Result of an enquiry (Bridgwater) and an appeal (O’Regan) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 15 January
The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) held an enquiry on Thursday 15 January 2015 to consider whether or not David Bridgwater had committed a breach of Rule (A)30.1 of the Rules of Racing in that comments attributed to him regarding the Stewards at Ludlow following their enquiry into the ‘Hands and Heels’ Handicap Chase on 7 January 2015, as quoted in the Guardian of 8 January 2015 and available on-line the previous evening, constituted acting in a manner which was prejudicial to the proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain.
The Panel noted that Bridgwater admitted he made personal and defamatory remarks about the Stewards and Stipendiary Stewards at Ludlow. For a licensed trainer to communicate such an inappropriate and disrespectful message in such a way through a quote to a journalist, was prejudicial to the proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing.
The Panel also noted that Bridgwater had issued an unreserved apology after the incident and again to the Disciplinary Panel when attending in person at the enquiry.
The Panel accepted his admission of a breach of Rule (A)30.1 and fined him £2,000.
The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA on Thursday 15 January 2015 considered an appeal lodged by Denis O’Regan, the rider of DELVIN ROAD (IRE), placed fourth in the Stella Artois Maiden Hurdle, against the decision of the Bangor-on-Dee Stewards on 6 January 2015 to find him in breach of Rule (B)59.4 of the Rules of Racing and to suspend him for 10 days, in that he failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure the gelding ran on its merits.
The Panel considered evidence from O’Regan, who was legally represented, and also viewed recordings of the race.
The Panel found that O’Regan settled DELVIN ROAD (IRE) in mid division. The pace was initially slow and then quickened down the back straight second time around. O’Regan asked DELVIN ROAD (IRE) for itseffort after the third last flight and the gelding closed to within approximately eight lengths of the tiring third horse, RELIC ROCK (IRE), ridden by AP McCoy. Once in the straight O’Regan made no real or substantial effort on the gelding and finished fourth, beaten by approximately 4½ lengths for third. Following the race O’Regan made no report as an explanation for his riding in the straight. The horse was found to be lame by the Veterinary Officer after the race, of which O’Regan was unaware during the race.
The Panel confirmed the decision of the Bangor-on-Dee Stewards and considered that, in the straight, O’Regan had not carried out his responsibilities to take all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure his mount obtained the best possible placing. It felt in the straight O’Regan had not shown any timely, real or substantive effort to close on the horse in front.
The Panel dismissed the appeal and confirmed the 10 day suspension on Tuesday 20 January to Thursday 29 January 2015 inclusive. The Panel ordered that the deposit be forfeited as no further information had been added to that heard at the original enquiry which had been correct in its findings.
Notes to editors:
1. The Panel for the hearing was: William Barlow (Chair), Lucinda Cavendish, Mrs Diana Powles.