ARO and The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) today announced the next steps regarding the regulatory integration of Purebred Arabian (PA) racing with British thoroughbred racing. The intention to align the regulatory practices was first announced in December 2019.
This initiated a period of further scoping work to be followed by a phased implementation by ARO with support from the Racing Foundation. The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably created some delays, however, a series of interim measures are being introduced for 2021. Most significantly, existing BHA licenced trainers will be able train both Purebred Arabians and thoroughbred horses, from their current licenced premises, should they wish to do so.
There is no change for existing ARO (legacy) trainers who wish to continue training only Purebred Arabian horses in 2021, who should apply to ARO for a licence as normal. Those wishing to apply for a BHA licence in 2022 will be assisted in this process and should contact the ARO office for further details.
New Purebred Arabian trainers wishing to train in 2021 should also apply to the ARO office and will use 2021 to work towards fulfilling all the requirements of the BHA licencing process for 2022.
There will be no change to the administration of Arabian racing in 2021, which will continue to administered by ARO. ARO will provide the BHA and Weatherbys with all appropriate data relating to trainers, horses, stable staff and owners as and when appropriate or required.
Charles Gregson, ARO Chairman commented: “The announcement last December that integration was to begin, was the most significant breakthrough for our sport since we started racing under the guidance of the BHA following our inception. It has always been the vision of our Patron, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that Arabian racing would be fully integrated alongside the British thoroughbred racing industry.
“This brings the UK into line with the rest of the world, where Arabians are routinely trained alongside thoroughbreds. Despite the challenges due to COVID-19, we continued to race, providing a shortened programme catering for all abilities from maidens to Group 1PA races. It was also encouraging to welcome new owners, trainers and jockeys to the sport in the UK, even with the new restrictions.”
Gregson concluded: “We thank the BHA and the Racing Foundation in enabling this progress towards integration. We are also very grateful to all our participants, sponsors, the officials, racecourses and supporters for their commitment to Arabian racing this year and look forward to the 2021 season.”