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The British Whippet Racing Association was formed at a meeting at the Golden Lion Hotel, Highroad Well, Halifax on Saturday June 3rd, 1967.

Management Rules

 1. That this body be known as “The British Whippet Racing Association”.

2. The aims of the Association shall be to promote greater friendship and understanding between the Whippet racing clubs; to give greater strength to the advancement of the sport to help clubs dealings with local councils in negotiation for land; and to control and standardise Whippet racing.

3. The affairs of the Association shall be governed by the following officials: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Registrar, and two of three named representatives from each Region who shall make up the National Committee.

4. The Executive Committee consisting of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Registrar shall not be allowed to serve on regional committees.

5. Each official of the Association and two of the regional representatives shall have one vote each at National Committee Meetings. The Whippet News is allowed one vote at the discretion of the National Committee.

6. No interchanging of regional delegates allowed except at the discretion of the National Committee.

7. All officials at both National and Regional level, including regional delegates, must be members of the BWRA for the protection of all involved.

8. All proposals and nominations for the election of officers of the Association must be in the hands of the Secretary not less than 28 days before the Annual General Meeting.

9. The Association shall be responsible for the setting up of a register of whippets, the fee for such registration being for each whippet for life.

10.A member may not change club or Region affiliation in mid-season unless there is a permanent change of address to the satisfaction of the Committee.

11.Ungentlemanly conduct, gambling and obscene language will not be tolerated.

12.Any member of the Association who may be barred by their Region is to be banned from all BWRA events. He/she may appeal to the National Committee.

13.An extraordinary General Meeting can be called on the signed request of 50 registered members, but at not less than 1 months’ notice. 40 of signees to attend.

14.The Association deny any liability for any loss, or damage incurred, or any injury received at their events.

15.Any circumstances arising not covered by the rules at present, shall be dealt with; (a) by the Clerk of the Course after consulting the 3 named stewards; (b) by the National Committee.

16.The Committee shall be the sole authority for the interpretation of these rules, and anyone joining the Association shall abide by the Committee’s interpretation on any matter affecting the Association. This shall be final and binding on the members.

17.No member of the National Committee shall be liable for prosecution for administering the rules of the Association. (No violence will be tolerated).

18.Voting on proposals for changes to rules is allowed every 3 years and should be by Postal Vote. Proposals are to be put in writing to the secretary to be received 7 days before the last committee meeting prior to the AGM. After the committee meeting each member will be sent a numbered voting paper with the proposals on it and space by each one for him/her to record his/her vote. This should then be returned to the National Secretary who may make random checks. The voting forms are sent out via the Regional Secretaries to distribute. The onus is on each member to ensure that any change of address has been advised to their club and regional secretaries. Minimum voting age limit is 16 years.

19.Proposal, Postal Votes to be kept in for 3 years.

20.Any person that has been under a ban from the BWRA cannot hold a position within the said organisation.

21.BWRA Executive Committee to hold their posts for 5 years unless they wish to leave.

22.BWRA Top Table & Reps to vote on proposed venues.

23.The BWRA Executive Committee should not be able to claim expenses when working at a BWRA racing event if they have a dog (s) taking part in the event. This should also apply to any BWRA member working who is there at the request of the Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee may claim half their expenses, if they have no dog taking part in a BWRA Event.

24.Any club wanting to host BWRA events (bend & straight) to be submitted at least 2-3 weeks before the AGM, giving any costs involved & facilities, no proposals on the day.

25.A copy of the BWRA accounts to be sent to each regional secretary who will then in turn let each of their regions clubs have a copy before the BWRA AGM, the advantage of this will be that club members will have the opportunity to look over the accounts and if they have any queries their regional reps could then take them to the reps meeting and ask them for clarification. Books to be fully audited.


Membership / Registration

1. Club and Membership fees shall be paid to the Association from January 1st in each year. All fees to be reviewed annually. Family membership to include children up to and including 16 years of age.

 2. Memberships not renewed by 1st March will be liable to an extra levy. This does not apply to new members joining during the year.

3. No memberships or registrations will be accepted between 31st October and the AGM to allow for the balancing and auditing of the Association finances.

4. Any person applying for membership must belong to an affiliated whippet racing club. All BWRA cards must go through your club secretary who will send them to the national registrar, who in turn, will send them back to the club secretary for distribution (if members wish to do so, the National Registrar will send them directly back to members if a stamped addressed envelope is enclosed with cards).

5. If an Association members subscription lapses with his club, then he/she shall not be entitled to race in BWRA events.

6. The first name of a whippet which is registered with the Association must remain for the life of the whippet. Once a dog is registered no alteration can be made, either to form or card.

7. When a registered whippet is transferred from one owner to a new owner, then a transfer fee shall be paid to the Association. The registration certificate must also be forwarded to the Registrar. In the event of card being lost, a new card must be bought before the dog can be transferred.

