The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has issued an extreme weather warning, as UK racing stakeholders manage a record heatwave across venues, stables and racetracks.
The warning follows the Met Office issuing a ‘red extreme heat warning’, due to areas of the country reaching a record 39-40C during this week.
On Monday, the BHA reported that the racetracks of Beverley, Windsor, Chelmsford City, Southwell and Wolverhampton would abandon their weekly fixtures due to extreme heat conditions.
The weekly races were cancelled following concerns on the well-being of jockey and equine participants, as well as owners, staff and attendees.
“We fully support the decision to abandon the fixtures scheduled to take place on our racecourses on Monday and Tuesday,” said Mark Spincer, ARC Director responsible for Windsor, Southwell and Wolverhampton.
“We had taken steps to mitigate against the higher temperatures initially forecast for Monday and Tuesday, including moving Southwell’s race times to earlier in the day, the latest updates from the Met Office and the alerts issued this morning made it clear that it was within the best interests of all concerned to abandon these fixtures.”
The BHA continues to monitor the development of Britain’s record heatwave, and how it will impact UK racing’s summer schedule. The racing body confirmed that this week’s cancelled races will not be rescheduled.
A close dialogue has been maintained between racing stakeholders, to accommodate heatwave challenges, focused on athlete protection and equine welfare.
Richard Wayman, the BHA’s Chief Operating Officer, commented: “The BHA’s number one priority in the staging of any meeting is the wellbeing of all involved, human and equine.
“Following the issuing of the first ever extreme heat warning by the Met Office, we are taking sensible precautions and have made a decision as soon as possible in order to provide certainty for those impacted.”