Racehorses ‘didn’t bat an eyelid’ over wrapped Christmas chase fence


    A racing trainer has got into the festive spirit by wrapping a chase fence in brightly coloured paper.

    Jeremy Scott, based in Brompton Regis, Somerset, was helping promote this year’s Boxing Day racing at Wincanton Racecourse.

    Racehorses Native Robin and Garrane, trained by Mr Scott, and ridden by Nick Scholfield and Emily Jones, “flew over ” the fences in preparation for their festive engagements.

    Mr Scott said: “We did think they’d look at it and think it was the most extraordinary thing and refuse to jump, but they jumped straight over it, and didn’t bat an eyelid.

    Mr Scott’s brightly coloured training fence follows recent research by the University of Exeter which has shown that colours other than orange, which is currently used on hurdle frames, take-off boards and guard rails, could be more effective and maximise visibility for both humans and horses.

    The British Racing Authority (BHA) racing committee has approved a trial using fluorescent yellow hurdle frames and guard-rails, and fluorescent white take-off boards, with the hope of making jump racing safer. The trial will take place at training grounds in range of locations before being rolled out in a live racing environment.

    Perhaps all fences should be wrapped on Boxing Day — it would look fantastic and all the horses would jump incredibly well,” joked Mr Scott.

    Seven races make up the card at Wincanton’s Boxing Day meeting and include the Jockey Club Lord Stalbridge Memorial Chase.

    Gates open at 10.30am on the day with the first race at 12.20pm. Advanced tickets for the meet are available from £18 and will be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to The FestivalTM presented by Magners.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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