8. A member of the Association can register with the BWRA his/her choice of Prefix/Suffix for a fee. This should be a made-up word. If a member with Prefix/Suffix membership lapsed for 5 years, then that name would be lost.

9. All registrations and new memberships must have been received by the National Registrar at least 28 days before all Championship events (Straight and Puppy/Yearling) for a dog to be eligible to run. Existing memberships must have been renewed before the event. No excuses will be accepted if members do not renew their membership before the 28 days for Championships, please get proof of posting when sending them & include original vaccination certificate.

10.All matings must have been recorded on BWRA Breeders Form. This must be signed and dated by both the owner of the sire & dam at the time of mating. These forms will be available from regional registrars. Completed forms should be returned to the BWRA within 6 weeks of the litter being born in order for the new owners to register them with the BWRA.

11.Registration of pups that are bred out of unregistered parents can still be presented & left to the discretion of the committee on a visual look of the dogs in question. Each case to be decided on the information provided.

12. Due to allegations of wrongful parentage and or dates of birth of some registrations, the top table committee have decided to relax the ruling on at least a 12-month gap between litters. In future the top table will police on an animal welfare basis being the priority as it always has been. Breeders will be given guidance and advice wherever it is felt needed.

 13. Membership increase, family £18, single £10, the difference to be given out in prize money.

14. Dog’s names can be reused after 12 years unless it is the name of a BWRA Racing Champion.

Rules Governing Track & Equipment

1. Traps with doors of the up and over type, to be numbered 1 to 5 from the left looking up the track, in yd/lb racing not less than 9 and no more than 12 inches apart, in Scratch Racing traps to be 9 inches apart.

2. All traps used in BWRA events to be of a standard type i.e., fronts should not be partially blocked permanently.

3. All trap floors to be standardised i.e., no slats, floors to be made of non-slip rubber matting.

4. A handler may block off part of a trap front and/or use a springboard at the discretion of the trap man. It is the responsibility of the handler that said equipment be of proper type, that it does not interfere with the operation of the traps, and that it is removed before the next race.

5. At all BWRA Events numbered and coloured racing jackets shall be worn by all whippets. Handlers to supply and be responsible for colour and condition of said jackets.

6. The type of Lure used shall be at the discretion of the Clerk of the Course.

7. No live incentive will be allowed at the Associations race meetings.

8. The Lure shall be placed 1 yard in front of the middle trap, when all traps are on scratch.

9. The Lure shall be no more than 10 yards in front of the traps when the traps are released, when all the traps are on scratch.

10. The starter judge’s flag to be raised when the lure operator indicates “ready”.

11.All members and spectators shall not be permitted within 25 yards of the traps and the trap area to be fenced off.

12. When a mechanical failure, or any circumstance occurs, detrimental to the performance of any dog in the race, the race shall be re-run, at the judges’ discretion.

13.Any dog(s) whose trap does not open shall have an equalising run immediately after the race.

14. The track to be roped or coned off at all National events.

General Racing Rules

1. Whippets are to be whippet like in appearance and recognisable as a whippet.

 2. All whippets to be no more than 32lb in weight for general handicap racing. Separate scratch classes will be held for the up to 36lb, up to 45lb and 55lb whippets.

3. There will be a ¼ lb weight allowance given at all events.

4. All BWRA time handicap racing will be handicapped at 0.06.

5. Time trial events to be held at the 6 national straight events (Tyrone, Andy Patterson, Lord Byron, IBM, Scottish National & Jack Cadman) in 3 weight classes – up to 24lb, up to 32lb & over 32lb.

6. John Gill & another suitable member to be National Time Handicapper

7. Distance capped at 17yds for time trial.

8. Whippets will race as shown on programme and no interchanging of traps will be allowed unless by mutual agreement of the committee and all owners in said race.

9. Once seeded at start of the season, no dogs can change sides.

10. The BWRA Committee to observe the seeding of dogs. If a dog is found to be seeded incorrectly on 2 occasions the committee will reserve the right to refuse seeding at any future BWRA events.

 11.All whippets to be put in the traps simultaneously.

12. Only one person for each whippet will be allowed on the track, unless agreed beforehand with the Clerk of the Course.

13. No dog or person, other than those in the heat will be allowed on the racetrack, unless authorised.

14. No non-member may run a dog.

15.Any whippet(s) judged guilty of deliberate interference during a race will be disqualified and the race re-run at the official’s discretion without the offending dog(s).


A. Interference shall mean deliberate leaning on of deliberate attempts to worry.


B. If a dog runs opposite its seeding and impedes another dog it will result in disqualification. 


C. Accidental interference occasioned through crossing shall not require disqualification or a re run if a dog is unseeded.


