Result of an appeal (R Bowring) and enquiries (E McCutcheon, D Bourke) heard by the Disciplinary Panel on Thursday 30 April

30 Apr 2015 Disciplinary Panel - Appeals against decisions on a Racecourse Disciplinary Panel - Referrals from Racecourse

Roy Bowring

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Thursday 30 April 2015 considered an appeal lodged by Roy Bowring, the trainer of MARINA BALLERINA, against the decision of the Southwell Stewards on 23 April 2015 to find Bowring in breach of Rule (C)45.4 of the Rules of Racing and fine him £3,000, and to suspend MARINA BALLERINA from running for 40 days, in that he was guilty of schooling/conditioning the mare. Nathan Alison, the rider of MARINA BALLERINA did not appeal the decision to find him in breach of Rule (B)59.2 and to suspend him from riding for 14 days,

2. The Panel noted that Bowring had requested that the matter be heard in his absence. The Panel heard submissions from Dawn Bacchus, National Trainers Federation on his behalf, and took evidence from Bowring over the telephone.

3. At the enquiry the BHA submitted that it could not identify anything on the video, or any evidence to suggest that Bowring had instructed Alison to give the mare a schooling ride. In the circumstances the BHA did not suggest to the Panel that Bowring had intended to school MARINA BALLERINA.

4. The BHA suggested that if the Panel concurred with its approach, that the appeal should be allowed in respect of Bowring. As to Alison, whilst he had not appealed the Steward’s decision, it was suggested that in all the circumstances, the Panel might use its powers under Rule (A)80 to substitute a finding of failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures, and given the ride, the 14 day penalty would be correct. It was understood that Alison was not appealing the penalty of 14 days, whichever breach of the Rules was appropriate.

5. On behalf of Bowring it was submitted that he had held a licence for approximately 40 years and had never, during this time, been before the Stewards for any running or riding offences. There was not satisfactory evidence of a plan to school the mare. Bowring had had two other runners that night, both of whom had had a long lay-off, one of which won and the other was placed third.

6. The Panel found that Alison failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures in that from the back straight, approximately four furlongs out until the winning post he failed to ask his mount for sufficient effort. It considered, having viewed the race, the ride warranted a suspension above the entry point for failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures under Rule (B)59.4.

7. The Panel accepted the submissions of the BHA as to Bowring’s culpability, having first questioned Bowring over the telephone about the apparent discrepancies between the evidence given to the Southwell Stewards on the evening and his subsequent written submissions which were placed before the Panel.

8. The Panel accepted from Bowring that he had not taken MARINA BALLERINA to Southwell for a schooling run and had not given Alison instructions to do so.

9. In the circumstances the Panel upheld Bowring’s appeal and quashed the £3,000 fine imposed and the 40 day suspension of MARINA BALLERINA. It also confirmed, under Rule (B)59.4, the 14 day suspension imposed on Alison.


Evanna McCutcheon

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an enquiry on Thursday 30 April 2015 to consider whether or not Miss Evanna McCutcheon, an Irish licensed trainer, had committed a breach of Rule (E)16.3 of the Rules of Racing in respect of her entering DATANARRA (IRE) to run at Kempton Park on 30 October 2014 but taking and presenting a different horse, namely NARA DATTA (IRE), to the Veterinary Officer on duty when the mare’s identity was required to be checked prior to running. The Stewards at Kempton Park ordered the withdrawal of DATANARRA (IRE) and referred the matter of taking the incorrect horse to run to the BHA.

2. The Panel noted that Miss McCutcheon had requested that the matter be heard in her absence.

3. the Panel was informed by the BHA that the mare had been brought to Miss McCutcheon’s yard on the evening of 4 January 2014 by the breeder of the horse Dr R Frayne and his nephew, Richard Frayne. Miss McCutcheon had checked the markings against the mare’s passport, but had missed the white markings on its lower front legs that did not appear in the passport for DATANARRA (IRE). Miss McCutcheon had given the reason for missing the markings as it had been a dark evening. No further checks of the markings or microchip were made.

4. In Miss McCutcheon’s written submission, the Panel noted that since this incident Miss McCutcheon had put in place measures that every new horse that arrived in her yard had its microchip checked by her Veterinary Surgeon within 24/48 hours and that if the Veterinary Surgeon was unavailable she had access to the loan of an alternative microchip scanner.  Miss McCutcheon had also given full assistance to the BHA in its investigation.

5. Having considered the evidence, the Panel accepted an admission from Miss McCutcheon that she was in breach of Rule (E)16.3 and imposed a fine of £850 upon her.


Daragh Bourke

1. The Disciplinary Panel of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) held an enquiry on Thursday 30 April 2015 to consider whether or not Daragh Bourke, a Conditional jockey, had committed a breach of Rule (D)65 of the Rules of Racing in that a urine sample taken from him on 18 March 2015 at Haydock Park racecourse tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, and therefore, pursuant to Rule (D)58, a Banned Substance.

2. Bourke, who was in attendance, was represented by Rory Mac Neice.

3. The Panel heard submissions from Mr Mac Neice that this was the first occasion on which Bourke had taken cocaine. That part of the ingestion of cocaine was due to his drink being “spiked”; that he had admitted a breach at a very early stage, co-operated in interview and expressed shame and regret for his actions. In addition, his employers continued to support him, and in all the circumstances the normal penalty of six months withdrawal of licence should be reduced.

4. The BHA submitted that in line with the Guide to Procedures and Penalties no reduction in penalty was appropriate in the circumstances of a finding of cocaine.

5. The Panel considered that the six month suspension should not be reduced notwithstanding Bourke’s co-operation post notification of the positive test, because the Panel considered that, on the evening in question, despite being offered and refusing cocaine in the pub by an associate earlier in the evening, he had nevertheless gone back to this associate’s home that night. Furthermore, self-induced intoxication was not a mitigating factor and indeed, for a professional jockey is viewed by the Panel as an aggravating factor. The Panel also considered that riding in a race with a Class A drug in the system, was a serious matter.

6. Taking this into account the Panel suspended Bourke from riding for six months from Thursday 2 April 2015 to Thursday 1 October 2015 inclusive.


Notes to editors:

1. The Panel for the hearings was: Philip Curl (Chair), Edward Dorrell, Ian Stark.

2. Following an application made to them by the BHA, the Licensing Committee suspended Bourke from riding on Thursday 2 April, pending an expedited disciplinary hearing, as a result of the positive finding.