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Turf Club announce 2012 Integrity Racing Statistics

The Turf Club today, 7th February, 2013, announced its Integrity Racing Statistics for 2012. The statistics cover stewards’ enquiries, appeal and referral hearings, drug/alcohol testing of riders, drug testing of horses, licences issued, non-runners, medical statistics, handicap ratings and off-times.

The key statistics are as follows:-

 The Appeals Body and the Referrals Committee dealt with 57 cases, consisting of 38 referrals and 20 appeals.  35% of appeals were successful.

 There was a 12.5% increase in the number of whip enquiries on the racecourse due to tighter policing of the new whip rules which were introduced in July 2012.

 164 riders were drug tested and three samples were confirmed as positive.  The substances found were a metabolite of Cannabis, Ecstacy and Furosemide.

 Alcohol breath testing of riders was carried out on 842 riders at 17 meetings.  All test results were negative.

 3,092 horses were tested for prohibited substances and there was one positive result. This was the highest number of tests carried out in recent years. All winners on the racecourse are routinely tested.  In addition there was an increase in the number of other horses randomly selected for sampling.

 There was a decrease in the number of riders being licensed with all categories declining to their lowest level in the recent years.  The number of National Hunt licences fell by 10.6%, flat licences by 5% and qualified riders licences by 7.8%. 

 There was a 6% decrease in the total number of trainers’ licences.  The number of licences is now at 2003 levels.

 The total number of stable employees registered remained static.  A slight decrease in the number of full time staff was offset by a small increase in part time staff.

Commenting on the figures, Turf Club Chief Executive, Denis Egan, expressed concern at the continuing fall in the number of licences issued.  He said “it is noticeable that the number of dual licences issued is much lower, as many trainers are now concentrating on their main code rather than taking out a second licence to cater for a small number of horses.”  He went on to say that “the fall in the number of licences issued to qualified riders is mainly due to riders who ride infrequently not renewing their licences, as a result of new safety standards introduced some years ago that require such riders to be re-assessed if they do not ride at least three times each year.  The number of qualified riders’ licences is now 50% lower than the peak reached in the mid 1990’s.”

Commenting on the medical statistics, Turf Club Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Adrian McGoldrick said that “the soft/heavy going for much of the year was responsible for a significant reduction in recordable injuries, with a 58% decrease in flat injuries and a 36% decrease in national hunt injuries.”  The number of falls in both codes was also significantly lower which again was ground related.  Dr. McGoldrick also expressed concern about the issue of jockeys making weight and said “that work is currently being carried out on the completion of a protocol for setting minimum weights for apprentices.”

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