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Balloted out is a term associated with horse racing. A horse is balloted out of a race when there are too many entries for the race, and the officials make a decision on which horses enter. Horses that are not selected are deemed to have been balloted out. Factors such as stabling and safety will be taken into account when considering balloting out a horse.
However, the decision on which horses will be balloted out is random, unless the event is a handicap race. In that situation, the horses with the highest ratings take priority.
It should be noted that entries into major races must be made several weeks before the race takes place, while for minor races, an entry has to be made between five and six days prior to the race. The race official’s declaration comes one or two days before the race.
For example, a punter might back Lord Windermere in the Grand National a week before the race, but the entry list could exceed the safe number of runners. If Lord Windermere were to be balloted out, the punter would receive their stake back in cash or as a free bet, depending on the terms and conditions of the bookmaker.
A horse can only be balloted out through the Jockey Club Rules of Racing. The Jockey Club was formed in 1750 to ensure that races at Newmarket Heath were run fairly.
Their initial set of rules became so popular that it was not long before they were adopted at race courses across the whole of the United Kingdom. It was not until 2006 that authority for regulating horse racing was passed from the Jockey Club to the British Horseracing Authority.