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National Hunt flat race

National Hunt Flat races, informally known as Bumper races, are flat races run under National Hunt racing rules in and Ireland.

The principal idea is for jump horses to gain racing experience on flat conditions of equal length, prior to commencing a career hurdling or chasing. Because of the lack of fences and hurdles, the horses sometimes run at a faster pace, however the low quality of many of these races, and the fact that horses are only taking part to gain experience, often results in a slow pace. Bumpers are typically placed at the end of a race meeting and are notorious for being difficult to predict the victor. The vast majority of National Hunt meetings in Ireland include a bumper. They are run much less frequently in Britain.

The term 'bumper' comes from the fact that in the past, only amateur riders were allowed to compete and had an ungainly bumping style in comparison to the professionals.[citation needed]

Bumpers are most commonly run over distances of 13 - 20 furlongs.


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