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, with minimal discomfort and an absence of suffering.”
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.