What precautions are taken in order for racing to continue in sweltering heat

POSTED ON  |  20-06-2022

Cooling Fan
Temperatures are set to soar to 31C at Royal Ascot on Friday and while the heat has forced the abandonment of some greyhound fixtures, horseracing is still able to continue. Hot weather is of course common in other racing jurisdictions including the Middle East, America and Australia. It is less so in Britain, where the BHA details a number of extra precautions for the welfare of horses in high temperatures, particularly when they reach more than 30C.

What will happen at Royal Ascot?

Given the timing of Royal Ascot in the calendar, the track is well equipped to deal with heat. In the stabling facilities, staff have access to lots of water and will regularly wash horses with cold water throughout the day in order to keep their temperatures low. Cooling facilities are most important immediately after a horse has run. Ascot has taken extra measures to ensure cold water, containing ice, is readily available at strategic areas on the track, such as the pull-up area, horsewalk, unsaddling enclosure, parade ring and winner's enclosure. Ascot also has high-tech cooling fans.

BHA equine welfare integrity officer Jeremy Willis said: “They’ve got fantastic facilities here, the stables are very airy and there’s lots of washdown facilities for the horses which the [stable] staff are aware of. Horses will be washed down two or three times a day just to keep them cool.
  • “Horses do acclimatise in heat, much better than a lot of people give them credit for. When we’re all flaking with the heat they handle it much better, but with the facilities we’ve got it helps that recovery.”

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