SA Merit Ratings On The Rise


Over the last few racing seasons, a general decline in the Merit Ratings was observed, especially in relation to the large group of horses rated 70 and less.

Upon request, an analysis of average ratings of the racing population from August 2010 to present was undertaken.

Based on the research, the following was proposed:

1. Increase the domestic population by 6 rating points;
effective entries 1 March 2018. (The relativity between
horses remains the same).

2. The rating increase will “stretch” the population thereby
reducing the “over-crowding” in the lower divisions.

3. This will only affect domestic ratings. Domestic and
International Ratings are not linked and are done

4. This adjustment will be effective on 1 March 2018
across the country.

The situation arose due to:

1. Guidelines limiting upward rating adjustments.

2. Race conditions restricting upward rating adjustment.

3. More aggressive rating drops for non-performance.

4. More cognizant dropping of young horses not making
weight- for- age improvement.

5. “Slippage” in handicap races. i.e. Where there are
more downward adjustments than horses remaining
the same or going up. Where this happens in large
numbers; the ratings will tend to decrease over time.

These factors are under review.

The proposed increase was accepted by the industry representatives that attended a meeting in Johannesburg on 25 October 2017 and was ratified by the National Board of the NHA.


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