, but it does still run the risk of losing income with the new ban. Officials have commented that the positive aspects far out weight the negative, and have therefore confirmed the implementation of the ban.
The British Horseracing Authority has been debating the remounting saga for a few years now, but have never reached a conclusive decision. After 2005, when jockey Ruby Walsh remounted Kauto Star, the remount ruling was changed slightly. During a race, in Kauto Star’s novice career, Ruby Welsh made the decision to remount and finish the race. Even though the pair managed to deliver a worthy fight, losing by a small margin, it was found that Kauto Star had injured his leg during the fall and was rested for approximately nine months. Jockeys were there after required to make sure that their mounts were sound before remounting.
Another point that was raised by the British Horseracing Authority was the fact that jockeys were required to get clearance from a medical officer after falling, to be able to ride again on the same day, but that horses were not given the same treatment for safety. The ban will be imposed from the 2nd of November 2009, and will mean that any horse will be disqualified if their jockey remounts, at any point during the race. There will be no exceptions, even if there are no obstacles remaining. If every horse in the race falls, or dismounts their jockeys, punters will be able to claim their stakes back. If a horse were to fall on their way to the start of the race or at the starting point of the race, both horse and jockey will be cleared by medical and veterinary officers respectively, and will be able to participate in the race. The ban only applies once the race has begun. It is hoped that the ban will assist in promoting the safety and welfare of both the horses and their jockeys.