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I.N.H.S. Committee Revises Steeplechase Weight For Age Scale

Weight allowances for four and five year old chasers have been reduced following a review by the National Hunt handicapping team.  The measures were discussed by the National Hunt handicappers in consultation with the Stewards of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee.

The review of the scale began in 2007.  At that point, the BHA in Britain made changes to both their hurdle and steeplechase scales but the changes in Ireland were confined to the hurdle category.  In 2010, the Stewards requested an ongoing review of the steeplechase scale.  As a result of this, it has been decided to reduce the allowances for four and five year old chasers.

Currently a major disparity exists between the steeplechase scales in Britain and Ireland.  The agreed changes will bring this disparity more into line, based upon the statistical review and the UK experience.

The inordinate success of four and five year old chasers in Ireland and the UK has necessitated a change in the present scale which was not designed with the current situation in mind.  An added bonus will be the beneficial impact these changes will have on the Anglo-Irish Classification.

The new allowances will see an average reduction of 4lbs per month over 2, 2½ and 3 miles in comparison with the old scale, although four and five year old horses running in Irish Steeplechase races will continue to have a greater allowance than in Britain.

The Weight For Age Scale in Hurdle races has been left unchanged.

The implementation of these changes, which were first mooted in 2010, will bring it into line with the changes made to the hurdle scale in 2007.  As with the hurdlers, the scale will be continually reviewed.

The revised steeplechase Weight For Age Scale is attached.

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