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Going to the races

Owners' Badge allocation

As a racehorse owner, you are entitled to an allocation of owners’ badges on days when your horse is racing.

You will be issued with a PASS card, with which you can gain access to the racecourse when you have a runner and will allow you to pick up your allocation of badges for the day.

These vary from course to course but are likely to include:

  • Four free badges for horses in sole ownership.
  • Between six and ten free badges for horses in joint ownership/racing partnerships.

It is important to note that courses will often agree to provide additional badges, and/or a reduced rate for extra badges if a horse is owned by a large partnership. This should always be arranged in advance of the raceday.

Owners' badge allocations vary from course to course. Check the RCA Owners Guide to Racecourses for further information of each course's badge allocations and owner facilities, such as:

  • Free car parking.
  • Free racecards.
  • Use of special owners’ facilities, e.g. a section of the grandstand, bars or tearooms.
  • Access to the saddling area, pre-parade ring and parade ring and to the racecourse stables in company with your trainer.
  • Some courses provide complimentary lunches (usually booked in advance), and/or other refreshments for owners.
  • Most courses provide celebratory hospitality for the connections of the winning horses, usually a room where you can watch a replay of the race and toast your victory with a glass of something bubbly!

Members of the ROA are sent a Horseracing Privilege Photocard, which is a PASS card with added functionality and benefits, such as free racecourse admission under the Racecourse Badge Scheme for Owners on many days when you don’t have a runner. The scheme is open to registered owners with at least a 50% share of a horse in full training or the equivalent in partnerships. A nominated partner in a racing partnership would qualify for this benefit.

Members should note that the Badge Scheme does not apply on days when they have a runner, e.g. to obtain an extra badge.

Registered owners who are not ROA members are sent a PASS card when the first entry is made under their ownership.

The majority of tracks try to be flexible with owners’ requests when made in advance, and owners are encouraged to contact the racecourse as early as possible if they have any queries or special requests or wish to book a table in the restaurant.

Parade ring safety

Racecourse parade rings (and other areas reference above), are getting busier every season and the number of near-misses and actual incidents is increasing correspondingly.

The ROA has consulted with other industry bodies, including the Racecourse Association (RCA), and in order to ensure our members enjoy their parade ring* experience safely and to minimise risk, we have produced the ROA Code of Good Practice Guidance Document.

  1. Please abide by the RCA’s request that owners do not enter the parade ring other than to view a horse with which they are connected. If an owner needs to enter the parade ring because they have an active raceday role, or for business reasons, then they will need to contact the racecourse in advance to gain permission.
  2. Assist racecourse management by following the British Horseracing Authority General Instruction that children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the parade ring.
  3. Do not block up disabled access areas and do be aware of the special issues faced by wheelchair users within the parade ring.
  4. Risk assessments show that large numbers of connections of syndicated horses pose particular risks in the parade ring. Spread the load by offering syndicate members the chance to see their horse in the pre-parade ring, or after racing (hopefully in the winner’s enclosure) instead. Where syndicates have a horse in a race with a large number of runners, the racecourse may limit the number of members that can enter the Parade Ring to ensure that the Parade Ring capacity (as determined in the Risk Assessments), is not exceeded.
  5. Some new syndicate members are inexperienced around horses. Syndicates are required to delegate a syndicate leader who is experienced around racehorses or who has undertaken the Horse Aware training, to chaperone the party and point out the need to be aware on horse walkways, crossing points, etc, and to ensure they adhere to the Code of Good Practice within the Parade Ring*
  6. If you are a new owner and not experienced around racehorses, you should be accompanied into the parade ring* by the trainer or trainer’s representative.
  7. The RCA has identified the major parade ring risks as coming from loose and unruly horses. This is more likely in 2-year-old races on the Flat and National Hunt bumpers, so be particularly careful if your horse is in one of these races.
  8. Everybody wants to enjoy their parade ring experience to the full, but remember your thoroughbred racehorse is both valuable and highly-strung, so avoid loud, flamboyant behaviour and intrusive photography. When the moment comes for mounting up, stand well clear and leave it to the professionals.
  9. Only trainers (or their representatives), officials, jockeys and stable staff may approach horses in the Parade Ring.
  10. If a member of your party is disabled, please let the racecourse know in advance so they can make suitable and safe parade ring arrangements.
  11. All instructions provided by the Parade Ring Safety Officer, or other racecourse personnel should be followed without question or delay.

* Parade Ring - refers also to Pre-Parade Ring and Winner's Enclosure.

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Racehorse Owners Association
1st floor, 75 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6LS

Telephone: 020 7152 0200
Email:          info@roa.co.uk

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