Before the rule change all headgear in Ireland was shown as blinkersPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Rule change resolves
Irish headgear confusion
THE anomaly of headgear worn by horses in Ireland all coming under the official description of "blinkers" has finally been resolved.
The Turf Club on Friday announced a change to the rules has been approved by the Stewards of the Governing Bodies, to facilitate a more accurate declaration of headgear.
Horses trained in Ireland who have worn visors were officially described as racing in blinkers and the outdated system has meant that, for example, when a horse went to run in Britain and was declared with a visor, he or she was described in the press as being visored for the first time, regardless of whether he had carried similar headgear in the past.
Denis Egan, chief executive of the Turf Club, said on Friday: "At present the only options available to trainers when declaring headgear is to declare blinkers (which covers blinkers, visors, hoods, pacifiers and eye-shields) or sheepskin cheekpieces.
"When the new rules become operational, trainers will be required to declare the exact type of headgear or combinations of headgear that will be used. In making the change the Stewards felt that it was important that everyone is aware of the exact type of headgear that is being used and the new rules will provide this clarity."
Egan added: "Horse Racing Ireland has been asked to carry out the necessary programming to facilitate the change and the new rules will be introduced as soon as that programming is completed."