New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s vision for thoroughbred welfare“A thoroughbred should be provided a good life, with the care and conditions that will allow the horse to thrive and perform to its natural abilities.”
Jumps racing conforms to a thoroughbred racehorse’s natural traits and abilities. With appropriate training and testing for jumping competence, jumps racing can be a viable career extension for horses that have become uncompetitive in flat racing.
From this perspective, the benefits gained from schooling and proving as a jumps horse also increases a horse’s likelihood of being successfully rehomed as a sport-horse after retirement.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and NZ Jumps Inc. have worked to improve safety for the horse and rider during jumps racing by:
- Investing in and developing a standardised design of padded hurdles across the country
- Rolling out safer plastic hurdle wings
- Requiring jockeys to withdraw a horse from a race when considered beaten
- Undertaking detailed reviews of horse fatalities in jumping races and preparing detailed jumping fatality reports.
Jumps jockeys must also undergo training and supervision before being granted a licence to ride in jumps races, which includes pre-season clinics to up-skill jumps jockeys and trainers.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing will:
- Re-examine jumping fatality reports to identify any systemic reasons for fatalities, and undertake comparative analysis with other jumps jurisdictions
- Continue to work with NZ Jumps Inc. and the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) to ensure that the rules governing safety in jumps racing are stringent and appropriate.