the rules for the running of a race the Jockey Club
had to consider the interests of several different parties,
however, the three key areas are the welfare of the
horse, the safety of the rider and the integrity of
the sport with regard to the interests of the betting
public. In total there are about 300 Racecourse Stewards
operating on the 59 British tracks at the 1,100 plus
fixtures held each year.
At every meeting a panel of four stewards
will be responsible for the conduct of the day's racing,
although only three will sit on an enquiry, thereby
avoiding the possibility of a split decision. The Racecourse
Stewards are approved and trained by the Jockey Club.
Racecourse Stewards are advised by Jockey Club employed
Stewards' Secretaries. On average, two of the fourteen
Stewards' Secretaries are on duty at each meeting, with
three present at major fixtures such as Royal Ascot
and the Cheltenham Festival.
With the help of specially positioned cameras, Racecourse Stewards
monitor the running and riding of every horse competing
on the day. The cameras provide the coverage to four
television screens in the main stewards' room. Further
screens are also provided in the stewards' viewing boxes.
Each race can be viewed from a minimum of four angles;
head-on and side-on views of the home straight, a "scout"
camera provides a view from the rear of the field and
further camera positions follow the runners in the back
straight. Racecourse Stewards will also have access
to other camera angles from television companies broadcasting
from the course.
The stewards and stewards' secretaries watch each race "live"
from their viewing boxes and also from the stewards'
room watching the camera angles as the race unfolds.
In particular, stewards are looking out for possible
breaches of the interference rule (Rule 153), the guidelines
on use of the whip (Instruction H9) and horses not running
on their merits (Rules 155-158). The Jockey Club's Disciplinary
Committee and Department consider, amend and publish
Jockey Club Instructions as necessary, and recommend
Rule changes to the Stewards of the Jockey Club.
The rule governing interference between horses during a race
is Rule 153. Rule 153 exists fundamentally to protect
the safety of both horse and rider while additionally
promoting fair race-riding. A racecourse enquiry held
under this rule will determine whether or not the horse
and rider responsible for causing interference are punished,
either through the demotion of the horse or suspension
of the rider, or both.
Important Rules of Horse Racing
:: When a horse or its Rider has caused interference.
For the purpose of this Rule the following definitions
Intentionally causing interference
A rider is guilty of intentionally causing interference
if he purposely interferes with any other horse or rider.
A rider is guilty of reckless riding if he shows no
regard to the consequences of his actions and/or the
risk to others and, in particular, the danger of injury
to or interference with, other horses or riders.
A rider is guilty of irresponsible riding when interference
is caused by some manoeuvre of the rider and where it
ought to have been obvious to the rider that interference
would be the result.
A rider is guilty of careless riding if he fails to
take reasonable steps to avoid causing interference
or causes interference by misjudgement, or inattention.
A rider has taken all reasonable steps to prevent the
interference from occurring or the interference was
due to circumstances beyond the rider's control.
Instruction H9 - Use of The Whip
When examining cases of Excessive Frequency, the Stewards
will consider all the relevant factors such as:
Whether the number of hits was reasonable and
necessary over the distance they were given, taking
into account the horse's experience;
Whether the horse was continuing to respond;
The degree of force that was used; the more times
a horse has been hit the stricter will be the view taken
over the degree of force which is reasonable.
Instruction H8 - Whip Specifications
The Stewards of the Jockey Club give notice that they
only approve whips which fall within the following specifications:
Maximum length, including flap, of 68 cms;
Minimum diameter of 1 cm.
The only additional feature which may
be attached to the whip is a flap.
If a flap is attached it must fall within the specifications
A maximum length of flap from the end of the shaft of
A maximum width of the flap of 4 cms, with a minimum
width of 2 cms;
The flap from the end of the shaft must not contain
any reinforcements or additions.