Complaints Policy


The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is committed to providing the highest standards of service to the sport within its role as the regulator and governing body of horseracing in Great Britain.

We do recognise, however, that there may be some occasions where we are considered to have fallen short of expectations and individuals may not be completely satisfied with the service provided.

BHA teams can usually resolve most issues quickly and satisfactorily as part of their job. But there may be issues that require further investigation or would benefit from the involvement of other members of staff.

In this scenario, our complaints process helps ensure we can handle these matters fairly, efficiently, and consistently.


This policy deals with the way complaints are managed by the BHA. It covers complaints made by individuals about the services or activities of the BHA.

Not all complaints are dealt with under this policy. If your concern relates to the integrity of the sport, equine or human welfare, harm or abuse, the running of the BHA or the actions or activities of employees or officials, there may be more appropriate ways to register your concern (See Other ways to contact the BHA section below).

In order to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly, we will not usually accept complaints that are made more than six months after the event being complained about.

Making a complaint

– Informal complaints

In the first instance, we ask that you seek to resolve any concerns by contacting the person who has overall responsibility for the subject-matter using the BHA Department contacts page.

If you are unsure as to which department is responsible for the service about which you wish to make an enquiry or make an informal complaint, please email [email protected].

In the event that your complaint cannot be resolved through this informal approach, you then have the option to make a formal complaint.

– Formal complaint

All formal complaints must be submitted in writing. Where possible, we ask that you submit your complaint via email: [email protected].

If you wish to make a complaint by post, please mark this for the attention of the BHA Executive team and send it to:

British Horseracing Authority,
Holborn Gate,
26 Southampton Buildings,

We aim to acknowledge receipt of all formal complaints in writing within five working days.

We will then look at the issues that are raised and determine whether the complaint can be resolved quickly and easily, or if it may require further investigation. Where possible, all formal complaints will be reviewed in conjunction with the appropriate senior manager.

It may be necessary to contact you again, either in writing or verbally, for more information to support our review.

We aim to respond in full to all complaints within 20 working days. If for any reason this is not possible, we will provide you with an update as to the reason for the delay and when you may expect to receive a reply. Our response to your complaint will always be in writing – either via email or letter, depending on your preference.

Next steps

A formal complaint is the final stage in the BHA’s complaints process. Should you remain dissatisfied with the response you have received, there is no further right to appeal.

The BHA will however keep records about all complaints, which will include:

  • How we managed the complaint
  • The outcome/s of the complaint (including any recommendations that may result from the review process)
  • Any outstanding actions that need to be taken.

Dealing with unreasonable complaints / behaviour

While we always want to provide the highest standards of service, the BHA must make sure that its resources are used appropriately and fairly for the benefit of British racing.

A small number of people will correspond with or complain to the BHA in a way that could reasonably be described as unreasonable or vexatious.

This may include:

  • aggressive or abusive language or behaviour
  • behaviour that is obsessive, persistent, harassing, prolific, repetitious
  • insisting on pursing unmeritorious issues and/or unrealistic outcomes beyond all reason
  • insisting upon pursuing meritorious complaints or issues in an unreasonable manner
  • use of a “scatter gun” approach, with copies of letters being sent to several recipients on a regular basis, often including the media, their MP, and external regulators
  • making excessive demands for information, whether or not those requests are made under the access to information legislation.
  • Refusal to follow or cooperate with the procedures in place.

Where the BHA considers that a complainant has behaved in an unreasonable or vexatious manner, we may take any action that we consider to be reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances. This may include:

  • where the complainant tries to reopen an issue that has already been considered through one of the BHA’s complaints procedures, they will be informed in writing that the procedure has been exhausted and that the matter is now closed
  • where a decision on the complaint has been made, the complainant should be informed that future correspondence will be read and placed on file, but not acknowledged, unless it contains important new information
  • limiting the complainant to one type of contact (e.g., telephone, letter, email, etc.)
  • requiring contact to take place with a named member of staff and informing the complainant that if they do not keep to these arrangements, any further correspondence that does not highlight any significantly new matters will not necessarily be acknowledged and responded to, but will be kept on file.

Any new complaints received from complainants who have previously been considered to be persistent or vexatious will be treated on their merits. The BHA does not support a blanket ban on genuine complaints simply because restrictions may be imposed upon that complainant.

However, we will not tolerate any behaviour that is abusive or aggressive. Moreover, if behaviour that we have considered to be unreasonable still persists after the steps above are followed, this may lead to a restriction on your contact with the BHA.

Other ways to make a report

The BHA’s Complaints process deals with the way complaints are managed by the BHA. It covers complaints made by individuals about the services or activities of the BHA.

If your concern relates to the integrity of the sport, equine or human welfare, please use the reporting mechanisms set out below. 

– RaceWise

British racing’s anonymous reporting service, covering four main areas:

  • the Welfare of racehorses
  • protecting the Integrity of the sport
  • addressing Safeguarding and welfare concerns
  • maintaining Equality for everyone

You can raise a concern through RaceWISE by calling 0800 085 2580 or completing the online form here.

– Code of Conduct

The BHA Code of Conduct is a set of standards aimed at protecting the values of the sport.

If you have experienced or witnessed any incident which you feel might breach the BHA Code of Conduct, please report this via email: [email protected]

– Safeguarding

If your concern relates to a Young Person (anyone under 18) or an Adult at Risk (anyone less able to protect him/herself) then you may wish to contact the BHA Safeguarding team directly.

You can do so by email to [email protected] or you can call 0207 052 0099.

– Whistleblowing

If your concern relates to the running of the BHA or the actions or activities of employees or officials of the BHA and involves criminal offences, breaches of legal obligations, dangers to health and safety, bribery or corruption and the deliberate covering up of matters, a report to the BHA’s Legal Team via [email protected] may be more appropriate.

Further details regarding the BHA’s whistleblowing policy can be found here.  If in any doubt, report your concerns either via the whistleblowing procedure or this complaints policy.

Review of this policy

The BHA shall conduct periodic and qualitative reviews or this complaints policy from time to time. It shall evaluate the efficacy of the arrangements and measure the levels of transparency and openness.