BHA Reviewing Racehorse Welfare at Cheltenham

The BHA will investigate recent equine fatalities and long-term injuries at the Cheltenham Festival before publishing recommendations to improve racehorse welfare.
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racehorse welfare
The BHA will look at the circumstances surrounding recent equine fatalities and long-term injuries at the Cheltenham Festival before publishing recommendations to reduce equine athletes' injury risk. | Photo: Courtesy of the BHA

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed the scope of its review of racehorse welfare at Cheltenham racecourse, in Gloucestershire, England, and the Cheltenham Festival.

Six horses died during this year’s festival. In its review the BHA will look at the circumstances surrounding all recent equine fatalities and long-term injuries at the Cheltenham Festival—and more generally at the racecourse’s other fixtures—before publishing recommendations that have the intention of further reducing the level of risk to our equine athletes. The aims and objectives are to:

  • Adopt an evidence-based approach to further British racing’s commitment to improving equine welfare;
  • Further reduce risks to horses racing at future Cheltenham Festivals and, more broadly, Cheltenham racecourse;
  • Demonstrate openness and transparency by publishing a review which seeks to continuously improve; and
  • Utilize appropriate and relevant expertise to inform the review process.

Brant Dunshea, the BHA’s director of integrity and regulatory operations, will lead and Emma Marley, head of racecourse operations, will coordinate the review. It will also incorporate relevant internal and external experts to assist the review process, including recognized welfare organizations such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals and World Horse Welfare

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