What Does Brought Down Mean in Horse Racing?

Brought down is a term used to describe a horse that falls due to another horse interfering with it instead of falling independently.  A horse is usually brought down by another horse falling, mostly in jumps racing.

Brought Down Explained

jockey and horse fall during a race
Paul, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most annoying things for racing fans and bettors is when their horse of choice is brought down, especially when it is leading the race. Being brought down is a fall of no-fault. Another competing horse can fall on landing or when taking a jump, and the commotion brings down other racers.

Loose horses are also a significant cause of horses being brought down. These horses bring down others by acting as obstacles in their way. When horses are brought down, you’ll see it in their respective form lines on racecards as BD. Any horse in a race can be brought down, including the best ones in the world, so if you see the letters BD on a racecard, don’t mistake that for a faller since the two are distinctly different.

Brought Down Example

voided horse race horse fell bringing all other riders down towcester 2011

In 2011, rider Adrian Lane had already covered most of the distance and done everything to win the race at Towcester Racecourse in England. The jockey was in front, and only one fence remained in the 2-mile contest.

He was riding his favourite, Identity Parade, and at that particular moment, his horse fell. His horse brought down all the other horses that were behind him.

What Happens to a Horse that is Brought Down?

horse running without jockey after being brought down and getting up

If a horse goes down and stays there, it will take a few seconds before a vet car catches up. If the horse is in a place where it can significantly affect other competitors, the race is called off. If the horse isn’t mortally injured, they will get it up and then take it off the course. As a last resort, they can use equipment to get it up if they cannot do so alone.

If the horse is brought down, loses its jockey, gets up and continues with the race, it will be caught it if it is possible to do so safely. However, if it is near or on the racetrack, the horse will keep running until it stops. Once the horse is caught, it is inspected by a vet and directed back to the barn.

What Happens To Bets When a Horse is Brought Down?

stamp insuranceIf all horses are brought down, the entire race is considered a no contest, and in this case, all wagers are cancelled, and punters get back their stakes if they’re using trusted bookmakers. But when a single horse is brought down, and others proceed to win, bettors will lose any stakes placed on the horse brought down unless you have faller insurance.

Stakes placed on the runner that is brought down are paid back if you have insurance, this is up to a maximum threshold (e.g. £10) and often given as a free bet. If you love placing bets on horse races, then you should sign up with sportsbooks that offer insurance if a horse falls, is brought down or unseats a jockey.

Faller insurance ensures that the stake is returned if a horse is brought down. It doesn’t apply to horses that get carried out, run out, slips up or refuses to run. Some operators have ‘fail to finish’ insurance, which effectively covers you for any reason a horse doesn’t finish a race it has started.