Daily News Archive
Daily News Subscription
UK Trainers Support Ban On Worst Horses
In the UK, Newmarket's racehorse population "is continuing to rise, but a number of the town's trainers are in support of British Horseracing Authority proposals to force the worst of those animals out of the sport," reported racingpost.co.uk. There are 2,500 horses in training in Newmarket "yet many of those could effectively be excluded from racing in 2009 should the BHA reduce the fixture list & exclude the sport's lowest-rated horses". Trainer Gay Kelleway commented: "I try to avoid horses rated 45 or below. There's no reason to get out of bed for horses like that. How can you charge owners proper training fees for a horse rated that low, when it can win a poor race & still not recoup half a month's fees? The problem is, if you staged a race down the road with no prize-money at all, you would still find people having runners in it. They do it for the buzz, but that's not what we're here for." Fellow trainer Paul Howling said prize-money given to the worst races should be diverted to better quality contests, noting: "Lower-grade horses are hard to place & owners are finding it hard to pay training fees for horses who can't recoup that money, even when they win." However trainer Mark Wellings wrote a letter to Racing Post putting the contrary view: "I do not know any other sport that actively excludes & discourages people from taking part & getting involved. Every level of racing is important to maintaining a healthy sport & industry. The so-called lower level of racing should be embraced, as a starting point for either owners or trainers looking for a way in."