17.Any dog disqualified for fighting 3 times will be barred from all BWRA events until it has had 3 clearing trials which must consist of a minimum of 3 dogs and the dog in question must be seen to pass, the dog can then be signed off by a regional official.

18. In the event of a whippet requiring a re-run, the re-run will take place after a ten-minute break or three races.

19.All whippets to be muzzled when racing in Association events in such muzzles as approved by the Association.

20.Any whippet finishing without a muzzle correctly fitted i.e., adequately covering the jaws, will be disqualified, and placing awarded accordingly without a re-run unless judges fail to agree on placings. It is the owner’s ultimate responsibility to ensure the muzzle is correctly fitted.

21.Any person found guilty of deliberately standing on the Lure string in order to stop or slow a race, shall have his/her whippet disqualified and be dealt with by the committee.

22.All handlers with a whippet in a race shall stand 20 yards behind the finishing line and behind the ropes intended for the purpose. Failure to comply will result in disqualification. Handlers are responsible for catching their whippets(s) immediately after the race.

23. Whippets will be vetted at the traps and any misdemeanour will result in immediate disqualification. If a whippet is in an injured state, then the Clerk of the Course will have the power to withdraw the whippet.

24.Any bitch in season will not be allowed on the field of the race meeting. Any objections relating to offending bitches to be made to the Clerk of the Course on the day.

25. Handlers of loose whippets on the track whilst a race is in progress shall pay £5.00.

26. In all BWRA Events it is the handlers responsibility to ensure that their whippet(s) are ready in time for their race. The race will be called three times, failure to appear will mean that the race will be run without the missing whippet(s).

27.All whippets to be at the traps coated & muzzled one race before their own. If any whippet has no coat or muzzle on when they arrive at the traps, then the official at the traps has the right to disqualify them.

28.Any dog not completing the course will be disqualified.

29. Where there is a final, dogs must have run an equal number of times. Where a re-run is necessary this will count as the same race except where the dog is then involved in having to have an equal run, in which case it will be taken into account.

30.Any member may appeal to the National Committee provided such an appeal is made in accordance with the current grievance procedure.

31.At all events, except National Championships, dogs not qualifying for the second round of racing will be automatically entered into consolation racing where consolation racing is provided, unless they specifically state otherwise at weigh in. consolation racing will be provided wherever possible. (But not at Jack Cadman or National Championships).

32. The association has the right to require a test on any Whippet at any of its events to determine the presence of substances deemed by the Associations Testing Lab to affect its performance. In the event of such a test proving positive, the owner and whippet  shall be dealt with by the Executive committee. Refusal to comply with such a test will result in disqualification from the event and will then be dealt with by the Executive committee. Any member may require the said test on any whippet.  The person requesting said test will be fully responsible for any and all costs of the test and have the means to pay for it at that time

33.All BWRA events to be entry on the day.

34.All national BWRA events, weigh in till 11am

35. Puppy & Yearling Scratch to be held at all events except championships. Veteran Scratch to be included at Championships.

36. Yearling events to be held 14 – 18 months.

37. The BWRA to allow 2 weigh ins in all events (2nd weigh in must be within the time allowed) and run as weighed.

38.All dogs to be placed in traps before lure is at the start.

39.Supreme Scratch to be run at each event.

40. The Jack Cadman be run in 2 weight classes, up to 24lb, up to 32lb all in, 1st & 2 nd through to the next round throughout.

41. Name of local vet to be printed on programme.

42. yd/lb heats to be run before scratch heats.

43. If a dog is withdrawn from a supreme the remaining dog does not need to have a solo

44.At any BWRA event where there is only one entry in any category (Puppy, Yearling, Vets, Scratch, Adult). Anyone not wanting to run in a straight final can have a solo to claim their class win.

45.Scratch classes 36lb, 45lb, 55lb

46.BWRA Top Table & Reps to vote on proposed venues.

47. The BWRA IBM/Grasscutter to be ring-fenced & staged at a club in the south of England

48. £20 fine imposed for not returning trophies for an open

49. Up to 80% of overall yearly profit to be given back in prize money over the 5 national events excluding bend & straight championships

50. Hot Heats picked at random to receive prize money across the national straight opens.

51. Tyrone open to be run over 160yds, yd/lb back dog.

52 Pedigree to be included at BWRA events. An affiliated membership £8 annually is required. Dog registration £5 for life. Vaccination card required. Owners must be a member of a BWRA affiliated club. Each region can run their pedigree section to a format of their choice.  Pedigree classes to be included in championships in four classes 20 24 28 32 all in level break.


53. Severe / extreme seeding to be allowed.


1. The Clerk of the Course will be named on the programme at all events.

2. A starter judge, two middle judges and Clerk of the Course will be appointed for each track to stand at staggered positions on opposite sides of the track. These officials have the power to object. Such objections to be made to the Clerk of the Course whose decision will be final.

