medical clearance


  • The diagnosis of concussion is made on the basis of a standard protocol that is followed by the RMO, or nurse, on every racecourse
  • The screening process will include an enquiry into symptoms, Turner questions and tandem stance balance test.

- If the screen is positive, the jockey will have to complete the full SCAT5 assessment to help decide whether he is concussed or not. If the SCAT5 is positive, the jockey will be stood down, advised re aftercare and the notification of injury protocol followed.

- If the screen is normal/negative but there is a high index suspicion due to the nature of the fall, the jockey will be retested after 30-60 minutes but may ride in between times if they so wish.

- Click here to download the concussion assessment flow chart.

  • However, this is just a screening process and does not give us any idea of how severe or troublesome the concussion is going to be
  • The Jockey must not drive home and must take care to follow the head injury instruction s/he is given at the racecourse.
  • The Jockey should not go to work the following day (schooling or riding out) and should contact the IJF Physios to arrange active rehabilitation and can claim PRIS
  • The most important thing for the Jockey to do initially is to rest both physically and mentally (cognitive rest)  Cognitive rest involves no watching television, using a computer or mobile devices and avoiding stressful or over-stimulating situations. After a day or so gentle exercise that does not worsen any symptoms can be undertaken

- Click here to download the H.E.A.D S.T.A.R.T to recovery advice leaflet.


If you suffer a concussion whilst racing under Rules (which involves a red entry) the British Horseracing Authority will offer Jockeys an £80.00 voucher for the purchase of a replacement helmet.

The bounty applies to all helmets that conform to the following criteria:

  • Meet standards PAS 015: 2011, SNELL E2001,VG1 01.040 2014-12 or UTAC/CRITT 04/2015
  • Have a CE marking (if manufactured after 30 June 1995)
  • Be in a serviceable condition

The damaged helmet must be sent through to the Chief Medical Advisor at The British Horseracing Authority, 75 High Holborn, London WC1V 6LS before the bounty voucher is issued.


  • Once the Jockey is symptom free on exercise, they can then contact the Medical Department at the BHA telephone number 0207 152 0138 to arrange a post-concussion review.
  • The only person who can book a post-concussion review is the BHA Medical Department and the Jockey should not attempt to arrange this themselves.
  • The post-concussion review involves 2 separate consultations and these are often only available at the same testing centre on one day in the week.
  • The post-concussion review consists of neuro-psychological tests similar to the Jockey’s baseline test and a consultation with a consultant neurologist.
  • The neuro-psychological test is reviewed by a clinical psychologist and compared to all the Jockey’s previous tests before a report is written and sent to the BHA
  • When the BHA is in possession of the Jockey’s results, they will inform the Jockey either:
    • a. They are able to return to race-riding the following day
    • b. They are suspended for a further 10-14 days. A further examination will be carried out after another 10-14 days.
    • c. The BHA requires a further review to ascertain whether a new baseline needs to be established. It is natural for a baseline to naturally lower as we get older and therefore although the Jockey may not have any problems, they may just not reach the old level at the re-test. A new level will then be established once the BHA is satisfied that this is the reason behind the results. This unfortunately can delay the process.
  • It is possible for a Jockey to return race riding 7 days after a concussion but 20% of Jockeys requesting to do this will not have returned to their baseline and will then be suspended for a further 10-14 days. It is therefore better to wait an extra day or two before having the post-concussion review to ensure that the Jockey has fully recovered.