I’ve attended a stalls test for a filly I once owned called Waxwing. The test was ordered after she gave problems going into the stalls prior to a race – she did go in eventually, but the starter has the power to order a test for any horse that plays up and this is done by giving the trainer a form after the race.
The test has to be passed before the horse can run again and if you take the test within 28 days and fail, the trainer is fined. In theory the 28 days is supposed to be a period for retraining the horse.
The test takes place at a racecourse before the first race and has to be booked in advance. In the case of Waxwing it was at Bath. One hour before racing, the filly was saddled and ridden to the start and then walked around for five minutes just as normal. To pass the test, she had to enter the stalls without delay (the stalls handlers can push as normal) and then stand in the stalls calmly for one minute.
That’s the theory – in practice my trainer was told by the assistant starter in the pub the might before that we’d pass OK (choosing which course you test at effectively means you can choose your starter). When Waxwing looked unwilling to enter the stalls, my trainer was allowed to put on a crash helmet and lead her in himself.
He went to the start with her for her next race a week later and again helped to lead her in – she won the race and we were entirely happy to let her go to a claim afterwards.
Any costs incurred in taking the test are down to the owner or trainer.