Threat to Horse Racing After Brexit

Posted November 23, 2017

John Howarth, Labour MEP for South East England, met with the British Horse Racing Authority at trainer Stan Moore’s Yard at Lambourn on Tuesday (Nov 21 2017) to discuss the free movement of thoroughbred horses between the UK, Ireland and France after Brexit.
 
The free movement of racehorses between the UK, Ireland and France has been governed by the Tripartite Agreement between the national Horse Racing authorities but is subject to EU law and due to end when Britain leaves the European Union.
 
If no arrangements are agreed for racehorses, these movements will in future require veterinary health checks and temporary-admission documentation. Race horses, regarded as ‘highly healthy animals’ are exempt from routinely applied checks  These checks are likely to affect the health and welfare of the horse, and will impose additional costs on the horse trainers. This will, in turn, place the whole industry under threat.
 
John Howarth MEP said, “Maintaining the Tripartite Agreement is essential. Without a special agreement for the horseracing and bloodstock industry Brexit represents a major problem. The Government gave no thought clearly to the minutiae of Brexit, including what will happen to horse racing. In this area as many others a hard Brexit would be disastrous for the the economy in the South East. I will be liaising with my French and Irish contacts in the Parliament to develop an alliance to protect the best interests of horse racing. Nobody voted for a Brexit that damages the much loved pursuits that are part of our national life.”

Annually, over 10,000 racehorses move between England and Ireland alone.
 
Horseracing is big business for Newbury. Recent figures show that over 3,700 racehorses can be found in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Horseracing and associated industries are a huge contributor to the local economy, providing over 1,370 full time jobs, and a home for 10% of Britain’s racehorse trainers. The industry are also concerned about the availability of yard staff and riders if freedom of movement is ended.