British Horseracing Authority

BHA Proposal Seeks Balanced Race Programme

"There's too much racing." That is the familiar cry heard from most people connected to British horseracing. With that in mind, a potential reduction to next year's fixture list should be met with approval. Though that has been the case in many quarters, a leaked British Horseracing Authority (BHA) proposal on this topic has also ruffled a few feathers. The Racing Post reported on Monday that the BHA, in consultation with its fixtures and funding group comprised by racing's stakeholders, is working on a proposal to reduce the 2023 fixture...

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Dunne Suspension Reduced to 10 Months After Appeal

Jockey Robbie Dunne has had his 18-month suspension reduced to 10 months after an appeal hearing in London. Dunne was suspended for conduct prejudicial to racing for his harassment and bullying of fellow rider Bryony Frost by the British Horseracing Authority Disciplinary Panel in December. His appeal was rejected by the independent appeal board, with the following conditions: The four breaches of Rule (J)19 originally found by the independent Disciplinary Panel have been adjusted to one overarching breach, which covers all offences Penalty reduced from 18 months suspension (three of...

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Annamarie Phelps to Step Down as BHA Chair

British Horseracing Authority Chair, Annamarie Phelps, CBE, will not seek a second term in the role and will step down from the BHA Board at the conclusion of her term in May. Phelps will be replaced by BHA Independent Non-Executive Director, Joe Saumarez Smith. He will begin his new role once Phelp's term is up and will stay in that position until the end of his own term in September of 2023. Annamarie Phelps said, "Following discussions with the Board of the BHA I have decided not to extend my...

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UK Jockey Weights To Rise

The three-pound COVID allowance for riders will be replaced with an across-the-board two-pound rise in the published weights, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) confirmed on Monday. In addition, the current three-pound back protector allowance will be raised to a general four-pound safety allowance for jockeys. These changes will go into effect for races staged from Monday, May 2, following further discussions with the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), and a number of Flat and Jump jockeys. Horses will continue to carry the same weights that they have...

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Revised Safeguarding Measures For British Racing

The British Horseracing Authority has announced revised safeguarding measures for British racing focused on protecting the sport's most vulnerable participants. They are: Leadership: Embedding a culture of safeguarding across British racing, with the BHA Board championing safeguarding throughout our values and priorities; Governance: Establishing a strong governance framework to support our safeguarding arrangements by ensuring BHA Board members and staff are clear about their responsibilities and regulation is consistent with legislation, government guidance and good practice; Prevention: Taking all reasonable steps to create an environment where it is as difficult...

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Weighing Room Covid Test Requirement Waived

British racing has dropped mandatory Covid-19 testing for weighing room entry effective Thursday, following the change to self-isolation rules in England. Access to the weighing room will continue to be restricted to essential personnel. British Horseracing Authority Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Jerry Hill said, "Throughout the pandemic, we have endeavoured to make evidence-based decisions that protect our people and safeguard the industry against Covid-19-related disruption. In recent months, testing for weighing room personnel has been a crucial part of this strategy and I'd again like to thank everyone for their...

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Oisin Murphy Banned Until 2023

Oisin Murphy has been banned 11 months for breaching Covid rules in September 2020, and must serve an additional 100 days for two alcohol breaches. He has also been fined £31,111. The three-time champion jockey, therefore, will not be eligible to ride again until Feb. 16, 2023. The bans have been backdated to Dec. 8, the day that Murphy handed in his license while announcing he was seeking professional help when the breaches were revealed. In a Tuesday hearing, the 26-year-old Murphy admitted to all five charges brought against him...

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UK Racing Raceday Covid Restrictions to Lift at The End of February

Plans for easing the remaining COVID-19 raceday restrictions were announced by British racing on Thursday. The weighing room resting requirements would lift by the end of February as a result. The provisional timetable agreed by the industry's COVID-19 Group is as follows: From Monday, 28 Feb., Weighing Room attendees will no longer be expected to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test prior to entry. From Monday, 14 Mar., racecourses will no longer be required to configure the Weighing Room complex for the purposes of COVID-19 infection control. These...

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Oisin Murphy Hearing Set For Tuesday

Oisin Murphy, the three-time champion jockey in Britain, will face the independent disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Tuesday, Feb. 22 for five alleged rule breaches. Members of the panel will consider whether Murphy misled the BHA regarding his travel destination in order to circumvent Covid rules and failed to comply with those restrictions. Further charges relate to two separate incidents, on May 5, 2021 and Oct. 8, 2021, when the jockey failed breath tests for alcohol at Chester and Newmarket racecourses respectively. The hearing will also...

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Sir Mark Todd Temporarily Suspended from Training

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has placed an interim suspension on the licence of trainer Sir Mark Todd following the publication over the weekend of a video showing him striking a horse with a branch for refusing at a water obstacle. Investigations are ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the events depicted in the video made two years ago during a cross-country clinic at which Todd was teaching. Until that process is complete Todd will be unable to enter horses to race in Britain.  A statement released by the BHA on...

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BHA Responds to High Court Ruling

Following the ruling of the High Court in favour of Freddy Tylicki, the British Horseracing Authority has released its response on Thursday. Tylicki sustained catastrophic injuries in a fall at Kempton Park in October 2016. After the judge's ruling, the BHA obtained transcripts of the proceedings, which have been reviewed in detail, and held discussions with industry stakeholders in order to consider what implications there may be for the sport as a result of the judgment. The BHA released a statement on Thursday which read in part: "Due to the...

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Culture Of Respect Working Party Established

A cross-industry working party has been established to agree an action plan that will pave the way for improving the culture of respect in British racing. In the wake of the Bryony Frost/Robbie Dunne case, in which Dunne was banned from riding for 18 months for prolonged bullying and intimidation of Frost, racing's major stakeholder bodies issued a statement last month reiterating their commitment to take wide-ranging action to offer support and education to industry participants around behaviours. The representatives of the culture of respect working party, which will meet...

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