Jumps racing

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.
Any horse entered in jumps races must hold an appropriate hurdle and/or steeplechase Certificate of Qualification for Jumping Races, as detailed in Appendix Two of the NZTR Racing Policy, issued by a Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) Stipendiary Steward or other suitably qualified person.

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.