BHA announce no jumps racing until July
The British Horseracing Authority has announced that all jumps racing in Britain is now off until at least July.
The news emerged following talks with the National Trainers Federation, who had asked for clarity over the short-term future of racing in the UK, and the Racehorse Owners Association, Professional Jockeys Association and Racecourse Association.
Despite saying there would be no jumps meetings until July, the BHA had already said the Resumption of Racing Group was working on proposals for a resumption of racing from May 1, should it be possible, with meetings to be held on the Flat and behind closed doors.
BHA's chief regulatory officer, Brant Dunshea met with representatives and stake-holders from across the racing industry on Wednesday, to review the possible plan for resumption from May 1 but Richard Wayman, chief operating officer of the BHA, admitted calling a halt to all jumps meets until July was not an easy one to make.
He said: "The decision to lose jump racing until July was not one which was taken lightly and we are very conscious of the impact this will have on many across our sport.
"We are working closely with the horsemen, racecourses and Levy Board to ensure the sport is ready for a resumption of racing at the earliest possible opportunity. Our planning is progressing well, and it is important that we keep everybody informed as it develops to help them with their own decision making.
"The plan involves a phased return of racing, as well as increasing the jump programme in late summer and early autumn. With that in mind, we wanted to ensure that those who own or train jumps horses have a clear picture of how we are planning to proceed in the coming months."
Wayman added: "Additionally, we were keen to minimise the risk of any unnecessary expenditure by confirming that there will be no jump racing before July 1. This will allow horses to have breaks away from training yards if owners wish them to."
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.