Bronte chats with Tracey Hamilton an Equine Welfare Integrity Officer on working the Grand National!

In this interview our newest content creator Bronte Middleton catches up with Tracey Hamilton who is an Equine Welfare Integrity Officer with the British Horseracing Authority. Bronte also looks after the Careers in Racing TikTok page so check out all the content she’s done there also.

A bit of information first on their job. The EWIO’s role encompasses both the Equine Welfare/Sampling Unit duties and the Stable Security/Integrity role. The EWIO Team at each race meeting consists of a minimum of 3 people. The role of the EWIO is to ensure the required standards of equine welfare and integrity are maintained both in and around the Stable Yard. They do this by checking and recording the accreditation of all those entering the stables. They also identify all of the horses when they arrive at the stables. This is done by scanning the horse’s individual microchip number and reconciling it against the list of the day’s runners.

Hello Tracey, Thank You for taking the time to do this interview. Do you see the Grand National as a normal day at work, or an event to look forward to?

As an Equine Welfare Integrity Officer equine welfare is my priority. I definitely look forward to the Grand National every year which I have now attended for the last 7 years working as an EWIO.

Is there any added pressure knowing being more eyes will be watching this meeting?

I certainly don’t feel any added pressure but I do take my job very seriously, as horse welfare is our main priority.

As it’s a large meeting are there any extra checks or precautions?

Yes there are some extra precautions for the Grand National meeting. Every runner over the 3 days is presented to the BHA Vets Pre-Race who then listen to their hearts, check their legs are clean and then they trot the horses up to check they are sound. My role within the EWIO team at the stables this year is to collect post-race samples of urine and (blood which is collected by one of the BHA vets). I then pack up the sample and at the end of the day the sample bag is sealed and picked up by courier and sent to a lab in Newmarket for testing.

Do you get particularly nervous or excited working this event?

I do get excited and nervous as it’s the biggest meeting I will attend every year and I feel very privileged to do so.

Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to have this chat with me. For anyone who uses TikTok you can view this interview on this platform which I have made. I’m also part of the Youth Collaboration Group you can find out a bit more about the group here.