Jumping the last fence at Warwick racecourse

30th October 2013

Final preparations for the Jumps at Warwick

Monday was a very important day in the lead up to the start of the jumps at Warwick as we had the Inspectors in.

Before the start of any season, every course is inspected by the BHA Inspector of Courses to ensure that all areas of the racecourse are prepared so that they fulfil the racecourse’s licence to host race meetings. As Warwick races on the Flat as well as jumps, the course is inspected twice each year.

The inspection which starts with a walk of the course and every steeplechase fence is measured on the way round to make sure they are spot on. The minimum height for a steeplechase fence is 4ft 6in and nearly all of the fences were exactly right. We discussed the style of each of the fences on the way round and made a note of which ones needed a little bit of adjustment to make them perfect.

Unfortunately the strong winds and heavy rain over the weekend had caused some of the birch in the fronts of the fences to move meaning Simon, the groundsman who takes the lead on building the fences, still has some tweaking to do before we race next Wednesday but apart from that the fences looked great.

The inspection also includes a check of the stabling area. Warwick’s stable yard was opened in 2006 and so is still quite new in comparison to many yards in the country. It is well laid out, which makes it much easier to maintain and operate.

Every stable is disinfected after each raceday and we keep records of when the disinfection is carried out. These records are also checked as part of the inspection. Like humans, horses can sometimes carry bugs and so it is crucial that we maintain the highest standards of biosecurity to ensure that any of these bugs are eliminated from the stable yard.

The Sampling Unit is also checked to make sure it is clean and has all the required equipment to ensure that horses can be tested after racing as required by the BHA. Although the integrity of racing is overseen by the BHA, each racecourse plays an important role in making sure that the BHA staff who attend on a raceday have all the tools and facilities they need to carry out their jobs.

Once the stables have been approved, the canteen and hostel facilities are checked and as are the Weighing Room, Stewards’ Room, Jockeys’ Medical Room and Judges Box. The calibration of the scales is verified, the CCTV systems are checked…even the time on the clocks is checked!

Everything was in order and so we now have a few final jobs to complete in the next week before we finally welcome people back to Warwick for the new jumps season. We look forward to seeing racegoers on 6 November.