Posted by HWPA on July 7, 2017  |   No Comments »

from Marcus Townend, HWPA President:-

Changes are being proposed by the Racecourse Association to the system of accreditation for racing media and it is important to gain feedback from members of the HWPA.

In a move which was initiated by the RCA last year, the initiative would see the end to the metal badge system with it being replaced by some sort of photo ID system similar to that which exists at major meetings like Cheltenham and Royal Ascot.

The RCA say that the old metal badge system is outdated and that a picture ID would bring racing in line with accreditation systems used by other sports.

They claim the benefits would also include increased security, easier identification and lost IDs would be easier (and less expensive) to replace.

They also argue that such a lanyard system would be subject to less abuse.

Car parking would remain the same and there would be different coloured lanyards for different levels of access.

I think it is fair to say that the HWPA committee is split on this proposal. Some accept or find it hard to argue against a modernisation of the system.

Others believe that the changes will not have the desifred effect the RCA are seeking.

The RCA have not yet supplied any specific numbers on fraud in the system, although we know that it takes place.

Currently, there is no suggestion that there will be changes to any of the other badges that allow access to a racecourse (ie RCA, Trainer, Jockey).

While it is a weak argument against a change that people ‘don’t fancy wearing a lanyard’, one of the main cases put up against change is that entry systems at many racecourses are so lax and badly manned that any change to a badge system is futile when trying to combat fraudulent entry.

No matter what system is in place for 2018, it is likely that applications for accreditation this autumn will have to be accompanied by a photograph of the applicant.

While discussions continue with the RCA, it would be good to get feedback from HWPA members on concerns or queries. Any comments should be forwarded to