• Dr Paull Khan

New Opportunity for 'Smaller' EMHF Countries to Secure Black Type

The European Pattern Committee has approved a new policy which gives the ‘smaller’ EMHF countries an improved opportunity to gain Black Type. Member countries are now able to apply for a single ‘flagship’ race to be granted international Listed status even if the rating of the race is up to 5 pounds lower than the normal minimum requirement. The policy is intended to give emerging countries – as they are termed in this context - which, in the absence of a Black Type race, struggle to attract horses of sufficient quality, a chance to gain a foothold within the European Pattern system. It is hoped that such international recognition for the flagship race will prove a catalyst for the improvement of that country’s race programme and horse population.

The criteria are as follows:

· An Emerging Country must adhere to basic EMHF-defined administration/integrity standards and be a member of the EMHF.

· A maximum of one qualifying race would be permitted per Emerging Country which would qualify based on a lower rating parameter/tolerance level.

· This lower parameter/tolerance level would be 5lb below the normal Listed race levels.

· A race from an Emerging Country must have achieved this required (lower) rating at least twice in the past 3 years meaning that races must have been run at least twice – this would give countries a chance for something to target sooner rather than later

· There would be a minimum prize money requirement of at least €50,000, to enhance the prospect of attracting international competition

· The race would be given 3 years to establish itself before being subject to review and could be downgraded if falling below the lower ‘exceptional’ parameter/tolerance level thereafter (with the general principle being that it must either achieve the 5lb lower average race rating over three years or the annual rating in two years out of the three renewals)

· If a country wishes to seek Listed status for more than one race or Group status for any race, all Black Type races from that country must meet the full normal rating parameters and the country would then become an Associate Member.

The Gran Premio de Madrid lost its Listed Race status as it was unable to meet the strict rating criteria applied in Europe.

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