Professional grooms and riders are cutting it fine to comply with the new law which comes in on 5 January, says the British Racing School (BRS).

From January anyone transporting horses as an economic activity must hold a certificate of competence under the new animal welfare law. Failure to do so may result in a fine and prosecution.

Sarah Holmes, from the BRS in Newmarket, says there has been such a large number of applicants wanting to take the qualification before the cut-off date, that extra courses have been organised.

Miss Holmes said: “It was a bit slow to start but as January looms it’s inevitable people will begin to panic about the exam.

“We can keep up with the numbers at the moment but we have to be flexible as people in the racing world don’t always know what they are doing from one day to the next.”

However, Lucy Katan, executive director of the British Grooms Association, fears some drivers will find themselves unable to transport horses in the new year (letters, 4 October).
“Come 5 January there will be people breaking the law,” she said.

“You have to register at least two weeks before taking the qualification, and with Christmas and New Year in between, there isn’t much time left. ”

All equestrian disciplines will be affected, including racing, studs, horse transport companies, show jumping, eventing and dressage riders.

The law does not affect riders and exhibitors who compete for minor prize-money or hobby breeders.

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  • British Grooms Association

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