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Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Brewery horses follow Father Christmas in falling foul of BHA rules

Unwelcome guests: the shire horses had not been declared to be on course by the BHA
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Hot on the heels of Lingfield being rapped over the knuckles for forgetting to seek BHA permission for Father Christmas to do his horseback rounds over the festive period, Warwick fell foul of the same red tape on Saturday.

Warwick’s misdemeanour was a failure to notify the BHA of their intention to invite Hook Norton Brewery to bring their two shire horses to pull the dray before racing. The horses were caught on television guzzling from a pint glass but it was the racecourse left punch-drunk.  

Jane Hedley, clerk of the course, said: “The brewery are our partners and the shire horses are regular visitors. I get clearance for them on the days we expect them, sending an email to the veterinary officer to inspect their passports.

“It was an oversight this time – a message about them coming didn’t get passed on. The shires are very popular and meet and greet racegoers before racing for an hour or so. They're gone before racing.”

The stewards' notice read: "An inquiry was held regarding the requirements, under BHAGI 3.1, into why the clerk of the course failed to notify the BHA that the racecourse intended to include shire horses at this meeting. The clerk of the course, general manager and veterinary officer were interviewed. They forwarded her comments to the head office of the BHA for consideration."

The BHA indicated after Lingfield's festive parade on December 23 had got them into bother that maintaining biosecurity to the highest standards was a serious business, and that non-thoroughbreds at a racecourse substantially heightens risk.


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The shires are very popular and meet and greet racegoers before racing for an hour or so but are gone before racing

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