3. The Clerk of the Course shall instruct all officials as to their duties and positions and will acquaint all officials of the interpretation of the rules prior to the commencement of racing.

 4. Officials must not be approached on the whippet track by whippet handlers or spectators about any decisions made. Any complaint must be made to the Clerk of the Course immediately.

 5. Official’s dogs should have weight checked by another person. And queries regarding the weight of any dog must be checked immediately.

6. Two line judges shall be appointed. Judges are not allowed to confer. In the event of the Line judges failing to agree, a majority decision cannot be obtained, the whippets concerned shall re-run.

Championship Rules

1. In National Championship races, dogs shall race against dogs and bitches against bitches, except Scratch Champion classes where dogs and bitches run together.

 2. All whippets that win their weight class in the National Championships shall carry the prefix “Racing Champion” (RCh) and National Scratch Champion winner shall carry the prefix “Scratch Racing Champion” (SRCh).

 3. Weight groups to be run in their slots i.e., if only one heat to win a title it will be run with the heats, the first equalising run with the Xheats and the second equalising run with the finals.

4. Racing for the National Championships to be over 150 yards straight.

5. In yd per lb handicap at the National Finals, the front dog will run 150yds. Winners only go through in this handicap. Dogs do not need to re-weigh for the handicap, as their weight from the original weigh-in will be used.

6. Classes in adult individual Championship events shall be up to 16lb and thereafter in 2lb additions up to 32lb.

7. There will be Scratch Champion classes for dogs weighing between 33-36lb; 37- 45lb & 46–55lb. Veteran Scratch racing for the over 32lb Veterans, classes; 36lb, 45lb, 55lb.

8. In the National Championships and National Scratch Championships the first and second whippets will go forward to the next round. In the Puppy & Yearling Championships, winner only to go through in each round.

9. A maximum of five whippets shall run in each race at National Championship events.

10.All Puppy & Yearling Championships will be run in four weight classes i.e., up to 20lb; 21-24lb; 25lb-28lb; 29-32lb; 150yds front dog. Run as weighed. Puppy Age 10-14months, Yearling age 14-18months on the day. Dog & Bitch separate in 4 x weight groups. Scratch Puppy / Yearling Championships to be in 3 classes; 36lb, 45lb & 55lb.

11.At National Championship events all whippets must be present in the official paddock near the traps one race prior to their own race.

12.At Championship events all whippets to be weighed in by advertised time.

13.All dogs to run in the weight class for which they qualify by weight.

14. The draw for weight classes for National Championships should be done by numbering the entrants and drawing the numbers for each heat. Seeding to be considered.

15.Because of the possible seedings at Championship events the draw for cross heats is to be done on the day.

16.Races must be run to a winner (if at champs, 2nd & 3rd was a dead heat, they would have to run off for 2nd place).

17.Veteran (classes) to be run first at Championships.

18.All veterans - champions/non-champions be allowed to run in veteran championships. The Sidewinder Trophy to be presented to the overall winner.

19. Lighter dogs be allowed to run off their proper weight in yd/lb racing. A 15lb dog after winning its weight group at the Championships off levels to be allowed to run off its weight as other dogs do.

Grievance Procedure

1. Where a BWRA member at a BWRA meeting is dissatisfied with the result of a race a complaint may only be lodged with the Clerk of the Course.

2. Any complaint must be lodged before the completion (i.e., the announcement of the result) of the following race, or after an equivalent period.

3. Harassment in any way of officials and/or members will invalidate the complaint and will lead to disciplinary action.

4. The Clerk of the Course shall fully investigate the complaint by questioning the track officials.

5. The Clerk of the Course shall, after consultation with the Stewards, then give a decision which shall be binding on all parties (see rule 7).

6. Where a member disagrees with the Clerk of the Courses’ decision, he/she may complain in writing to the regional secretary if the grievance arises from a regional decision, or the National Secretary if the grievance arises from a decision at a National Race meeting.

7. Where a complaint relates to the Clerk of the Courses’ decision at a race meeting, and is upheld, the result of the race shall not be altered. However, the principle so established shall be published and may be incorporated in subsequent Rules Revision.

8. The member making the complaint must be prepared to attend the next Regional/National Committee Meeting in person. Failure to do so may invalidate the complaint. The member may be accompanied by a representative of his/her choice, provided this person is a member of the BWRA.

9. If any BWRA member is deemed to be bringing the sport into disrepute either by actions or the spoken or written word. The said member will have their BWRA membership withdrawn until such time that the BWRA committee deem it appropriate to reinstate the said membership. At the same time the said members whippets will not be allowed to race in any BWRA events during that period of the membership withdrawal, and they will not be allowed to transfer the said whippets to any other BWRA member to race them at any BWRA events.









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Last updated 25 August, 2018 19:08