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A Simple Guide to the 'Going'

The official 'Going' is the description of ground conditions experienced by a horse on the racecourse. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has defined seven descriptions for these conditions:

  • Heavy
  • Soft
  • Good to Soft
  • Good
  • Good to Firm
  • Firm
  • Hard

These terms can be combined to give a more accurate description of the Going, for example: Good, Good to Soft in places, and so on.

The Going Report is usually available seven days prior to each race meeting and is updated regularly. A 'Going Map' is also produced, indicating any variance in Going conditions around the racecourse.

Other information may also be given alongside the Official Going, such as 'watering', which is when the Clerk of the Course deems it necessary to water the course if the weather has been particularly dry.

Going Stick Readings

Since 31st March 2007, every turf racecourse in the UK has been required by the BHA to publish a TurfTrax Going Stick reading alongside the official Going description.

Developed in conjunction with Cranfield University, the Going Stick scientifically measures 'penetration' and 'shear' – the two forces exerted by the horse’s hoof when it strikes the ground.

The Going Stick uses a measurement scale ranging from 1 to 15: the lower the number, the softer or slower the ground; the higher the number, the firmer or faster the ground.