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Results of an appeal (B Hughes) and enquiries (R Dunne, J Rait-Rattray, A Berry, D Bridgwater) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on 30 July

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Brian Hughes

  1. On 30 July 2015, the Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) considered an appeal lodged by Brian Hughes, the rider of ENDEAVOUR, placed second in the Global Radio Handicap Hurdle Race, against the decision of the Stewards at Cartmel on 20 July 2015 to find him guilty of improper riding and to suspend him from riding for 6 days. The Stewards had found that Hughes had intentionally tried to prevent MORNING WITH IVAN (IRE), placed third, ridden by Henry Brooke, from getting a run up his inside thereby causing interference.
  2. As always, the Disciplinary Panel approached this appeal as a re-hearing. The BHA’s position was represented by Lyn Williams, with evidence given by Brooke. Hughes, who also gave evidence, was represented by Rory Mac Neice.
  3. The Panel accepted that turning in to the final straight Brooke had nowhere to go, with Hughes on his outside and ARDESIA (IRE), ridden by Jonathan England, on the eventual winner, in front of him.
  4. The Panel found that inside the final furlong there was contact between ENDEAVOUR and MORNING WITH IVAN (IRE), but that such contact was accidental.
  5. Hughes told the Panel that thereafter he took steps to ensure his horse ran straight and did not hang to the right as it had in a recent race, and was attempting to do so in this race. He said he was successful in keeping his horse straight, and maintained that there was never a sufficient gap for Brooke to attempt to go between himself and England. Hughes said that he had never, intentionally or carelessly interfered with Brooke.
  6. The Panel, having viewed the video recordings of the race and hearing from the witnesses, Hughes and Brooke, were unconvinced that the horse was hanging right down the home straight. The Panel found that during the run in, Hughes did intentionally interfere with Brooke, by steering ENDEAVOUR to the left and using his whip in his right hand, so as to ensure that MORNING WITH IVAN (IRE) could not attempt a run up his inner.
  7. The Panel considered that by such improper riding, Hughes caused increased interference to Brooke and therefore dismissed Hughes’ appeal and confirmed the suspension of 6 days on Wednesday 12, Thursday 13, Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 August 2015. The Panel also considered that the appeal was at least arguable and therefore returned the deposit.

Robert Dunne

  1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on 30 July 2015 held an enquiry to establish whether or not Robert Dunne, the rider of MAHAYOGIN (USA), placed fourth in the Svitzer Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Race at Market Rasen on 19 June 2015, had committed a breach of Rule (B)67.4.3 of the Rules of Racing in that he had weighed in at 10st 7lb having weighed out at 10st 5lb.  The matter was referred to the Authority by the Market Rasen Stewards following their enquiry of the same day, because this was Dunne’s third breach of Rule (B)67.4.3 within a twelve month period.
  2. The BHA’s case was presented by Lyn Williams.  Dunne was represented by Rory Mac Neice.
  3. The Panel accepted an admission from Dunne that he was in breach of Rule (B)67.4.3 and suspended him for 12 days from 12 August 2015 until 29 August 2015 inclusive on days when jump racing is scheduled to take place.
  4. In fixing the penalty at 12 days the Panel noted that this was Dunne’s third offence in just over 6 months.

Mrs J Rait-Rattray

  1. The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on 25 June 2015 held an enquiry to consider whether or not Mrs J Rait-Rattray had committed a breach of Regulation 170(iii) of the Regulations for Point-to-Point Steeple Chases, in respect of the serious concerns of the Stewards at the Meynell & South Staffordshire Hunt Point-to-Point over her conduct relating to the steps that she had taken in order to encourage the horse MORE TRICKS’ ridden by her daughter, to go down to the start for the 7th race.
  2. The Panel noted that it had been reported by the Stewards on the day that Mrs Rait-Rattray appeared to strike MORE TRICKS firstly with a piece of the rail and then with the hunt servant’s whip when the mare was reluctant to go down to the start and this conduct was prejudicial to the proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing.  The matter had not been dealt with on the day as Mrs Rait-Rattray did not own or train MORE TRICKS and therefore the Stewards were unaware whether or not she was bound by the Point-to-Point Regulations.
  3. The Panel found that Mrs Rait-Rattray did act in a manner prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain in that she took a hunt servant’s whip, and without seeking help elsewhere, used it at least once round the hocks of MORE TRICKS, which was unacceptable.  The Panel found no finding relating to the rail.
  4. The Panel noted Mrs Rait-Rattray’s admission that what she did was wrong and her whole hearted apology.
  5. Finding Mrs Rait-Rattray in breach of Regulation 170(iii), the Panel fined her £200.

Alan Berry

  1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry on 30 July 2015 to consider whether or not Alan Berry, a licensed trainer, had committed a breach of Rule (C)25 of the Rules of Racing, in respect of his failure to ensure that his employees were wearing the correct protective clothing and head gear whilst mounted.
  2. The Panel noted that during an announced yard inspection on 19 May 2015, Andrew Streeter, a BHA Stable Inspector, noted that two horses were being ridden towards the gallops.  One of the riders, Miss Zoe Carter, did not appear to be wearing a safety vest.  When the riders returned to the yard an inspection of the two employees’ skull caps and safety vests was made and it was confirmed that Miss Carter had not been wearing a safety vest as required under Rule (C)25.
  3. The Panel considered a written submission from Berry that stated that Miss Carter had started working at the yard the previous day and as she had previous riding experience, it was thought that she could be trained to be a work rider.  On the day of the yard inspection Miss Carter had been asked to accompany an assessor for a walk down the stable’s private drive to asses her ability and had been riding a 14 year old retired thoroughbred.  The route that had been chosen was not a public highway.  Personal equipment had been ordered for Miss Carter the previous day.  Berry confirmed that it was the yards practice for all staff to wear BHA approved back protectors at all times whilst riding, however, on this occasion the requirement was not met.  The yard had also taken steps to ensure that such an oversight did not occur again.
  4. Having considered the evidence, the Panel found Berry in breach of Rule (C)25 and fined him £250.

David Bridgwater

  1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on 30 July 2015 held an enquiry to establish whether or not David Bridgwater, a licensed trainer, had committed a breach of Rule (C)12 of the Rules of Racing concerning his failure to check the identity of BELLATRIX from the markings shown in the mare’s passport as soon as it came into his care.  The matter was reported to the Authority by the Veterinary Officer on duty at Stratford-on-Avon on 30 May 2015 following his inability to be able to identify the mare presented to him as BELLATRIX from its markings, which also resulted in the mare being prevented from running.
  2. The Panel noted that the two mares were delivered to the owner, Gary Bryan, who did not check the passports, one being BELLATRIX and the other 2008 unnamed bay mare by GENEROUS (IRE) ex SAMRANA (FR).  BELLATRIX went into training with Bridgwater on 11 February 2015 whilst the 2008 mare by GENEROUS (IRE) ex SAMRANA (FR) remained in Mr Bryan’s care.  Neither Mr Bryan nor Bridgwater identified the horses from the passports whilst in their care.  Subsequently a blood sample taken from the horse previously believed to be 2008 unnamed bay mare by GENEROUS (IRE) ex SAMRANA (FR) proved to be identical to the registered sample for BELLATRIX.
  3. The Panel found Bridgwater in breach of Rule (C)12 and imposed a fine of £850 upon him. In fixing the penalty the Panel noted that two horses were involved and Bridgwater wrongly assumed his Veterinary Surgeon would carry out his own responsibilities as a trainer to check the identities of the horses.

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