Preparing for hot racing conditions – Schweppes Derby Day, Friday 31 January

Wednesday 29 January 2020


In preparation for forecast hot conditions this Friday 31 January for the Schweppes Derby Day meeting commencing 14:22, Tasracing has undertaken a number of initiatives designed to mitigate animal and participant welfare risks.

A summary of these initiatives is as follows:

  • Where possible roof-mounted cooling sprinklers on the Elwick thoroughbred stalls will be utilised in an effort to assist ambient cooling.
  • Additional thoroughbred wash down facilities and scrapers will be positioned outside and inside the stalling areas to assist the post-race cool-down process.
  • Temporary sprinklers installed on the race track exits to assist cooling as horses and jockeys leave and return to the mounting yard.
  • Additional cold drinks available within the thoroughbred stalls area for all race day participants.
  • Additional two vets will be onsite for the additional workload of monitoring race day thoroughbreds for a total of four vets on site for race day.
  • Vets to check all thoroughbreds pre and post-race for any signs of adverse effects from the weather conditions.
  • Multiple water troughs will be placed throughout the day stall area with water buckets and ice serviced routinely by operational personnel.
  • Tasracing has an ice machine on site as a primary source of ice supply with local retail suppliers the secondary source of ice bag supply.
  • Five day stalls opposite the vets room will be repurposed as medical stalls for thoroughbreds showing signs of adverse health due to the weather conditions.
  • Fans will be installed in two of the medical stalls to increase air flow in the immediate area.
  • All horses will be stabled out of direct sunlight where possible to minimise direct sun/UV exposure.
  • Thoroughbreds will only be required on site one hour before racing and not the usual two hours to minimise time exposed to heat.
  • Additional race day medical staff will be in place to assess jockeys, trainers, support personnel and all race day participants.
  • Thoroughbreds will not be required to parade in the mounting yard pre-race to minimise time exposed to heat.
  • No official race day photos will take place post-race to minimise time exposed to heat  – all horses will instead be assessed by a vet upon leaving the track and directed straight to wash down facilities.
  • A minimum of three sections of misting systems will be installed 1) road access/egress from the mounting yard/parade ring 2)  medical stalls and 3) outside the urine swab box.

Reminder to participants:

  • Tasracing would also like to remind participants to give consideration to heat related risks to racehorse welfare during transportation to and from Elwick on Friday 31 January.
  • This might include consideration of time of day for travel, ventilation/cooling within horse transport vehicles, increasing the amount of monitoring of racehorses during transport, and considering additional rest breaks during transport for the purpose of cooling and hydration.
  • Please remember that the race-day Vet and race-day medical staff are available at Elwick for the entire race day, and can be consulted on heat related welfare and participant health issues or concerns.

Race day cancellation/re-scheduling due to heat conditions:

The race-day Vet will (as normal) be responsible for making a decision at any point prior to or during Friday’s race meeting as to whether racing will be stopped due to heat conditions. The stewards will then take the advice of the race-day vet and notify participants and Tasracing of any decision made.

In such an event, Tasracing will cancel or reschedule the meeting and endeavour to inform all participants of any subsequent plans in relation to the affected meeting as soon as possible.

Tasracing also reminds participants that the Strategic Development Manager Liam Swan can also be consulted in relation to any concerns approaching or on Friday’s race-day.

Liam Swan contact details: