What is a National Hunt Flat Race?

A National Hunt Flat race also known as a Bumper.

So what is a National Hunt Flat Race? Well it is a flat race run which is run under the rules of Jump Racing in Britain and Ireland.

The purpose of these races is to give horses, who have not previously run on the Flat, racing experience. Ex-flat horses are not eligible to run in bumpers. Some National Hun Flat runners have been recruited from the Point to Point ranks. And others from the French AQPS racing (Autre Que Pur-Sang or “other than thoroughbred”). Notable recuits fron AQPS in recent years are SPRINTRE SACRE and UN DE SCEAUX.

While National Hunt Flat races are competitive in their own right most participants are destined for a career over hurdles and fences.

A bumper will often be the last race on the racecard for the day. They are generally run on the hurdle course after the flights of hurdles have been removed.

Originally National Flat races were restricted to amateur riders. The nickname of bumpers arose because of the bumping action of many of these inexperienced jockeys.

The restrictions on amateur only races has been lifted. Professional jockeys are now able to ride in some NHF in Britain. Amateur riders still dominate bumper races in Ireland, but conditional jockeys can also ride in some races.

Most bumper races are run at level weights but there are exceptions icluding weight for age, fillies and mares allowences and penalties for having previously won National Hunt Flat races.

Most National Hunt Flat races are run over around two miles but they can be held over distances ranging from one mile five furlongs to two miles four furlongs.

The most pestigious National Hun Flat race is the Champion Bumper held at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

We hope that has given you some background as to what a National Hunt race is.