Introduction of Surgery Rule by British Horseracing Authority

November 25, 2017 by Jack Jakob

An announcement by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) sees it introduce a new rule relating to pre-race racecards.

This new rule requires a declaration of if a horse has recently undergone surgery. More specifically, wind surgery. And this needs to be stated if a horse is participating in an upcoming race. This is supposedly the piece of information that is most requested by bettors in the UK when they’re looking to place wagers on a race. The Horseracing Bettors Forum discovered such in a recent survey that it completed.

The surgeries that come under the wind surgery area include; Tie Back and Hobday, Epiglottic Surgery, Tie Forward and Soft Palate Cautery. That being said, the type of surgery that the horse has undergone will not be noted on a racecard. Instead, it will include the ‘WS’ against the horse’s name.

And this rule will come into effect from the beginning of next year. January 19th to be more accurate. Furthermore, while this has been requested by racing bettors, the BHA will also find appeal in it. The company aims to use the information for the process of collecting research relating to how wind surgeries affect the sport.

 The BHA Speaks Up

“The sport’s betting customers, and potential customers, are at the heart of this development…”,

said Chief Regulatory Officer for the BHA, Jamie Stier. He went on to state that it is imperative that horse racing is seen as a fair, open and transparent sport. Furthermore, he also made mention of the fact that information which could have a direct affect on the performance of a horse should be viewable to bettors.

“The more data that is available to the betting customer serves to make the sports a more attractive betting product”

he continued. It’s an effort of the BHA to stay level with other sporting events in order to complete in the crowded betting sector.

It’s already a requirement of many other racing nations to declare this information to bettors. Further to this, the BHA is also of the belief that other nations that don’t yet incorporate such will consider doing so once it does. And it’s not solely the BHA that is strongly behind this movement, but the Horserace Bettors Forum (HBF) also falls in line.

Simon Rowlands, who operates as Chair of the HBF, said that the Forums welcome the initiative. He went on to declare that the HBF is looking forward to discovering the value and appeal that the declaration of wind surgery will provide. His statement also brought the wider public into question, who he said were also waiting to discover more about how this information will affect the sport when this new rule comes into play in January.